Monday, 5 April 2010

Hollywood Babble On & On #482: Late Night TV, Sex, & MGM

Welcome to the show folks...

Time for a few quick thoughts.

1. NBC is bragging about Jay Leno being back at #1.

But let's not toot that horn too fast there buckaroos. The audience for late night talk-shows is shrinking overall, and that same audience is skewing older than ever, with the average age for a Leno/Tonight Show viewer is 56, leaving Letterman with the young hip 54 year olds, and Conan O'Brien in the kiddie pool with the 48 year old average viewers.

Now I'm pretty sure that Conan O'Brien shouldn't leap back into late night network TV, and instead should look into creating some sort of weekly sketch/variety show for a cable network like FX, where the rules are looser, that, over time, can be brought onto the main network as a late night show on special occasions.

2. A recent article at The Wrap cites the dismal box office performance of Canadian erotic thriller Chloe, as the death knell of sex selling movies, even though it held the promise of some naughty-naughty sumtin-sumtin scenes between hot young "it girl" Amanda Seyfried and scarlet haired MILF Julianne Moore.

I can see their point. Why pay money to sit in a theater to see something you can get for free, or much cheaper on the internet or on home video, and have the added bonus of personal privacy, for
whatever reason you may want that privacy for.

There are other reasons that I wrote about in detail, which you can peruse,
in private if you like, by clicking here. Don't worry, it's perfectly safe for work.

3. MGM just can't win. First, their auction sort of fizzled, then the reported $50 million
Hot Tub Time Machine fizzled, and now their co-production partner Sony has taken over the domestic release of the upcoming movie The Zookeeper, because they don't think the once venerable studio can handle it.

Ouch.

I've said it before, and I'll say it again. MGM's creditors and owners have to band together and formulate a plan to rebuild MGM from the ground up. And I fear that such a drastic rebuild should include considering re-branding the company. The MGM name is good at selling movie history, but sucks at selling movies.

Maybe they should reclaim the name United Artists from Tom Cruise, he isn't doing much with it, and rebuild the company around that. Then go back to the company's original model of doing fair distribution and home video deals with independent producers to get some content and money flowing again, and use that to ease back into modest productions, filling gaps in the market that the big studios are ignoring.

This current state of wandering around the cinematic cemetery like a corporate zombie that can't tell a grave from a hole in the ground is just not how you run a studio, or any business.

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