The Morning Fix: ‘Devil Inside’ on fire! Disney’s Carney on way out?


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After the coffee. Before working Tim Tebow into my copy to drive Web traffic.

The Skinny: Last night I was just inches away from Charlie Sheen! I guess that makes getting up at 5:30 a.m. every morning to provide you with headlines worth it. Well, not really, but here we go. Monday’s headlines include a disturbing look at the risks some children face when they come to Hollywood to chase stardom, an upset win at the box office and Fox’s plans to go after NBC’s ‘Saturday Night Live.’


Nothing to say. The nation’s broadcast networks are in the midst of promoting their spring shows to critics at the semi-annual Television Critics Assn. press tour. Usually, ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox and the CW hype not only shows, but hold press conferences with executives to discuss strategy. This time around, though, CBS has critics miffed because its entertainment chief, Nina Tassler, will not take to the stage. That doesn’t mean Tassler is ducking, as she will be at the event all day for interviews and chats, but that isn’t good enough for critics who were griping over the weekend at not being able to put her under the lights. Last winter’s Tassler press conference lasted all of 20 minutes.

Not a pretty picture. Children come to Hollywood to pursue dreams of stardom every day. Sometimes that chase for glory can put them in contact with unsavory characters who have different motivation. The Los Angeles Times provides an in-depth look at how some child sexual abuses cases have rippled through the industry and could lead to tougher rules when it comes to determining who works with kids.

Getting more animated. News Corp.’s Fox, which has relied on animation programming for its prime-time schedule almost from Day One (‘The Simpsons,’ ‘Family Guy’) is now going after NBC’s ‘Saturday Night Live’ with cartoons. The network said it is going to create a block of cartoon programming for late night on Saturdays that will debut in 2013. Fox is also going to create a digital platform to feature animation content online that could one day become the seed of an all-cartoon cable network. More on Fox’s plans from the Los Angeles Times and Bloomberg.

Slaying a giant. Low-budget horror flick ‘The Devil Inside’ pulled its own Tim Tebow-like upset by shocking the heavily favored ‘Mission: Impossible -- Ghost Protocol’ at the box office last weekend. ‘The Devil Inside’ took in about $35 million, which is double what the industry thought it would deliver -- once again proving that when it comes to Hollywood (and Tim Tebow), nobody knows anything. Yes, I know that line was delivered by screenwriter William Goldman and that I didn’t come up with it on my own. Box office coverage from Los Angeles Times and Movie City News.

Carney hitting the road? M T Carney, the Madison Avenue marketing executive that Walt Disney Co. brought in about 19 months ago to oversee promotion efforts for its movies, may already be looking for flights back to the Big Apple. Carney, whose future has been a subject of speculation for many months, has had trouble fitting in at Disney and in Hollywood, reports the New York Times. On the plus side, as readers of this story will learn, she does wear nice shoes.

Finally getting together. The long-rumored marriage of production companies Lions Gate and Summit appears to be finally happening. The merger will bring together the producer of Tyler Perry movies and the cult television hit ‘Mad Men’ (Lions Gate) with the makers of the ‘Twilight’ movies (Summit.) Charlie Sheen’s new show ‘Anger Management’ is also from Lions Gate, so you can bet that the party for the closing of the deal will be rocking. Details from Deadline Hollywood and the Los Angeles Times.


Waiting game. Warner Bros. is planning on making Netflix and other DVD distribution companies wait eight weeks before allowing their DVDs to be rented. The move, of course, is aimed at trying to bolster the sale of DVDs. Netflix will play ball but Redbox and Blockbuster will not, which means they will go out and buy DVDs themselves from retailers to sell. Analysis from the Wall Street Journal and Los Angeles Times.

Week in Vegas. It’s time for the Consumer Electronics Show, where the tech industry hypes all its new gadgets and platforms for the year ahead. Since many of those gadgets and platforms count on movies and TV shows to make them valuable, lots of Hollywood players will be there too. A preview of the convention from Variety.

Peace accord. Mild-mannered commentator Keith Olbermann, who usually goes along to get along when it comes to working with others (that’s sarcasm, folks), has reached a something of a peace treaty with Current TV, the cable network that is home to his political talk show. Olbermann had been fighting with the network over his role in its political coverage. Olbermann, of course, has famously feuded with other networks he has worked at, including MSNBC, ESPN and Fox Sports. More from The Hollywood Reporter.

Inside the Los Angeles Times: Dawn Hudson, the relatively new head of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences, is under fire and there are already rumblings that she needs to be replaced.

-- Joe Flint

Follow me on Twitter. Like Tim Tebow, it’s not always pretty but I get it done.