By Joe Flint
7:19 AM PST, February 7, 2014
After the coffee. Before getting into the Olympic spirit.
The Skinny: I typically haven't been much of an Olympics guy but I will give it a shot. But if I'm not hooked, I guess I can use the next two weeks to catch up on everything I'm supposed to watch. Friday's roundup includes the weekend box office preview, reviews of Jay Leno's final show and, of course, Olympic stories. By the way, I'm watching Leno's final show on my computer while I type this. Technology is something, isn't it?
Daily Dose: Expect big numbers for Jay Leno's final show. In the biggest markets in the country, "The Tonight Show With Jay Leno" had its highest overnight rating since March 2009, when President Obama appeared. The show averaged a 9.2 rating and 22 share in the top 56 markets. It also lifted "Late Night With Jimmy Fallon" to its best overnight ratings ever with a 4.6 rating and 15 share.
Legoland. "Ride Along" will finally meet its match this weekend at the box office as "The Lego Movie" is expected to woo tons of families and take in $50 million. Also opening is "The Monuments Men," the World War II drama directed by and starring George Clooney, which may be frozen out. Already pushed out of the 2013 calendar, "The Monuments Men" is projected to make $20 million. For the teens, "Vampire Academy" will take a bite out of the box office with analysts predicting a $10 million take. I will go out on a limb and say "Vampire Academy" will do better than that. Just a hunch. Weekend Box office previews from the Los Angeles Times and Hollywood Reporter.
Goodnight forever. Jay Leno bid farewell to NBC's "Tonight Show" on Thursday. Loved more by fans than critics, Leno nevertheless had a remarkable run with plenty of laughs and a lot of drama. One can't help but get the sense that his own network never fully embraced him the way CBS has with David Letterman despite his success. "I don't need to get fired three times. I get the hint," he quipped Thursday night. Fortunately for Leno, his fans stood by him and that ultimately is what matters most. Reviews of Leno's last show from the Los Angeles Times, USA Today, New York Times, Hollywood Reporter and Variety.
Going for the gold. The opening ceremonies of the Sochi Olympics gets underway Friday night and advertisers are hoping we all tune in because they've spent about $900 million in advertising. That's more than what NBC paid for the games but then there's all the production and security costs. Still NBC brass is confident they will make money off of the Games. More on the business of the games from the Los Angeles Times, New York Times and Bloomberg.
Reinventing the wheel. The last few months have been challenging for CNN as each day seems to bring new ratings struggles. CNN is not the only news channel that is challenged. Prime-time ratings for Fox News and MSNBC have also declined, albeit at a slower rate than CNN. New CNN chief Jeff Zucker is making bets that less "news" may hold the key for CNN's future. The Economist weighs in on Zucker's plans and what they say about the state of the TV news business.
Inside the Los Angeles Times: Kenneth Turan on "The Monuments Men." Betsy Sharkey on "The Lego Movie." I'm not too uptight to admit a man crush on "The Walking Dead" co-star Norman Reedus. Here's a profile of Reedus from Greg Braxton. Hope he doesn't turn out to be another English actor.
Follow me on Twitter. Every day is a gold medal day for me. @JBFlint.
Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times