The Morning Fix: MTV’s Skins’ takes big ratings hit! Shortening ‘King’s Speech’? Disney’s not playing games with interactive unit.


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After the coffee. Before buckling down and finally seeing ‘The King’s Speech.’

The Skinny: The hot topic in sports today. Should players on teams that just lost a big game be out partying that same day? They’ve probably been doing it forever, but now we live in a media age where we get to know everything and maybe that’s not the right message to fans even if you’re not a role model.


Controversy doesn’t help ‘Skins.’ So much for the old adage that there is no such thing as bad publicity. Despite tons of media coverage about its racy content, which includes teens drinking, drugging and having sex, MTV’s ‘Skins’ saw its audience fall by more than 50% from its premiere numbers. Its ratings were dropping faster than clothes off the characters. In the meantime, advertisers continue to succumb to pressure from the Parents Television Council and are dropping out of the show. More from Entertainment Weekly.

Cutting the king’s speech? Now that the Oscar nominations are out, studios are trying to figure out how to goose a nomination into both an award and bigger box office. The Weinstein Co., in what to me sounds kind of tacky and desperate, is considering reediting ‘The King’s Speech’ so it loses the R rating (for one scene that has lots of F-bombs) and perhaps can get bigger box office. Here’s a tip: A period piece about overcoming a speech impediment is never going to be a commercial hit, so why spoil it by hacking it up? You’re going to win Oscars, trust me. The story from the Los Angeles Times. Meanwhile, the Wall Street Journal looks at which movies will benefit financially from nominations, and Variety tells us who got snubbed.

Keith who? MSNBC’s ratings went up Monday night despite the absence of Keith Olbermann, who left the news channel after Friday’s show. The audience for Lawrence O'Donnell’s show, which replaced Olbermann’s program, grew by almost 50%. Some curiosity was likely a factor for the big (for MSNBC) numbers, and it will be at least a week until MSNBC can really determine the fallout from Olbermann’s exit. More on the numbers from the New York Times.

Disney’s not playing games. Walt Disney Co. is making big cuts in its digital media group, laying off about 200 people. The move is part of what the Los Angeles Times describes as a ‘sweeping reorganization of the unit’s games and online groups.’ The plan is to move away from console games to focus on mobile and online entertainment. Additional coverage from Bloomberg.

Bob’s building blocks. Bob Greenblatt has not officially taken the reins at NBC Universal, but he’s already busy ordering scripts and pilots. Of course, the word is that the former head of programming from Showtime wants to push the envelope (is there a more tired expression than that one?) in terms of content. That always sounds good, but NBC doesn’t need risque content, it needs content that will appeal to as big an audience as possible. A network can take chances from a position of strength a lot easier than it can from a position of weakness. When CBS was struggling years ago, a little family sitcom called ‘Everybody Loves Raymond’ was what drove the turnaround. Story from the New York Post.

Inside the Los Angeles Times: Patrick Goldstein on the lack of diversity in Tuesday’s Oscar nominations. Start planning now! Here’s the lineup for the Hollywood Bowl.

-- Joe Flint

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