Showbiz Sandbox 76: Taking On The Hobbit And Ticketmaster Down Under

Our friends Down Under generated a lot of entertainment news this past week. In New Zealand a union boycott of “The Hobbit” may cause Warner Bros. to relocate the production to another country. Director Peter Jackson has publicly opposed such a move, but as the Hollywood Reporter’s Jonathan Handel explains, this may just be Warner Bros. way of negotiating better government tax subsidies.

Over in Australia, Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. has launched Foxtix, a live event ticketing service aimed at capturing a share of Ticketmaster’s business. Taking on Ticketmaster is a difficult and expensive fight, but Adam McArthur, the head of Foxtix, fills us in on how the company will differentiate itself in the market.

Former Australian native and current Hollywood pariah Mel Gibson was all set to make a comeback with a cameo in “The Hangover 2”, but Warner Bros. decided he was just too much trouble and opted for Liam Neeson.

Meanwhile, in television news the Fox network pulled its programming from Cablevision’s channel lineup over a retransmission fee dispute. Don’t worry, Cablevision’s customers were still able to follow the baseball playoffs through Twitter posts from the Federal Communications Commission. Unlike Cablevision, Google TV is able to access Fox content. They just can’t access content from any of the other major broadcast networks.

We review the week’s top entertainment headlines during Big Deal or Big Whoop including Chris Rock’s Broadway debut, U2’s next album and the movie Netflix refuses to distribute.

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Mel Gibson Making A Cameo Comeback
http://www.nypost.com/p/pagesix/cameo_comeback_for_gibson_Peu6uwUD….

Mel Gibson Out Of Hangover Sequel
http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/mel-gibson-out-hangover-sequel-32018

Disney To Distribute Marvel’s “Avengers”, “Iron Man 3”
http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/disney-distribute-marvels-avengers….

“Hobbit” Union Boycott Lifted; Jackson Claims Production Leaving New Zealand
http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/hobbit-union-boycott-lifted-jackson….

News Corp., Cablevision Dig In Heels In Fee Fight
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702303496104575560532058….

Twitter Sports Commentary By The FCC
http://blogs.wsj.com/digits/2010/10/19/sports-commentary-on-twitter-by-the-fcc

Richard Greenfield’s Broadcast TV Manifesto
http://www.btigresearch.com/2010/10/18/broadcast-tv-manifesto-if-you-want….

Networks Block Programs From Being Viewed On Google TV
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000142405270230333950457556657202….

GQ’s Glee Photos
http://www.gq.com/entertainment/movies-and-tv/201011/glee-photos-rachel….

‘Glee’ Photoshoot For GQ Decried By Parent Watchdog Group
http://www.ifc.com/news/2010/10/glee-photoshoot-for-gq-decried.php

Parents Television Council On The Defensive
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/25/business/media/25watchdog.html

‘Glee’ Star Dianna Agron Address GQ Photo Shoot Controversy
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/10/21/glee-star-dianna-agron-ad_n….

Martin Freeman: ‘The Hobbit’ Finds Its Bilbo Baggins
http://herocomplex.latimes.com/2010/10/22/martin-freeman-the-hobbit….

NPR Terminates Contract With Juan Williams
http://www.npr.org/blogs/ombudsman/2010/10/21/130713285/npr….

Lindsay Lohan Avoids Jail As Judge Rules For Rehab
http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/2010/10/lindsay-lohan-avoids-jail….

Baz Luhrman Workshops “Great Gatsby” In New York
http://www.deadline.com/2010/10/baz-luhrmann-worshops-the-great….

Mark Andrews Replaces Brenda Chapman As Director On Pixar’s Brave
http://www.slashfilm.com/2010/10/18/mark-andrews-replaces-brenda….

“Trash Humpers” Too Trashy For Netflix
http://filmmakermagazine.com/news/2010/10/trash-humpers-too-trashy-for-netflix/

Chris Rock Makes Broadway Debut
http://www.nypost.com/p/entertainment/theater/rock_in_role_for_big….

DreamWorks Theatricals Plans A Touring “Madagascar” Show
http://artsbeat.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/10/18/dreamworks-theatricals-plans….

Sony Stops Manufacturing Cassette Walkmans
http://www.crunchgear.com/2010/10/22/an-era-ends-sony-stops-manufacturing….

iPad Outsells Kindle
http://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/by-topic/industry-news/financial….

U2 Working On New Albums
http://www.theage.com.au/entertainment/music/i-was-in-grave-danger-bono….

Rupert Murdoch Moves Into The Live Music Industry?
http://www.nme.com/news/various-artists/53469