• You may not be able to tune into Fox as of tomorrow. The feud between News Corp. and Time Warner Cable has yet to be resolved, and if a deal isn't reached in the next day, you'll have to go elsewhere for your Simpsons reruns. [THR]
• There was no Christmas miracle for Harvey and Bob Weinstein this year. With Nine underperforming at the box office since its release two weeks ago, the brothers are now on the hunt for more cash to stay solvent. [Reuters, NYP]
• Condé Nast's war on the mystery hackers who managed to infiltrate the company's computer system in recent months is intensifying. [NYP]
• Remember when magazine readers would write letters to the editor? It turns out it isn't the most popular communication channel these days. [WWD]
• Susan Boyle is still No. 1 on the music charts. Well done, America. [EW]
• Sex doesn't sell when it comes to marketing movies. Allegedly. [CNN]
After we covered the first promotional photo from Nine last week, this follow-up email from the Weinstein Company seemed simple enough: "Attached is a high res version of the shot you put up on the site Friday. Do you mind replacing it with this one?" Sure, we thought. After all, who wouldn't want a closer look at the film's eclectic cast, which includes Nicole Kidman, Kate Hudson, Judi Dench, and Fergie's labia? Strangely, though, one of those performers appears to have gone missing thanks to an industrious Weinstein Co. photoshop. Check out the shocking evidence, after the jump!
The Weinstein Company this week released the accompanying portrait from Nine, director Rob Marshall's musical currently shooting in London. The occasion was the American Film Market, where foreign buyers (and probably not just a few domestic distributors smelling blood) rummaged through Harvey's Dollar Store for bargains on TWC properties, and as the photo suggests, nothing says "deal" like Penelope Cruz in her best bladder-holding pose opposite a spread-eagled Fergie. (Click through for a larger image.)And that's not even counting the four Oscar winners on display: Nicole Kidman, Sophia Loren, Marion Cotillard and Dame Judi Dench. And look at Kate Hudson! Even the PA's get to be all dressed up on this movie! Dec. 11, 2009, can't come soon enough!
· Fergie has joined the ever-growing cast of the Weinstein Co.'s Nine. In her first role in a major motion picture, she'll play "Saraghina, a lusty woman who introduces [Daniel Day-Lewis's character] to the world of sexuality" by lowering her drawbridge, extending a long straw, and sucking down the frothy contents of his simmering desire. In some ways you could almost say that she'll drink his manshake—she'll drink it up! (Forgive us.) [Variety]
· Mad Men endured another critic-derived facial, being named TCA's program of the year, best new program, and best drama. [Variety]
· British actor James Purefoy close to signing on as the lead in The Philanthropist, an NBC series about "a renegade billionaire who uses his wealth to help people in need no matter the risks or costs" that's loosely based on Donald Trump's life. [THR]
· Selma Blair's new sitcom Kath & Kim will take 30 Rock's 8:30 p.m. Thursday slot, with 30 Rock pitching camp in the far MILF-friendlier environment of 9:30. [THR]
· High School Musical: Get in the Picture underperformed for ABC, curtailing that network's plans for spinoffs High School Musical: My First Internet Photoscandal and Being Miley: The Search for America's Next Virgin Slut. [Variety]
In light of Pierce Brosnan's brave, warbling turn in Mamma Mia—as well as recent news that Kate Hudson would veer off the Bongo Romcom highway to explore the musical theater side roads in Rob Marshall's Nine—Defamer videologist Molly McAleer has compiled a countdown of 10 Classic Musical Crossover Performances. We've ordered these from least to most successful; some of these actors-who-sing are arguably better singers than they are actors, and have gone on to cut their own records. Some are clearly better actors than singers. And some should probably just give up both and become something sensible like a dental hygienist or insurance broker. We have no doubt you have your own strong opinions on notable omissions; feel free to post video in the comments.
Disgruntled as its recent self-esteem plunge has made us, no one could realistically suggest that the Weinstein Company is what you'd call "circling the drain." Maybe "studying the drain," or even "pawning the drain," if today's latest Harvey newsflash is to be believed: The Weinsteins have locked up a deal with Showtime as the premium-cable outlet for 95 films over seven years. Starting in 2009, the agreement covers both Weinstein Company and Dimension Films releases, including the so-hot-no-one-will-claim-it Inglorious Bastards and Rob Marshall's musical Nine.
The inevitable karmic payback for Fraggle Rock: The Movie is coming swift and severe at The Weinstein Company, where Harvey Weinstein is reduced to bringing in outsiders to get two of his long-delayed passion projects off the ground. Relativity Media appears ready to kick in at least half of Nine's $80 million budget, meaning the long-delayed, Daniel Day-Lewis/Nicole Kidman-starring musical will finally start shooting this fall.