The Morning Fix: Conan O’Brien goes to the top. MTV shakes it up. Don’t Ask, Google.


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After the coffee. Before reassessing this whole ‘after the coffee’ thing.

The Skinny: Conan O’Brien got off to a strong start, but let’s see how he’s doing in a month before calling his new show a success or failure. Hollywood says it’s finally learning that it doesn’t matter how old the person is who is buying a ticket to the movies. Of course, it doesn’t look like many people will be buying tickets to ‘Morning Glory.’


Conan climbs to the top. It was just one day, but Conan O’Brien got to wake up Tuesday morning with the No. 1 late-night talk show. Almost 4.2 million people tuned in for his TBS debut, and the median age of his audience was 30. That easily beat his cable rivals Jon Stewart and Steven Colbert and even topped Jay Leno and David Letterman. Of course, a big audience was expected for O’Brien’s debut. It will be interesting not only to see the numbers from Tuesday, but to see where his ratings settle in after a few weeks have passed. Ratings analysis from the Associated Press and Los Angeles Times. Also, O’Brien made a lot of fun of moving to cable (enough to make some wonder if he has any idea how much cable has grown over the last two decades), and AdAge suggests he might want to cool it before he further tarnishes his already tarnished brand. Judging from Tuesday’s show, O’Brien didn’t read the article.

Money is green no matter who’s hand it’s in. Sometimes Hollywood stumbles into an accidental success and then suddenly says that was the plan all along. That seems to be the case with a few recent movies that managed to attract audiences over the ages of 30 and 40. Now movie studios say they are looking to older audiences for growth. Of course, that means realizing that folks over the age of 25 don’t necessarily feel the need to rush out on that first weekend to see a movie. We have patience. More on the rush for geezer gold from Variety. Meanwhile, the Wrap says studios are throwing money at unproven authors whose books haven’t even hit stores yet. Well, they’ve wasted money on worse.

List overkill. Forbes seems to have a list fetish. Every day it seems as if it’s got another one in the works. Well, it beats reporting. Anyway, now it’s asked Arianna Huffington for her most-influential-people-in-media list. She has the usual suspects, including Rupert Murdoch and Roger Ailes of News Corp. and Fox News Channel as well as Comcast toppers Brian Roberts and Steve Burke. Oh, and then there’s Bill Maher, so that tells you all you need to know about this list.

Hobbit recap. The Hollywood Reporter looks at the recent battle between Warner Bros. and the guilds over where to shoot Peter Jackson’s ‘Hobbit.’ Guess who won?

The password is swordfish. Media moguls will gather at New York’s Plaza Hotel (let’s hope it’s been cleaned up since Charlie Sheen’s recent stay) for yet another conference at which they will eat lots of food, spin lots of propaganda, and keep the media waiting in the lobby. This one is the Foursquare gathering hosted by investment bank Quadrangle. Among those participating, per the Wall Street Journal, are News Corp. Chief Operating Officer Chase Carey and NBC Universal cable executive Lauren Zalaznick.

Another day, another site to shut down. The broadcast networks are now taking aim at FilmOn, a website that carries TV channels online without their permission. FilmOn says it doesn’t need thier permission. Details from Reuters.


Don’t ask, don’t track. The New York Times weighs in on the battle over online privacy or the lack thereof. Both the Commerce Department and the Federal Trade Commission are preparing reports on the topic that could become key in determining what, if any, regulatory measures will be put in place to give consumers some options when it comes to protecting privacy online.

Guess that answers that question. Barry Diller’s IAC/InterActiveCorp. is giving up trying to make a legitimate search competitor to Google, according to Bloomberg. ‘We’ve realized in the last few years you can’t compete head on with Google,’ Diller said. If you missed it, just search for it on Google.

Inside the Los Angeles Times: MTV has reshuffled its executive ranks. Don’t worry, they haven’t put the Situation in charge yet. Not much to cheer for in ‘Morning Glory.’ Cover your ears, there are more bad words on TV.

-- Joe Flint

Follow me on Twitter because it is anything-can-happen day.