Actually save it for when the deal actually goes through. But that time has moved closer now that Comcast announced a $30 billion deal to take over NBC Universal from GE. The next big question: Are regulators going to flip?
If the deal goes through, Comcast-NBC Universal will be an entertainment squid with tentacles wrapped around cable channels—USA, Syfy, Bravo, E, NBC and more—websites, theme parks and a film studio. Now it's up to regulators to determine if it will be a blood-sucking vampire squid or a fun, benevolent squid. In order to soothe anti-trust fears, Comcast has promised that they won't pull NBC content from competing providers like DirecTV. But they would say that, wouldn't they? [LAT]
•Fox is fighting back at rumors that James Cameron's "Avatar" will be the most expensive movie ever made with a budget more than half a billion dollars. No, they say, it will cost a measly $400 million. And, according to The Wrap, this should put it in reach of actually making a profit. As long it doesn't make people throw up. [The Wrap]
•A 46 year-old Christmas special beat out everything on TV in the ratings yesterday: the classic stop-animation "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" drew 10.7 million viewers compared to second-place "So You Think You Can Dance" at 6.3 million. Why do networks even make new shows anymore? [Variety]
•Directors get no respect: Director Peter Jackson ("Lord of the Rings") complained to the Carpetbagger that, while the Academy Awards' best film category has been expanded to 10, there are still only five best director slots. Which means five movies were awesome despite having terrible directors? [Carbetbagger]
•This one goes out to anyone who thinks Hollywood is filled with smut-peddling sleazeballs: According to the FTC, the entertainment industry engages in "explicit and pervasive targeting of young children" for violent and sexual films rated PG-13 or even—gasp—R. [NYT]
•Here's a funny fact: The infamous Mexican revolutionary Pancho Villa's last words were "Don't let it end like this. Tell them I said something." Maybe Johnny Depp will say these lines when he possibly stars in the biopic "Seven Friends of Pancho Villa and the Woman With Six Fingers." [Variety]