The Morning Fix: Exodus at ‘X Factor.’ Stuntmen want their Oscar.


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After the coffee. Before auditioning for ‘The X Factor.’

The Skinny: I guess it is time for me to watch ‘Downton Abbey.’ I’m feeling so left out of everything! Also feeling left out today are ‘X Factor’ judges Nicole Scherzinger and Paula Abdul after a big shake-up at the musical competition show. Other news includes the push from stuntmen to get their own Oscar, and Ryan Seacrest and Clear Channel inking a big deal.


The Daily Dose: Over the weekend, Sony Pictures unveiled plans to show fans advance footage from this summer’s ‘The Amazing Spider-Man’ in a very 21st century way, my colleague Ben Fritz informs us. Rather than ‘announcing’ the screenings, which will take place in 13 cities worldwide on Feb. 6, the studio did their version of the Bat Signal and projected Spider-Man images in public locations, along with the address of a website where fans could order tickets (which sold out rapidly, natch). And for those wondering how Sony will differentiate July’s reboot from the original ‘Spider-Man’ movie just 10 years ago, the URL of the website selling the tickets shows that the studio is confronting that question head-on:

Oscar stunt. Jack Gill has pulled off a lot of big stunts in his career, but the biggest still eludes him. The veteran stuntman is trying to persuade the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to create an Oscar for the folks behind the big stunts in movies. ‘It’s ridiculous that we’re not honored,’ Gill, told the Los Angeles Times. ‘These films can’t get made without stunt coordinators.’

Don’t let the door hit you on the way out. Simon Cowell and the other producers of Fox’s musical competition show ‘The X Factor’ did some housecleaning Monday night. Officially gone from the show, which finished its first season without the spectacular ratings the network and Cowell expected, are host Steve Jones and judge Nicole Scherzinger. Unofficially gone is Paula Abdul, who of course worked with Cowell on the massive Fox hit ‘American Idol.’ Fox confirmed the exits of Jones and Scherzinger, but as of late Monday night not Abdul. The dirt from from Deadline Hollywood, which looks to have been first to say Abdul was toast along with Jones and Scherzinger. Additional coverage from the Hollywood Reporter.

Seacrest in! Ryan Seacrest and Clear Channel Communications, already partners on Seacrest’s popular radio show, made a deeper commitment to each other. Not only have private equity funds controlled by Clear Channel’s majority owners THL and Bain Capital pumped $300 million into Ryan Seacrest Media, the producer and personality’s investment company, but Clear Channel itself has also taken a stake in the Ryan Seacrest Productions company. Word of the agreements, announced Tuesday morning, appeared in the New York Times.

Do they get their own trailers too? Spanish-language network Univision is taking product placement to a new level in its new telenovela ‘El Talisman.’ Not only are Chevrolet products seen throughout the show, one even has a name, and another has its own website. More on how Chevy is driving ‘El Talisman’ from Variety.

Inside the Los Angeles Times: Patrick Goldstein on whether pro athletes are surpassing Hollywood stars in the eyes of the public. Concert promoters are optimistic about 2012.

-- Joe Flint

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