The Morning Fix: ‘King’s Speech’ makes lots of speeches at Oscars! Charlie Sheen won’t shut up.


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After the coffee. Before bracing myself for a day of Oscar recaps and Charlie Sheen gossip.

The Skinny: I’m not sure what the point was of having Anne Hathaway and James Franco host the Oscars to woo younger viewers if the rest of the show is designed to bore them as much as possible. Also, for future reference, the Oscars show is not a platform for the hosting network to parade an executive out there for what was basically a live commercial. Now that the Oscars are done, we can get back to important things, like where Charlie Sheen will rant next. My money’s on Al Jazeera English.


The King’s Oscar. Sunday night’s Oscar show had few surprises. ‘The King’s Speech’ won the bulk of the major awards. ‘The Fighter’ got its acting nods in the supporting categories, while ‘The Social Network’ was friended by the academy for best adapted screenplay and best original score. Hosts James Franco and Anne Hathaway didn’t embarrass themselves, but they sure weren’t given any help by the show’s producers. The opening and the first few awards seemed aimed at pushing away the very young viewers ABC and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences said they wanted to attract. Oscar coverage and analysis from the Los Angeles Times, New York Times, Variety, Hollywood Reporter, Time, Daily Beast and USA Today.

Few takers for ‘Hall Pass.’ What is the point of having a hall pass if no one wants to come out to play? That’s what Warner Bros. had to deal with as its new raunchy romantic comedy, ‘Hall Pass,’ underperformed in its opening weekend athought it still managed to squeeze out a first place finish over ‘Gnomeo and Juliet.’ Bombing big time was ‘Drive Angry,’ Nicolas Cage’s latest attempt to make people forget what a good actor he once was. Box office reports from the Los Angeles Times and Movie City News.

All Charlie all the time. Charlie Sheen is not going quietly into the night. Late last week, CBS and Warner Bros. shut down production on his show, ‘Two and a Half Men,’ after he took aim at the show’s executive producer, Chuck Lorre, in a radio rant. This week, Sheen takes his tour to TV. He hit NBC’s ‘Today’ on Monday morning, and on Tuesday, ABC weighs in with a special ‘20/20’ episode. Most interesting and perhaps sad about this whole affair was that none of Sheen’s personal or legal woes or issues with women led CBS and Warner Bros. to pull the plug on the show; it was only when he dared badmouth producers and executives that they said that’s enough. As for Sheen, he hopefully realizes that now the issue is not whether he is clean or not, but that he is bashing the brass. Wake me when it’s over. The Los Angeles Times and New York Times on the messages the handling of the Sheen situation have sent.

Pass the puck. Versus, the cable sports channel owned by Comcast Corp., is nearing the end of its deal to carry hockey. The NHL, looking to boost its deal from the current $77 million or so it gets from Versus, is hoping to woo other bidders -- including Fox and Turner Broadcasting as well as, of course, ESPN. Details from Sports Business Journal (just look further down the page on the link) and Sports Illustrated. As for NBC’s deal, the peacock network -- now also owned by Comcast -- still has an exclusive negotiation window, per my pal John Ourand at Sports Business Journal.

Web video, what Web video? Brian Roberts, chief executive of Comcast Corp., the largest cable and broadband operator, sat down with the Wall Street Journal to shoot the breeze about the threat of online video, fixing NBC and the strength of the advertising market.

Piers pontificates. CNN’s new prime-time talker, Piers Morgan, sat down with Broadcasting & Cable to assess his first several weeks on the air. He talked about his sliding ratings, his reputation for being to soft on stars and how he likes to watch himself on TV. Well, at least someone does.


Inside the Los Angeles Times: A look at the economics of ‘Two and a Half Men’ and what Charlie Sheen’s war with CBS and Warner Bros. could mean. A look at ABC’s Web efforts for the Oscars. RIP Dodgers great Duke Snyder.

-- Joe Flint

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For the record: This post was updated to reflect that in final box office totals, ‘Hall Pass’ finished first over ‘Gnomeo and Juliet.’