The Morning Fix: ‘Rango’ to ride high at box office. NFL and players keep talking. FCC wants to help.


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After the coffee. Before wondering if you can de-meow a cat. (I’m only joking, PETA.)

The Skinny: Here’s Friday’s Charlie Sheen amusement, courtesy of NBC’s ‘Late Night with Jimmy Fallon.’ In other Friday news, the NFL and its players are extending talks but still no new labor deal in sight. ‘Rango’ is poised to ride to victory this weekend.


Rango tangle. ‘Rango,’ the animated western movie about a chameleon sheriff voiced by Johnny Depp, may have more riding on it than just making back its own budget. The film, from Paramount Pictures, may also influence that studio’s relationship with DreamWorks Animation. ‘Rango’ is Paramount’s first digital-animation effort, and if it works, the studio could have some leverage when it comes time to renew its distribution deal with DreamWorks, which is up in 2012. More on what’s riding on ‘Rango’ from the Los Angeles Times.

I’m from the government, and I’m here to help. Those are usually pretty scary words. On Thursday, the Federal Communications Commission said it wants to help the broadcast and cable industries work better when it comes to negotiating so-called retransmission consent deals. Over the last few years, there have been several high-profile battles between broadcasters and distributors over distribution deals, and on a few occasions consumers have been left in the lurch. Some of the options the FCC is considering from the Los Angeles Times, Wall Street Journal and Broadcasting & Cable.

Ben’s back. Well, at least according to Bloomberg BusinessWeek, which devoted a lot of ink to Ben Silverman’s Electus, a new production company that wants to blur the lines between advertising and content, as if those lines weren’t blurred enough. It’s a long article with lots of words and talk about lofty goals, nice quotes from Barry Diller and a rehash of Silverman’s antics when he was running NBC Entertainment. Save it for Sunday after breakfast, when you’re sitting down for a long time.

Overtime! The NFL and its players union agreed to extend its current agreement by one day in hopes of reaching a new deal. The odds seem unlikely, but an extension at least means there is some hope. In the meantime, the media companies and some analysts continue to try to spin how the networks still shelling out millions of dollars in rights fees but not getting any games in return will not necessarily be a disaster. Reuters and the Wall Street Journal on what a strike could mean for the media industry. The latest on the talks from Mike Silver of Yahoo Sports.

‘Rango’ to ride to top. It will be another weekend when I won’t be at the movies, although I do want to catch ‘The Adjustment Bureau’ soon. That doesn’t mean you have to stay home too. Box-office previews on who will make what from the Los Angeles Times and Variety.

What were you thinking? Mariah Carey is the latest musician to now realize that maybe, just maybe, playing a party for Moammar Kadafi, even for a seven-figure check, wasn’t such a hot idea. Others who sold their souls include Nelly Furtado and Beyonce. Carey apologized and said artists need to be ‘more aware.’ Yeah, I guess if you were under a rock for your entire life you might not realize that playing a gig for Kadafi isn’t the best idea. More likely is she and the others knew it was wrong but also figured no one would find out. More from the Hollywood Reporter. On a side note, can we reach a decision on the spelling of his last name?


Inside the Los Angeles Times: Betsy Sharkey on ‘Rango.’ Patrick Goldstein on Charlie Sheen.

-- Joe Flint

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