The Morning Fix: ‘Avatar’ snowed in! ‘Undercover Boss’ gets post-Super Bowl slot. More bad news for NBC affiliates. Trading an Emmy for a Paley?

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After the coffee. Before bargain hunting for Super Bowl spots.

Snow slows ‘Avatar.’ James Cameron’s ‘Avatar’ opened to strong $73-million box office domestically, which would have been bigger if not for massive snowstorms in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast that kept people shoveling instead of eating popcorn. Worldwide, the movie took in $232 million. Box office reports from the Los Angeles Times, New York Times, Variety (registration required) and the Hollywood Reporter.

‘Undercover Boss’ gets coveted spot. Bucking a recent trend of using the post-Super Bowl time slot to hype an established show, CBS will premiere its new reality show ‘Undercover Boss’ after the big game. Many industry insiders thought the network might run a special episode of either ‘The Big Bang Theory’ or ‘How I Met Your MotheR’or maybe both.'Undercover Boss,’ which follows corporate chiefs as they take low-level jobs at their companies, has generated good early buzz. CBS figures it’d be better off taking a chance on launching a new show out of the coveted slot than promoting shows that are already hits. Details from the Hollywood Reporter and the Wrap. Also, a look at whose ads you’ll see in the big game from Ad Age.

I’ll trade you an Emmy for a Paley. Sony Pictures TV chief Steve Mosko apparently is trying to see about creating a rival awards show to the Emmys, and one potential partner could be the Paley Center for Media (formerly the Museum of Television and Radio) reports Variety. This is not the first time rival awards shows have emerged, but none has managed to seriously challenge the Emmys. The Paley Center (full disclosure: I toiled there prior to taking this gig) has for the last few years been kicking around the idea of an awards show. But the focus has been on a show that would highlight media’s efforts to better the world. Since handing out those trophies would probably take just 10 minutes (that’s a joke, folks), there should be plenty of time for some other awards too.


Hasbro’s Hollywood bet. Brian Goldner, CEO of toy-maker Hasbro Inc., is spending a lot more time on the West Coast these days, boosting the company’s presence in movies and television. Hasbro, whose profits are off slightly this year, is betting that entertainment and brand-building are key to its future, and that includes a high-profile cable network it is launching with Discovery Communications. A Q&A with Goldner from the Wall Street Journal.

Leno’s losses. The results from November sweeps are in, and it is becoming even clearer that Jay Leno’s 10 p.m. NBC show is seriously hurting the ratings of the 11 p.m. newscasts that are crucial to the network’s affiliate stations. Affiliates are getting antsy and more vocal about Leno’s performance. If this all sounds familiar, its because we did this story more than two months ago. Now trade magazine Broadcasting & Cable weighs in with a piece on the current situation.

Inside the Los Angeles Times: A look at the latest luxuries in moviegoing, high-end movie theaters where you can have steak instead of popcorn. Actress Brittany Murphy, who rose to fame for her work in ‘Clueless’ and ‘8 Mile,’ has died. A new era for ABC News.
-- Joe Flint

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