As you may know, last October AT&T and Time Warner announced they intended to merge, creating a media monster with Warner Bros. studio, CNN, HBO, the Turner networks, AT&T’s wireless business and DirecTV. To complete the merger, AT&T and Time Warner need the Justice Department’s approval — which shouldn’t be difficult to receive, seeing as vertical mergers like this haven’t been denied by the DOJ in 40 plus years.
But then Donald Trump has only been President for one of those years.
Look, I am not a fan of media conglomeration for the obvious criticisms: if a very few companies control the majority of our news outlets and media sources, the diversity of voices and perspectives becomes limited. Our culture becomes homogenized; news is sensationalized; and dissent is squashed.
THAT SAID, I think we can all agree that what is happening here, that Trump’s Department of Justice trying to punish CNN for not covering him and his presidency to his liking by twisting CNN’s corporate parents is the very fucking definition of autocratic and terrifying. The DoJ is literally trying to silence Trump’s critics and sending a chilling message to not just other news organizations but their corporate owners. This is some straight-up third world dictator bullshit. Or something you’d see in Russia.
AT&T Chairman and CEO Randall Stephenson has stated that he has no intention of selling CNN — and boy howdy, all the lawyers need to BE READY if this deal is rejected.
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Remarkably, Ridley Scott is replacing Kevin Spacey with Christopher Plummer in All the Money in the World six weeks before its release.
“Are the Days of Casting Calls in Hotel Rooms Over?” JESUS CHRIST, LET’S HOPE SO.
Other TV News
Mark Frost hosted an AMA about Twin Peaks: The Return and he clarified that only one character time traveled. INTERESTING.
The good news is we only have to wait until January 4th for The Good Place to return. The bad news is there will only be five more episodes when it does.
- Shameless has been renewed for a 9th season on Showtime.
- Dynasty has been given a full season order on The CW.
- That Reese Witherspoon/Jennifer Anniston series has been bought by Apple.
- Amazon has greenlit a pilot for The Boys, a comic by Eric Kripke, Evan Goldberg and Seth Rogan.
- Little Drummer Girl will be AMC’s next John Le Carre miniseries.
- TNT is developing Beast Mode, a drama based on the life of boxer and trainer Ann Wolfe.
- NBC bought legal drama Relative Justice.
- Fox bought Model Minorities, an Indian-American comedy.
- Fox has picked up a comedy from Eva Longoria.
- The CW is developing Prohibited, a soap from Ian Somerhalder’s production company.
- A nonscripted series about Manchester City soccer club is going to air on Amazon.
- Kurt Andersen’s book Fantasyland is being developed as a series.
- Netflix has ordered a series that is described as a mix of Jackass and Wipeout.
- Josh Groban will co-star in The Good Cop on Netflix.
- The Four, Fox’s new music competition, has cast Sean “Brother Love P. Diddy Puffy” Combs and DJ Khaleed.
- Rowena King is joining Dietland.
- Laura Mennell will co-star in Blue Book on History.
- Stephan James has been added to the cast of the Julia Roberts’ series, Homecoming, on Amazon.
- Ashley Tisdale will guest star on MacGyver.
The Orville: I hate this show and I hate all of you who voted for it. Just a reminder. 8 p.m., Fox
Supernatural: Castiel’s home. 7 p.m., The CW
Grey’s Anatomy: It’s the 300th episode, which is a milestone you inevitably hit when you’ve been on the air for 90 years. 7 p.m., ABC
Project Runway: First part of the finale. 8 p.m., Lifetime
Late Night: Late Night with Seth Meyers: Mark Wahlberg, Martin McDonagh, Nathan Davilmar The Late Show with Stephen Colbert: William H. Macy, Jay Pharoah, Rationale The Late Late Show with James Corden: ael Garcia Bernal, Jason Momoa Jimmy Kimmel Live: Josh Hutcherson; Dale Earnhardt Jr. Conan: Will Ferrell, Mark Wahlberg, Mel Gibson, John Lithgow, Linda Cardellini The Daily Show: Van Jones The Opposition with Jordan Klepper: Jen Psaki Watch What Happens Live: Rosie O’Donnell, Joy Behar
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