The Morning Fix: No laments from Leno. After Comcast gets NBC U, will it sell off NBC? Summit’s new moon.


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After the coffee. Before the extra mile on the bike to lose the Halloween weight.No laments from Leno. In his first extensive interview since moving his show to prime time, Jay Leno tells Broadcasting & Cable he takes ‘95% of the blame’ for the show’s ratings performance (the interview doesn’t really touch on the creative side of the show). At the same time, he notes that he is doing the same numbers he did in late night and adds that if the show does a 1.5 rating, NBC makes $300 million. At least that’s what he says they told him. For all that, though, Leno still would rather be on at 11:30. Got a hunch that if they passed around some truth serum at NBC, some folks there might echo that sentiment.

That was it? Really? Sony’ pseudo Michael Jackson concert movie took in $21.3 million over the weekend and more than $32.5 million domestically since its release last week. Although it finished at No. 1 and is doing very well for a concert movie (actually a rehearsal for a concert movie), considering all the money Sony spent securing the rights to the footage and promoting it, so far it’s been no thriller (sorry, couldn’t help it). But success abroad could easily make up for the lukewarm reception here. Details and analysis from the New York Times and the Los Angeles Times.


Comcast-NBC creeps along. Talks for Comcast to take control of General Electric Co.’s NBC Universal are creeping along, and a deal could be announced sometime next week. Of course, the Vivendi factor still needs to be worked out, but that seems to be an unlikely impediment in the long run, indicates the New York Times. Meanwhile, talk is flying on Wall Street that Comcast will look to unload NBC itself as well as the TV stations and just keep the cable networks, according to Broadcasting & Cable. Does that mean we have to cover this story all over again? Ouch.

DVR may be more friend than foe. Digital video recorders don’t mean the demise of commercial TV, at least not yet. Almost half of TV viewers under 50 don’t skip through commercials when watching shows they’ve recorded. Personally, if I watch something I’ve recorded on the same night I’ve recorded it, I sometimes forget it’s a recording. Other times, I multitask and let the commercials play. But enough about me, today’s New York Times has a story analyzing how people are using their DVRs and what it means for the TV biz.

I’ll be back. With a new sequel. The rights to the ‘Terminator’ franchise are headed toward auction with Sony looking like it’s in top position, reports the Financial Times (registration required). Considering all the legal battles around the ‘Terminator’ rights as of late and the fact that the last sequel didn’t exactly set the world on fire, a little restraint might be a good idea on this one.

George Lopez and Jay Leno, take note. His personal life may be in shambles, but the firestorm over the extortion attempt on David Letterman and the late-night host’s relationships has boosted his ratings big time, notes the Hollywood Reporter.

He helps them talk pretty, or gritty. The New Yorker (registration required) profiles Tim Monich, the speech coach whose credits include making Brad Pitt sound like he’s from Tennessee and Hilary Swank sound like she’s Amelia Earhart. Oh well, not everything can be a home run.

In today’s Los Angeles Times: Summit Entertainment is less than 3 years old but already finds itself at a crossroads on the eve of the release of its much-anticipated ‘Twilight’ sequel ‘New Moon.’ Warner Bros.’ new ‘Sherlock Holmes’ has stepped up to become the sponsor of Fox’s Seth MacFarlane special after Microsoft pulled out. Barry Levinson on his new Showtime documentary on celebrity politics.


-- Joe Flint

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