The super-sly media investor John Malone has been in the news the last week or two for his possible swap of assets with Rupert Murdoch. Malone, through Liberty Media, gets control of DirecTV and in return he gives up a 19 percent interest in News Corp. It's a huge story, but there's another Malone machination that's getting relatively little play. His purchase of Burbank-based IDT Entertainment last month means that Starz, which Liberty also owns, can produce movies and TV shows. Starz has just announced its slate of original TV shows that includes "Martin Lawrence's 1st Amendment Stand-Up" and "Bronx Bunny," an interview show in which showbiz figures are grilled by a puppet and panda (I only write the stuff up, folks). They're slated for next year.
More Starz news: Sony Picutres and Starz sign a deal that gives the programmer pay-per-view and video-on-demand rights to more than 500 movie titles from the Sony library. The deal runs from 2008 to 2014.