Comcast, NBC Will Combine to Form Unstoppable Voltron of Entertainment

Are you ready to be entertained by a behemoth? General Electric is on the brink of selling NBC Universal to Comcast—a deal that will create one of the nation's largest entertainment companies and make everyone the same everywhere.

General Electric—which owns 80% of NBC Universal—just reached an agreement to buy French conglomerate Vivendi's 20% stake in the company for $5.8 billion. This will allow GE to sell NBC in turn to cable TV provider Comcast. (Very confusing.) If regulators approve the NBC deal, Comcast will boast a double threat of content production and distribution with which it will squelch all opposition and force-feed The Office reruns to the American populace until we are witless, sitcom-dazed zombies at their beck and call. At least that's what some concerned media activists say will happen. (Doesn't sound so bad, honestly.) [THR]

Alec Baldwin has just announced he's quitting acting for, like the sixth time or something. Baldwin told Men's Journal he is planning on retiring March 2010, when his "30 Rock" contract runs out. But The Wrap points out he's said this many times before, and here he is! Plus, his new corporate overlords at NBC/Comcast/Evilcorp will probably implant a chip in his brain that makes him want to act forever. [THR]

Peter Jackson's two-part "Hobbit" is being delayed until 2012 because of delays in writing and casting. I think I speak for nerds everywhere when I say: NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO [shakes fist angrily at computer screen while flecks of spittle fall to the crumb-strewn floor of his parents' basement.] [The Wrap]

•BREAKING: Nicole Richie had an idea! (It was for an ABC sitcom that will "feature Richie as a professional woman with complicated family relationships and struggling to figure out what role she'll take as her life and her family evolve.")[Variety]

•By the time you read this the White House Crashers will probably have already appeared on the "Today Show" to present their side of the story. So jealous of you, future! [LAT]

•Kathryn Beglow's Hurt Locker has won "Best Picture" at the Gotham Independent Film Awards. We are trying to think of some adjective to describe the film in a different way than the LA Times. What is a synonym for "gritty"? [LAT]