The Morning Fix: Fox’s record-setting day! Melissa Leo’s Oscar campaign raises eyebrows. Moore and Weinstein square off.
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After the coffee. Before wondering if someone can persuade Harvey Weinstein and Michael Moore to settle their differences by getting in a ring.
The Skinny: The Super Bowl set a record for viewers, but the mishaps at the game and the growing obsession with stars and commercials are leaving a bad taste in the mouths of real sports fans. Looks like Keith Olbermann may resurface at a cable network that needs him more than he needs it.
Super numbers! Fox’s coverage of the Green Bay Packers’ victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers in Super Bowl XLV drew 111 million viewers, which shattered the previous viewership record for a TV event of 106.5 million set by last year’s Super Bowl. That was the good news. The bad news was numerous glitches at the game, including some 400 fans losing their seats, a botched national anthem and a halftime show from the Black Eyed Peas that had people laughing rather than singing. And why do a fly-over in a game that is played indoors? Most viewers fled when the post-Super Bowl episode of ‘Glee’ started. Perhaps a series about precocious high school kids who break into song on their way to the bathroom wasn’t the best choice of show to keep people glued to the set. Of course, the late start didn’t help either. Analysis of what worked and what didn’t from the Los Angeles Times and Washington Post.
Heavyweight battle. Filmmaker Michael Moore is suing Harvey and Bob Weinstein over profits from his 2004 documentary ‘Fahrenheit 9/11.’ Moore’s suit charges that the Weinsteins, who distributed the antiwar movie through an outfit they formed called the Fellowship Adventure Group, engaged in ‘bogus accounting methods.’ Bogus? Dude! Maybe Jeff Spicoli will be a witness. Moore wants $2.7 million compensatory damages as well as having his legal costs covered. Hollywood legal-eagle Bert Fields, who is representing the Weinsteins, said the suit was ‘designed for the media’ and is ‘utter rubbish.’ Weighing in on the bout are the Los Angeles Times and Deadline Hollywood.
Forget the mail, now you have the Huffington Post. The sale of the Huffington Post to AOL has naturally got the media that covers media all worked up and the owners of other content websites fantasizing about their own big payday. Will the deal help reinvent AOL as a news and commentary service, or will the $315-million deal be another bad move for the Web portal? Analysis from the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Wall Street Journal, Business Insider and Daily Beast.
Olbermann wants to stay Current. Commentator Keith Olbermann, who ended his controversial run at MSNBC a few weeks ago, is expected to resurface at Current TV, the little-viewed cable network that offers non-traditional news and documentaries and started as a pet project of former Vice President Al Gore. The New York Times says Olbermann will take a gig with the news channel and perhaps even get an ownership stake in Current too. Interestingly, Comcast, which just took over Olbermann’s employer NBC Universal, also owns a piece of Current. To quote Michael Corleone, ‘Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in.’ It’s unclear whether Olbermann’s exit deal from MSNBC will limit his ability to have an on-air presence at the channel.
Pimping yourself. Melissa Leo, who got a supporting actress Oscar nomination for her portrayal of Micky Ward’s mother in ‘The Fighter,’ has caused quite the stir by running her own campaign for the statue. Normally, studios, agents and producers handle all that, but Leo is taking matters into her own hands. Of course, there is some grumbling that such overt tactics are unseemly and could cost her votes. Alas, in this weird town often it’s less about the performance and more about how one campaigns for the performance. Of course, this never seems to hurt the Weinsteins. Analysis on Leo’s efforts to roar from the Hollywood Reporter.
-- Joe Flint
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