The Morning Fix: ‘Avengers’ huge! Celebs edge out voice-over pros.
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After the coffee. Before signing up for a voice-over class.
The Skinny: Two things about Sunday night’s ‘Mad Men.’ First, using that Beatles song wasn’t cheap. Second, did they have hand dryers in bathrooms in the mid-1960s? Monday’s headlines include analysis of the record box office for ‘The Avengers,’ what the growing trend of movie and TV actors doing voice-over work means for professional voice actors, and Walt Disney Co.'s ABC News and Univision forming a joint-venture.
Daily Dose: Next month Charlie Sheen’s much-anticipated new comedy ‘Anger Management,’ for the FX cable network, will premiere. But anyone thinking that now that Sheen’s on cable he can let the obscenities fly should think again. Although FX doesn’t shy away from bad language on most of its shows, including ‘Louie’ and ‘Sons of Anarchy,’ that won’t be the case for ‘Anger Management,’ which is steering clear of swear words, according to network insiders. The reason for that is the makers of the show -- Debmar Mercury -- want to sell reruns to broadcast stations to run in the early evening, so producers will be ready to wash Sheen’s mouth out with soap if he starts talking dirty.
Top this: ‘The Avengers’ had a record-breaking opening weekend, taking in more than $200 million. That easily topped the previous record of $169.2 million raked in by 2011’s ‘Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows -- Part 2.’ ‘The Avengers’ has already taken in more than $440 million overseas. Yes, I saw it and while it was exactly what I expected -- things get smashed up and Robert Downey Jr. makes wisecracks -- it didn’t need to be almost two-and-a-half hours. Also, how many times do I need to see Grand Central Station destroyed? Box office recaps from the Los Angeles Times and Movie City News.
Speechless. As more television and movie stars get into voice-over work, professional voice actors are finding it tougher to land the plum gigs. Some grumble that advertisers are wasting their money on A-list talent when few listeners really spend a lot of time figuring out who’s pitching them and there’s no proof that having a celebrity voice boosts sales. But advertisers and marketers think having a known name can boost brand awareness. A look at how the influx of celebrities is changing the voice-over business from the Los Angeles Times.
Stamp of approval. News Corp. Chairman Rupert Murdoch has a lot of headaches these days, thanks to the ethics scandal at his British newspapers and a declaration by Parliament that he’s not fit and proper to lead the media giant. But one group is unlikely to question or criticize Murdoch: his own board of directors. New York Times columnist David Carr suggests the News Corp. board rests comfortably in the mogul’s pocket.
New friends. Walt Disney Co.'s ABC News and Spanish-language giant Univision are forming a joint-venture to create a 24-hour news channel. While the channel will be in English, it will be aimed at Latino viewers. The channel won’t launch until 2013. Details on the announcement from TV Newser.
Change of address? ABC’s comedy ‘Cougar Town’ may be moving to cable channel TBS. ‘Cougar Town,’ which has struggled to establish itself on ABC but has a cult following, probably won’t get renewed by the network for next season. TBS, which has been trying to establish a presence in comedy, is in talks on a two-season order of ‘Cougar Town,’ according to Deadline Hollywood.
Looking to sell. Comcast Corp. said it is going to unload the bulk of its minority stake in A&E TV Networks, parent of cable channels A&E, History and Lifetime. The company’s majority owners -- Hearst Corp. and Walt Disney Co. -- will now have to negotiate a price. Comcast has put the value of its 15% interest at about $2 billion.
Where you’ll find me. Next week the broadcast networks and a few of the big cable channels (USA, ESPN, Turner) will unveil their fall schedules to advertisers. The Hollywood Reporter has a presentation and party guide. Of course, the purpose of all this is to sell commercials. Ad Age has a look at how the ad market is looking.
Inside the Los Angeles Times: A profile of AMC’s head of programming Joel Stillerman, who’s looking for the next ‘Mad Men.’
-- Joe Flint
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