The Morning Fix: ‘Help’ cleans up in SAG noms! FCC lowers volume.


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After the coffee. Before figuring out why Time Magazine again shunned me for Person of the Year.

The Skinny: The government finally did something for the little people and has outlawed excessively loud commercials. They can take the rest of the week off as far as I’m concerned. Other headlines include a look at the Screen Actor Guild nominations, the first of what will be many takes on the first year of Oprah Winfrey’s OWN network and a look at what’s driving all the talk about Ryan Seacrest joining NBC’s ‘Today.’


Brothers again. Fans of Ed Burns’ early movies ‘The Brothers McMullen’ and ‘She’s the One’ and the chemistry the actor/director had with co-star Mike McGlone will be happy to know the two will be working together again. Burns is working on a new movie -- ‘FitzGerald’s Family Christmas,’ which will reunite him with his on-screen brother. McGlone has been keeping busy with appearances on some popular Geico commercials.

Something to celebrate. Ever notice how loud the commercials on TV are? Are you tired of scrambling for the remote when your favorite show goes into a commercial break? The Federal Communications Commission feels your pain and has passed a rule that will outlaw excessive volume during commercials. ‘It may be the single best thing government has ever done,’ said ‘Modern Family’ co-creator Steve Levitan. More from the Los Angeles Times.

No help needed. ‘The Help’ received four Screen Actors Guild nominations Thursday while ‘The Artist’ bagged three. Also nominated were Brad Pitt for ‘Moneyball,’ Leonardo DiCaprio for ‘J. Edgar’ and Meryl Streep for ‘The Iron Lady.’ Doing double duty, Glenn Close was nominated for best actress for the movie ‘Albert Nobbs’ and for the TV show ‘Damages.’ Early coverage from the Los Angeles Times and Variety.

Happy birthday. OWN, the cable network launched by Oprah Winfrey and DIscovery Communications, turns one on Jan. 1, so get ready for a slew of articles about how the network has not lived up to the hype with viewers and has been racked by turmoil. The Hollywood Reporter is first up with its analysis of OWN’s first year. Guess what? A lot of shows flopped and Winfrey isn’t on the channel nearly as much as Discovery would like. The real shocking part though is that apparently Winfrey lives in a ‘bubble’ and is ‘unfamiliar with the general television landscape, according to sources with firsthand knowledge -- one insider says that in the early going, she often expressed enthusiasm for ideas that seemed original to her -- but weren’t.’

Pirates in Hollywood? TorrentFreak, a blog run BitTorrent, the popular file sharing site, says there are pirates lurking within big Hollywood studios. As Hollywood aggressively lobbies Capitol Hill to go after people who pirate their content, TorrentFreak reports it found people at Sony, Fox and NBCUniversal using its software to download movies. I can honestly say I’ve never used BitTorrent and don’t know how to download it. Thanks to I Want Media for digging up this post.

Experiment failed. As the New York Post anticipated last week, Christiane Amanpour is out as anchor of ABC’s Sunday morning news show ‘This Week’ and George Stephanopoulos, currently the host of the network’s ‘Good Morning America,’ will take over. Amanpour’s version of ‘This Week’ did not embrace the inside-the-Beltway approach that viewers of the political magazine program had grown used to and ratings sank. An analysis of what happened from Politico.


Thanks for the publicity. The backlash against home improvement chain Lowe’s decision to pull advertising from the TLC show ‘All-American Muslim’ could end up actually boosting ratings. ‘The show has not proved a hit, even by TLC standards, and could use the attention stoked by the controversy,’ says USA Today.

Inside the Los Angeles Times: James Rainey on the idea of Ryan Seacrest replacing Matt Lauer on NBC’s ‘Today.’ Richard Verrier on how Venice Beach has become a hot spot for television and movie producers.

-- Joe Flint

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