Morning Fix: Will ‘John Carter’ pay off? Rush Limbaugh backlash.


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After the coffee. Before making sure the New Orleans Saints don’t have a bounty on me.

The Skinny: Tuesday’s headlines include a look at Disney’s new movie ‘John Carter,’ the FCC’s review of media ownership rules and the growing backlash from advertisers and media watchdogs against radio host Rush Limbaugh. Also, how Julianne Moore got into character for HBO’s ‘Game Change’ and plans by Warner Bros. to make a ‘Gossip Girls'-like drama for China.


Daily Dose: Fox’s decision late Monday to pull the plug on ‘Terra Nova,’ its epic science fiction drama about a family that travels back in time to the dinosaur era to try to save humanity, wasn’t much of a surprise. The average audience for the expensive series was usually less than 10 million viewers. Although the ratings were far from a disaster, given the economics it was tough for Fox to rationalize a second season. However, that won’t stop the studio behind the series -- 20th Century Fox Television -- from trying to shop it to another network. The show was a big seller overseas. But it seems unlikely that any broadcast network would buy it, which means trying to find a cable network. I have a feeling FX President John Landgraf’s phone will be ringing today with a pitch about how well ‘Terra Nova’ would fit with the channel’s biker drama ‘Sons of Anarchy.’

No life on Mars? Walt Disney’s science fiction epic ‘John Carter,’ which takes place on Mars, is not expected to blast off the way the studio had hoped when it pumped $250 million into making the movie. Industry tracking has ‘John Carter’ taking in $25 million in its opening this weekend, which certainly won’t be a strong-enough start for the movie to have a chance to stay out of the red. The Los Angeles Times looks at ‘John Carter’ and Disney’s changing stance on the movie business.

Let’s change the rules. Every few years, the Federal Communications Commission reviews its rules regarding what kinds of media one company can own, and how much. As is often the case, a lot of the industry’s big companies argue that there are too many rules, while media watchdogs counter that the FCC needs to crack down on consolidation. Coverage on some of the issues from Bloomberg, Forbes and Broadcasting & Cable.

TV Nowhere. The cable industry -- led by Time Warner Inc. and Comcast Corp. -- has been pushing an initiative called TV Everywhere, which lets consumers who subscribe to cable watch content online after registering. However, the process is somewhat tedious, and many distributors have been slow to embrace the system. All I know is I’ve had Time Warner Cable (a different company from the entertainment giant Time Warner Inc.) for almost three years and I don’t recall seeing one email or commercial promoting the service. The Wall Street Journal looks at what is taking the service so long to get off the ground.

Video saved the radio star. Current TV, the cable network looking to challenge MSNBC for audiences whose politics curve to the left, has tapped two liberal talk-radio hosts, Bill Press and Stephanie Miller, for its new morning lineup. No, Press and Miller aren’t giving up their radio shows. Current is going to simulcast the shows and run them in the 6 a.m.-to-noon block. The move gives Current more live programming without breaking its budget. Details from the New York Times.

Inside the Los Angeles Times: The backlash against Rush Limbaugh isn’t slowing down. An appreciation of Ralph McQuarrie, the man behind the look of ‘Star Wars.’ James Rainey chats with Julianne Moore about her portrayal of Sarah Palin in HBO’s ‘Game Change.’ China is getting its own version of ‘Gossip Girl.’

-- Joe Flint

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