The Morning Fix: FCC likely to bless Comcast-NBC deal, ‘Little Fockers’ looking for big weekend

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After the coffee. Before realizing no one else is working today.

The Skinny: There’s actually a little bit of news for a Friday before Christmas. FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski circulated an order approving the Comcast-NBC Universal deal. Critics be damned, ‘Little Fockers’ is poised to rule the box office this weekend. If you are working today, sneak out early. If you’re already out, enjoy the day. Merry Christmas from the Morning Fix.


Any fed of the government is a fed of mine. The office of Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski has given its blessing to Comcast’s proposed deal to take control of General Electric Co.’s NBC Universal, but with certain conditions. With Genachowski on board, odds are Comcast will get the other two votes it needs. Among the conditions being pushed are safeguards that would make it very hard for Comcast to withhold content from rival distribution services on television and online. The Justice Department has yet to say which direction it is headed on the deal. Coverage and analysis from the Los Angeles Times, Wall Street Journal and the Washington Post.

Wither Hulu? One of the conditions for approval of the Comcast-NBC Univerasl pact that the FCC is considering has some wondering what it will mean for Hulu, the online video site that is co-owned by NBC, News Corp. and Walt Disney Co. The FCC wants to insure that Comcast A) can’t withhold its content from online video sites to which at least one other big media company provides programming. That could be saying that Comcast can’t yank content from Hulu, but it also means that Comcast would have to provide content to any Hulu competitor if one of its rivals is doing so. Confused? Well, it is the government. Analysis from All Things Digital.

Those Fockers are at it again. Even though the reviews have been less than kind and it sure seems like stars Robert DeNiro and Ben Stiller are now in it for the paycheck, Universal’s ‘Little Fockers’ looks like it will get the most Christmas loot at the box office this weekend. However, it won’t be as big as the other two and may take in only about $50 million. The remake of ‘True Grit’ from the Coen Brothers is expected to perform well for Paramount. As for me, I’ll be racing off to see ‘Gulliver’s Travels.’ Yes, that was a joke. Box-office projections from the Los Angeles Times.

Job talks. Oren Aviv, the former head of production and marketing at Walt Disney Co., is talking with 20th Century Fox about thier open marketing chief position, according to the Wrap. Kudos for the Wrap on the scoop but this sentence cracked me up. ‘Since his departure from Disney, Aviv has been focused on understanding the fundamental shifts going on in the entertainment landscape and is said to believe that the most important shifts are happening in marketing, with the rise of social media and fractured consumer attention spans.’ Really? He’s said to believe? Who said?

L.A. Law. The Hollywood Reporter looks at the top 10 lawsuits of 2010 including Nicollette Sheridan’s suit against ABC and ‘Desperate Housewives’ creator Marc Cherry and Walt Disney Co.’s fight with ‘Who Wants to be a Millionaire’ producer Celador.

Inside the Los Angeles Times: Mary McNamara blasts the Golden Globe and Emmy voters.


-- Joe Flint

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