The Morning Fix: Rupert staying put! Lopez out. Roseanne redux?


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After the coffee. Before figuring out a vacation schedule ... seriously!

The Skinny: Certainly sounded like News Corp. boss Rupert Murdoch had plenty of coffee before Wednesday’s earnings call. In other headlines, TV Guide has its annual salary issue. George Lopez got the boot from TBS and Roseanne Barr wants a comeback.


Staying put. News Corp. CEO Rupert Murdoch spoke with financial analysts and media for the first time since all heck broke loose in London after revelations of widespread phone hacking at the company’s now-shuttered News of the World tabloid. Murdoch, sounding more authoritative than he did in appearing before Parliament several weeks ago, made clear he’s not planning on stepping down anytime soon. If he did go under the bus (his words), Chief Operating Officer Chase Carey would likely become CEO, but the mogul said son James, who has been tarnished by the hacking scandal, has his ‘full confidence.’ Coverage from the Los Angeles Times, Wall Street Journal and Reuters.

They made what? TV Guide has released its annual ‘top salaries in television’ issue. Having had to do these sorts of stories in the past, I can tell you it is a huge pain and that generally the accuracy rate on the numbers is about 75%. Take some of it with a grain of salt. Among those mentioned are Ashton Kutcher (‘Two and a Half Men’), CNN’s Anderson Cooper and Tim Allen, who is returning to TV in a new ABC sitcom.

Helping hand? Did the Pentagon cooperate too much with director Kathryn Bigelow’s and writer Mark Boal’s upcoming movie for Sony about the hunt that led to the death of Osama bin Laden? That’s what Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.), who never met a microphone he didn’t like, wants to know. After New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd said Bigelow et al. got incredible access to details about the mission, he started raising questions about national security. The White House has said no confidential details were released. Coverage from Variety and the Los Angeles Times.

See ya! After two seasons, George Lopez is out of his gig as late-night host for TBS. Lopez, who was bumped from 11 p.m. to midnight for his second season after the cable network landed Conan O’Brien, saw his ratings take a big tumble. Not only was he not compatible with O’Brien, but his fan base apparently went elsewhere rather than stay up an hour later for him. Oh, and apparently he wasn’t hip enough for TBS. Analysis from the New York Times and Broadcasting & Cable.

Yeah, because that Lifetime show is doing so well. Roseanne Barr wants to try her hand at a sitcom again. The Hollywood Reporter says she is developing a show with 20th Century Fox Television. Barr’s attempt at a comeback with a summer reality show for Lifetime has already been a flop. It is doubtful her fan base is strong enough to support a broadcast show anymore, so if the studio is smart, it’ll do it on the cheap and sell it to TV Land.

Inside the Los Angeles Times: Can the ‘Glee’ concert movie sing at the box office? John Horn on whether ’30 Minutes or Less’ will deliver.


-- Joe Flint

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