This weekend’s TV reads in Weekly Variety: Time Warner, windows and Comcast’s overworked stars

:: What now, Jeff Bewkes? CYNTHIA LITTLETON looks at the state of Time Warner under chairman-CEO Bewkes, now that the company’s recent transformation is pretty much complete:

Writes Cynthia:

Bewkes is at this moment probably the most closely watched showbiz CEO
— both in Hollywood and on Wall Street. He’s in the enviable position
of operating from a strong base, with modest debt and a war chest of $5
billion in cash left over from the spinoff of Time Warner Cable
completed early last year.

Read the full report here.

:: BRIAN LOWRY has a memo to studios: As you wring your hands over what to do with release windows, consumers are making the decision for you.

More from Brian:

Strange as it sounds in a year when “Avatar” has broken all records with $750 million in U.S. box office and more than $2 billion worldwide, James Cameron’s epic just might be the exception that proves the rule. As the summer keeps eliciting adjectives like “lackluster” and “tepid” — with substantial declines beyond opening weekends even for movies that start big — we appear to be seeing a demarcation crystallizing between two camps: Those who rush out to see movies right away, and everyone else, more content to take them in on a big, beautiful TV.

Read Brian’s whole column here.

:: A sign of the economic times? MICHAEL SCHNEIDER writes about Comcast Entertainment’s willingness to let talent like Joel McHale and Olivia Munn moonlight at the broadcast networks:

Comcast has been more accommodating than most congloms when it comes to
letting its stars moonlight outside the company.

“When I got here, we had it in our contracts with talent that we can
stop most of this, that we have exclusivity,” says Comcast Entertainment
Group president/CEO Ted Harbert. “But I threw all of that out. It
benefits the company to get the exposure for these people on all these
platforms.”

More here.

ALL THIS and more in the June 14, 2010 issue of Weekly Variety, on newsstands now.

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