LAT in 90 Seconds

-Porn is once again taking the lead in a new technology. Vivid Video is launching a download service through CinemaNow that will let users burn a downloaded file onto a DVD, something you can’t do with big studio movies for sale on CinemaNow and Movielink due to piracy concerns. Why is Hollywood always content to just come from behind?

-Hoping that people will start buying newspapers again if you write fluffy articles about their favorite TV show, the Times interviews random people with vague credibility on pop culture about why “American Idol” is a hit. Neil Gabler smartly observes that “It says to the whole entertainment industry, ‘You are not in control. We are.'”
Bravo President Lauren Zalaznick says it “speaks to the quirkiness of consumers and the unknowability of the alchemy of a hit.” In other words, how was she supposed to know “Hidden Howie” wouldn’t be as big as “American Idol?”

-Obviously inspired by the cultural contributions the pay network has made with “Fat Actress,” the Smithsonian signs an exclusive deal with Showtime to make programming based on the Institute’s vast collection. Filmmakers like this woman are worried PBS is losing a crucial source for boring documentaries nobody wants to watch.