The Morning Fix: ‘Lorax’ big at box office. News Corp. troubles spread.


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After the coffee. Before seeing if ‘GCB’ was a HIT.

The Skinny:Did you watch Lindsay Lohan on ‘Saturday Night Live?’ Was it just me or did the cameras seem to be pulled really far back in every skit she was in? Monday’s headlines include the weekend box office results, new troubles for News Corp. and a look at TV’s development season.


Daily Dose:Brian Williams, NBC’s news anchor and host of its struggling news magazine ‘Rock Center,’ will have Gawker Media chief Nick Denton on the show this Wednesday. Wonder if Williams will bring up his own cozy relationship with Denton and his tendency to email the Web gossip king with his own media observations. That habit that got the anchor in trouble when Denton’s Gawker published one in which he ripped singer Lana Del Rey’s performance on NBC’s ‘Saturday Night Live.’

Seeing green. Universal’s ‘The Lorax’ took in more than $70 million in its debut weekend, the biggest opening of the year. That figure almost doubles the previous best opening of 2012, the romantic movie ‘The Vow.’ Also getting off to a solid start was Warner Bros. R-rated teen comedy ‘Project X,’ which took in almost $21 million. Box office recaps from the Los Angeles Times and Movie City News.

From Russia with love. The FBI is looking into whether News Corp., when it operated a Russian billboard marketing company, bribed officials to approve its advertisements, according to the Wall Street Journal. The FBI’s probe is more bad news for the media giant, which is already battling accusations of bribing officials in Britain in return for scoops for its tabloid newspapers. Though News Corp. no longer owns the Russian unit, if found guilty the company could still get in hot water with lawmakers in the U.S. over violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, which says it’s a no-no for individuals or corporations doing business in America to bribe foreign officials.

Looking for laughs. The broadcast networks are wrapping up what is known in the industry as ‘development season,’ the period in which new scripts are bought and TV pilots are made for the fall. Given the success of sitcoms this season, it’s no surprise that the networks are betting heavily on that genre. USA Today says CBS, ABC, NBC and Fox have a combined 46 comedy projects in the work. Meanwhile, here’s the latest on who’s getting cast in all these pilots from Variety.

Rushing for cover. Several advertisers have pulled out of Rush Limbaugh’s radio show after the talk show host mocked a law school student over her views on the White House’s push to make health insurance plans cover birth control products. Limbaugh has since apologized for his attack on Sandra Fluke, but critics of his show are continuing to put heat on his sponsors. Coverage from the New York Times and Washington Post.

Slimfix? Carlos Slim, the Mexican billionaire and media mogul, wants to build a Netflix-like service there. However, Slim will need government approval before he can enter the streaming business. Details from Bloomberg.

Inside the Los Angeles Times: Randall Roberts on Bruce Springsteen’s new release ‘Wrecking Ball.’

-- Joe Flint

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