The Morning Fix: Deconstructing `Funny People’ box office; Gaspin in spotlight; Rahm Emanuel pressures networks; Schmidt off Apple board

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After the coffee. Before the drive out to Pasadena for press tour.

`Funny People’ doesn’t leave Universal laughing, or does it?: Judd Apatow’s ‘Funny People’ took in $23.4 million. So was it a hit or a flop? Apparently both. The Los Angeles Times notes that the $75-million movie will need strong word of mouth to have a shot at success. More analysis from Variety, Hollywood Reporter, The New York Times and Deadline Hollywood Daily.

Uncovering Universal: Anne Thompson kicks off her new blog with an analysis of Universal Pictures and traces the woes to DreamWorks’ exit and the subsequent departure of Stacy Snider.

Grasping Gaspin: New NBC TV honcho Jeff Gaspin has his work cut out for him in trying to jump-start the network. The Queens native, whose parents had hoped he’d become a doctor, has a strong track record in cable, where reality rules, but now he’ll have to develop an eye for comedies and dramas. The low-profile Gaspin gets profile treatment from the Los Angeles Times and the Wall Street Journal.


Couldn’t Rahm just have had his brother Ari do this?: White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel personally lobbied CBS chief Leslie Moonves, Disney and ABC chief Bob Iger and Jeffrey Immelt, CEO of NBC Universal parent General Electric for airtime for President Obama’s most recent news conference, according to the Washington Post’s Howard Kurtz. Obama’s constant press conferences and requests for free TV time has been a sore spot for network executives.

Google’s Schmidt exits Apple board: Google CEO Eric Schmidt is leaving Apple’s board of directors. While Schmidt has previously downplayed the idea that it is a conflict for him to have a seat on the board at a time when the Internet giant is increasingly competing with Apple, the launch of Chrome has kind of hammered that point home. PaidContent.

Super Bowl deals: NFL training camps are just starting, and opening day is still a month away, but CBS is already shopping the Super Bowl. Worried about the weak economy, Advertising Age’s Brian Steinberg writes that the network’s ad-sales staff has instead told buyers it’s willing to create customized ad packages around the event, then work together to determine a value.

Inside the Los Angeles Times: In marketing ‘G.I. Joe: The Rise of the Cobra,’ Paramount Pictures is bypassing the coasts in favor of NASCAR country. Steven Spielberg plans to remake the Jimmy Stewart classic ‘Harvey.’ PBS unveils the next Ken Burns projects, a documentary on national parks and a special about the Chandlers, the first family of the Los Angeles Times. Door No. 3 or the envelope? CBS is bringing back ‘Let’s Make a Deal’ with Wayne Brady hosting.

-- Joe Flint

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