LAT in 90 Seconds

Father Figure: In a kind of Sumner Redstone Primer for the Ages, Patrick Goldstein compares the Viacom chairman to Yankees owner George Steinbrenner. Both men, he said, are allergic to losing, both head high-profile entertainment businesses and both (we’re paraphrasing here) are bat-shit insane.

Goldstein notes that Paramount is a mess, MTV lacks the autonomy it needs to capture the youth audience it supposedly represents and Redstone is too mercurial a character to notice his kingdom is falling apart.

Worship No Idols: A federal judge has temporarily barred American Idol winner Taylor Hick’s former producer from selling three tracks Hicks wrote and sang before achieving worldwide fame.

William Smith said he released two of the songs on iTunes as a kind of favor to Hicks, whose Idol-produce single Do I Make You Proud has been panned by critics.

“It aggravated me because I knew what a gifted performer and writer he is,” Smith said in the AP interview. “I love Taylor Hicks, and for three months I was refuting the bad press he was getting.”

Hicks returned the favor with a lawsuit, claiming the poor-quality demos could “damage Hicks’ reputation in the music industry” — in which case, we recommend a second suit be filed against his vocal chords.

Extra! Extra! People Want to See Good Movies: A piece about word-of-mouth movies draws this idealistic conclusion: “Since word of mouth helps good movies while punishing weaker ones, it may result in a new Hollywood emphasis on playability — a film’s intrinsic quality — instead of marketability, the easy sales hooks that yield so many forgettable sequels and remakes.”

Um … no. It won’t. But that’s a cute premise.