The Morning Fix: ‘King’s Speech’ and ‘True Grit’ clean up at Oscar noms! Murdoch’s family plan.


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After the coffee. Before deciding whether I’m too old for ‘Skins.’

The Skinny: Even with 10 nominations, I can’t say I see any real surprises in the Oscar nominations. I have not figured out who will win every category, but I am expecting Melissa Leo to take a best supporting actress award and Christian Bale best supporting actor for their work in ‘The Fighter.’ I fear the Natalie Portman express has already left the station, but she would not be my best actress pick. Same for Jess Eisenberg. I loved him in ‘The Social Network,’ but think James Franco deserves it more for ‘127 Hours.’


‘The King’s Speech’ can start practicing speech. The nominations for the 83rd annual Oscar Awards were unveiled early Tuesday morning. Few surprises as ‘The King’s Speech’ led the way with 12 nominations, followed by ‘True Grit’ with 10. Also smiling today are ‘The Social Network,’ ‘127 Hours,’ ‘Black Swan’ and ‘The Fighter.’ Early analysis from the Los Angeles Times, New York Times and Variety.

The family plan. With Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. looking into acquiring Shine, a production company run by the mogul’s daughter Liz Murdoch, speculation is growing that this is all part of a grand plan to map out a succession plan at the media giant. Rupert Murdoch is turning 80 this year and of his four adult children, only son James is currently employed at the company. The Daily Beast looks into how a return of Liz and possibly oldest son Lachlan could shake out.

Making the scene. Yes, that was Disney Studios chief Rich Ross hanging out at Sundance this week. Heads turned in Park City, Utah, at the sight of Ross, who heads an operation that at least on paper is not exactly seen as fans of independent film. Is Ross looking for a project that has a Disney feel? Is he looking to learn more about the indie biz? Or does he like to be seen with all the cool kids and go to hot parties? I’ve known Ross since his days at FX and can safely say the probable answer to all three is yes. More on Ross’s Park City adventure from the Los Angeles Times.

School spirit. Time Warner Cable is considering investing in the new University of Texas sports network that Walt Disney Co.’s ESPN is starting, according to Sports Business Journal. While a slew of colleges starting their own cable networks seems unlikely, there will be a few more including, SBJ thinks, Oklahoma (which is already looking into one), Notre Dame and BYU. New York University, my old college, already has two channels -- MTV and the CW.

What I really want to do is produce. Jeff Zucker, who is expected to officially give up his position as chief executive of NBC Universal later this week when Comcast Corp. closes on its deal to acquire the media giant, indicated Monday at an industry conference that he is interested in a return to producing, where he got his start over 20 years ago. I’m going to throw this out there. If everyone could put their egos aside, CBS should hire Zucker to fix their morning and evening news shows. Say what you will about Zucker as an entertainment president, he does know news. More on Zucker’s remarks from Hollywood Reporter.

Inside the Los Angeles Times: Finding real people for reality shows is proving to be a challenge, so producers and networks are now in recruitment mode. Tim Rutten didn’t think ‘O’ was a must-read.


-- Joe Flint

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