The Morning Fix: ‘King’s Speech’ on hot streak. Sheen heads to rehab, CBS heads to accountants. Rudin and Weinstein square off in Oscars race.
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After the coffee. Before pretending to be excited for the week ahead.
The Skinny: I fear I’m going through Comcast - NBC Universal withdrawal. Now that the deal is closed, we’ll just have to wait for the management shakeups to start. In the meantime, everyone is waiting to see how long Charlie Sheen stays in rehab. I’m betting a week or two. After all, he’s taken the classes before; this is just a refresher course.
More victory speeches. ‘The King’s Speech’ was a big winner at Sunday’s Screen Actors Guild Awards, along with ‘The Fighter.’ The SAG Awards record as an indicator for the Oscars is mixed, but it is worth noting that the Guild didn’t show much love for ‘The Social Network.’ On the TV side, HBO’s ‘Boardwalk Empire’ had a winning hand, as did ABC’s ‘Modern Family.’ More on the awards from Variety, Hollywood Reporter and the Los Angeles Times.
‘The Rite’ does all right. It was not the most exciting weekend at the box office. ‘The Rite,’ a horror flick starring Anthony Hopkins, made about $15 million for Warner Bros.’ New Line Cinema. The other major opening, CBS’s remake of ‘The Mechanic’ took in $11.5 million. Several Oscar contenders including ‘The Fighter,’ ‘Black Swan’ and ‘The King’s Speech’ had good weekends, no doubt thanks to their nominations. Box office analysis from the Los Angeles Times and Movie City News.
What will it be, Charlie? Last Friday, Charlie Sheen’s publicist issued a statement that the star of the CBS sitcom ‘Two and a Half Men’ was headed to rehab and now the show is going on a production hiatus. The real question will be whether Sheen wants to be there or is going just to get people off his back. Given what Radar says Sheen texted them, the answer is the latter. Clearly his bosses at CBS and Warner Bros. -- which produces the show -- are torn between protecting their cash cow and protecting the star of their cash cow. No doubt the two companies are starting to realize that in the court of public opinion they are enabling Sheen’s wild lifestyle and that while Sheen shows up to work and does his job, there are bigger and more complicated issues to consider here. A look at what Sheen’s antics mean to his career, the show and the big media companies that profit from it from the Hollywood Reporter and Los Angeles Times.
Al Jazeera makes waves. Egypt, caught up in the midst of political unrest and protests, is cracking down on Al Jazeera, whose coverage of the uprising is getting notice around the globe. The Daily Beast looks at how Al Jazeera is causing headaches for the Egyptian government.
Harvey opens wallet. The Weinstein Co. did some big deals at Sundance, which is leading to more stories that brothers Harvey and Bob Weinstein have not burned through their nine lives. This time, it’s New York Times columnist David Carr looking at the company’s prospects. Carr notes that while lots of people are against the mercurial Weinsteins -- particularly Harvey -- it is a ‘little like being against the coming of winter.’ In other words, he’s always going to be around.
Kennedys near home? ‘The Kennedys,’ an ambitious miniseries that the History Network pulled the plug on after getting pressure from the Kennedy family and their friends, may find a home in syndication since no other cable network seems interested. Deadline Hollywood reports that Tribune, parent of TV stations across the country including WGN Chicago, which also has a national reach through its carriage on cable systems, is kicking the tires of the ‘The Kennedys.’ My hunch is they pass too.
Forecast still not good. Broadcasting & Cable takes the temperature of the nation’s TV weather forecasters and notes that women appear to be very underrepresented. ‘Some industry watchers believe the male-dominated world of weather on TV stations perpetuates itself, creating roadblocks for female advancement for years to come. Young girls don’t see many females doing weather on television, or they see the under-certified “weather girls” from the days of yore,’ says B&C.
Inside the Los Angeles Times: This year’s Oscars are shaping up to be a showdown between Harvey Weinstein and Scott Rudin. Did ABC really need to promote an Adam Sandler movie in the middle of its coverage of the Lakers - Celtics game?
-- Joe Flint
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