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Fox withdraws bid for Time Warner

The biggest television and media company the world has ever seen, or quite possibly ever will see is not to be, at least not yet: 21st Century Fox has withdrawn its spectacular bid for Time Warner. 

Here's the statement from 21st Century Fox CEO Rupert Murdoch, who clearly coveted the cash-and-prestige machine HBO in this deal:

“We viewed a combination with Time Warner as a unique opportunity to bring together two great companies, each with celebrated content and brands. Our proposal had significant strategic merit and compelling financial rationale and our approach had always been friendly.

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"However, Time Warner management and its board refused to engage with us to explore an offer which was highly compelling. Additionally, the reaction in our share price since our proposal was made undervalues our stock and makes the transaction unattractive to Fox shareholders. These factors, coupled with our commitment to be both disciplined in our approach to the combination and focused on delivering value for the Fox shareholders, has led us to withdraw our offer."

The withdrawal is a bit of a surprise, even if the Justice Department would have had a lot of explaining to do by allowing such a merger to proceed -- creating a media combination that would fully control a quarter of the motion picture industry (if not more) and a vast collection of TV assets and suppliers whose products reach every man, woman and child in the United States.

The original bid in June -- not made public until July -- was classic Murdoch: Aggressive, fast and absolutely unexpected -- even apparently by Time Warner, which is now effectively in play, even without the Fox offer in hand.

TV Critics Tour: New Showtime series, 'The Affair,' to be shot on LI

British actress Ruth Wilson, who will star in

Beverly Hills -- "The Affair," a Showtime newcomer arriving in October and starring Ruth Wilson and Dominic West, will be shot over the full 10-episode season in Montauk, showrunner Sarah Treem said yesterday.

And yes - that is unusual because the Hamptons and points east are considered (in fact are) enormously expensive places to shoot a series, while other LI-based series, like "Royal Pains"...

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TV Critics tour: 'Homeland' arrives in October

This photo released by Showtime shows Claire Danes

(Credit: AP)

Beverly Hills -- "Homeland" will be back Oct. 5 -- a Sunday, so don't bother checking the calender. The return date was announced here Friday, and just to add a little salt with that pepper, Showtime also unveiled the first new season tease (see below).

This season -- by the way -- is currently in production in South Africa... South Africa? Yes, South Africa, and not because the storyline...

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Was Fox's 'Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey,' ending Sunday, a success, or...?

This photo released by Fox shows Neil deGrasse

(Credit: AP)

"Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey" ends Sunday (WNYW/5 at 9 p.m.), and before this remarkable Fox venture sails off into infinity and beyond, a brief farewell...

There has certainly never been anything quite like "Cosmos" on Fox -- bedfellows as strange as bedfellows could be, made stranger by the presence of Seth McFarlane, who brought this 13-part remake of the 1980 Carl Sagan classic to the...

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Daytime Emmy Award nominations: The shrinking drama category

Actors of TV series "The Bold and Beautiful"

(Credit: Getty Images)

The Daytime Emmy Awards nominations were announced a little while ago -- for the June 22 ceremony -- and from the long list of nominees (350 out of some 1,400 submissions), this sober observation: The Emmys struggled to find actual daytime shows to honor.

Only four nods to soaps, and one them, "One Life to Live," is no longer in production. To bolster the category, the Emmys have added a "new...

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'Mad Men' final season premiere review: Don Draper still in a dark place

Jon Hamm as Don Draper on "Mad Men's"

(Credit: AMC / Michael Yarish)

What it's about: As per custom, "Mad Men" creator Matthew Weiner asked that no plot details of the seventh and final season opener are offered here, so, instead, some broad strokes.

The end of last season fell around Thanksgiving, 1968, and Don (Jon Hamm) was essentially fired from his own agency after suffering a breakdown in a client meeting with Hershey.

However, he had already told...

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