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Thursday, June 30, 2011

A Little of the Old In and Out

In: The Fate of Greece. At crucial moments in the history of the West, Greece takes the front and center position. This is one of those moments. There is a lively conversation on -- involving Jeffrey Sachs -- as to whether or not Greece can be saved (he thinks so). Others are more skeptical.
Now, unlike then, the fate of Greece is not in contrast to Persia or the Spartan League. It is about the financial stability of Europe and possibly -- if there is contagion -- the West. Right now world markets are rising on the the Greek parliament' passing of a second austerity bill today, opening the way for the EU and IMF to release a (US $17 billion) loan installment. The vote took place as Greece is perilously close to default.
The parliamentary vote also took place amid scenes of violence and protest around Syntagma Square in central Athens.
This, from the land that gave us Tragedy and Drama.

And speaking of Tragedy and Drama ...

Out: Conan O'Brien.  Things are not all good for Team Coco despite the fact that Conan O'Brien is far richer than you or I. Conan, dropped to 4th place from 5/30-6/26, averaging 851,000 total viewers, though he is still 3rd overall in cable 2Q 2011. But clearly Chelsea Lately, which is now rising to third, averaging 959,000 total viewers from 5/30/11-6/26/11, is gunning to take him out. From a press release via TVBytheNumbers:

Conan” took the third spot across cable late night talk shows in most key demos for the quarter, but the Turner talker was overtaken by E!’s “Chelsea Lately” in June, with “Chelsea” beating the slumping “Conan” for third place in cable among total viewers, A18-49 and A18-34 across a month that saw “Conan” continue its downward slide to finish below a million total viewers for the first time since its November 2010 premiere. For June, “Chelsea Lately” averaged 959,000 total viewers (-6% vs. May 2011), with a 0.6 A18-49 rating (-7%) and a 0.7 A18-34 rating (-10%). ”Conan,” in dropping to fourth place overall in cable, averaged just 851,000 total viewers (down -19% vs. May 2011), with a 0.5 A18-49 rating (down -24%) and a 0.7 A18-34 rating (down -25%). (Source: Nielsen Media Research, most current data, original episodes only, 5/30/11-6/26/11)
Further, the indie documentary "Conan O'Brien Can't Stop" was stopped at the box office this weekend, underperforming. From indieWIRE:
“Conan O’Brien Can’t Stop” couldn’t quite connect with audiences this weekend. The very very well reviewed doc hit 24 screens in its debut frame, and the results were somewhat underwhelming.

The film is being released via a unique multi-platform distribution deal between AT&T, Abramorama and Magnolia Home Entertainment. In the deal, AT&T has come onboard as a P&A and multi-platform distribution and marketing partner, while Abramorama is handling theatrical distribution, and Magnolia Home Entertainment has acquired the remaining Video-on-Demand (VOD) and home entertainment rights. According to estimates provided by Rentrak earlier today, the film grossed $104,833, averaging a mild $4,193.
Not the best of times for card-carrying members of Team Coco.

In: Stephen Colbert. The Colbert Report in the second quarter of 2011 was behind only The Daily Show, finishing with an average audience of 1.5 million. Stephen Colbert plans to discuss on his show tonight the fact that the Federal Election Commission gave him the green light to start his own PAC. From the Wall Street Journal:

In its decision involving the Comedy Central comedian, the Federal Election Commission ruled that television networks must make public their spending on campaign advertisements on behalf of political candidates.

Mr. Colbert, as part of his comedy routine, plans to start a political organization to run ads that promote or oppose candidates in the 2012 election.

The satirist hired a legal team and asked the agency a question that it had never before considered: If Mr. Colbert used resources from his show on Comedy Central, would Mr. Colbert have to disclose those costs in financial reports to the FEC.

In a ruling that affects real-life politics, the FEC said that the costs incurred by Comedy Central’s parent, Viacom Inc., don’t have to be disclosed if the ads run on Mr. Colbert’s show. However, if Mr. Colbert’s political group runs the ads on other networks, then Mr. Colbert must disclose the costs of using Viacom resources to produce the ads.
“I’m sorry to say—we won,” Mr. Colbert said in praising the decision.
May we live in interesting times.

Out: Courtney Love and Henry Allsopp. Alas. She was almost "Lady Love," where her eccentricities and imperious nature would not have been entirely out of place among the British upper class. It was not to be. From PopEater:

According to MSN Music UK, the 46-year-old Love has moved out of the London home she shared with 37-year-old Allsopp who happens to be the godson of Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall.

"She had moved in within a month of meeting Henry last November and made herself quite at home," a source close to Allsopp told British paper the Daily Express. "Most of the family were rather alarmed by how besotted he was and feared she had delusions of landing herself a title -- she used to joke about becoming Lady Love."
And so did we.  But signs that the couple might not have worked out ultimately were hinted at in her recent intimate interview -- interviews, really -- with Maer Roshan in TheFix, including:

 I was arguing with some guy the other day—a sober scion of a very wealthy English family. He's always righteously lecturing me about abstinence, abstinence, abstinence. After a few hours of this I got angry and screamed, "Get away from me you dumb British fuck! You probably were just out chasing the dragon!” I mean, abstinence is a nice idea but I don’t know if it’s right for everyone. Especially for someone who was nursed on a steady diet of Valium and Ritalin from the time I was eight, thanks to my fine mother.
Way to cover your tracks, Court! I don't think I'm making a great cognitive leap in guessing that that "sober scion" was Allsopp, and that that difference of opinion is one reason why they never would have worked out.

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