The Morning Fix: Charlie Sheen quitting or just negotiating? 3-D and movie studio greed. ‘Modern Family’s’ free love for iPad. Sarah Palin’s Fox News show not (big surprise) without some controversy.


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After the coffee. Before hoping it really is a good Friday.

Is it contract time already? So Thursday afternoon, reported that ‘Two and a Half Men’ star Charlie Sheen is done after this season when his current deal expires. Is the troubled star really ready to call it a day or is this a negotiating ploy? After all, CBS has a deal with Warner Bros. -- which makes the show -- for another couple seasons, meaning that in theory Sheen has some leverage. Already the highest paid sitcom star with a deal that pays him over $800,000 per episode, it may come down to how big a raise CBS and Warner Bros. are willing to fork over. That said, with all the legal issues Sheen is facing, one would think a steady paycheck is pretty important right now. Still want to read more about this? Here’s the Wrap’s take on the whole thing. For all that gushing, they should’ve been paid. Wednesday night’s ‘Modern Family,’ which was a valentine to Apple’s iPad, was free love. Other than getting some sample iPads for the episode, Apple didn’t give any form of compensation for the show; heck, they didn’t even give the cast free iPads or buy a spot in the episode. I’m not a huge fan of product placement, but If I were a network or production executive I might wonder why we were giving away advertisements. Everyone thinks money changed hands anyway so what’s the difference? More on the episode from the Los Angeles Times. Apple, as Advertising Age notes, has a history of getting freebies from TV.


3-D and greed. Indie Wire’s Anne Thompson says some movies belong in 3-D, but the rush to throw a bunch of 3-D movies out there is just the studios getting greedy, as they can charge more for 3-D movies. But if a movie was originally made for 2-D, such as this weekend’s ‘Clash of the Titans,’ the end result, she writes, is a film that looks ‘even worse than it probably is.’

Uh-oh, now Andrew Cuomo is looking at Comcast-NBC Universal. Five states including New York are now involved in the Justice Department’s review of Comcast’s proposed deal to take control of NBC Universal. This is actually just par for the course since Comcast has cable systems in these states but we’re guessing no one likes the idea of New York Atty. Gen. Andrew Cuomo poking around their deal. More from Bloomberg.

Decision day. The Commodities Futures Exchange Trading Commission (why do I always think of ‘Trading Places’ when I type that?) is supposed to decide Friday on one of the applications to create a movie futures trading market. In other words, a market to bet on box office. The Associated Press with the latest on movie futures trading, which the industry is fighting.

Must be all those ’30 Rock’ and ‘Saturday Night Live’ cameos. NBC’s ‘Nightly News’ with Brian Williams was the only evening newscast to go up in the ratings for the first quarter. Both ABC’s ‘World News Tonight,’ which has a new anchor in Diane Sawyer and CBS’ ‘Evening News’ with Katie Couric hit new lows. The New York Times tries to make sense of it all.

Bring back Dann Florek! S. Epatha Merkerson is looking to leave NBC’s ‘Law &Order’ after almost 20 yeas of playing Lt. Van Buren, says the Hollywood Reporter. It’s still up in the air as to whether there will be a 21st season of the show,

Inside the Los Angeles Times: Sarah Palin’s Fox News shows has -- big surprise -- some controversy around it. Kenneth Turan on ‘Clash of the Titans.’ Box office preview.


-- Joe Flint

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