The Morning Fix: Oscar host follies! ‘Dark Knight’ to shine again.

After the coffee. Before turning off my email for a week.

The Skinny: I will be on vacation next week and unlike other vacations where I still do the Morning Fix, I’m actually taking the time off for real. The very able Ben Fritz and some other fine co-workers will guest host for next week so you’ll be in good hands. Friday’s Fix includes the weekend box office preview stories, the controversy over having Jimmy Fallon host the Oscars and reviews of"Total Recall” and"Killer Joe.”

Daily Dose: With former ABCscheduling chief Jeff Bader joining NBCin the same capacity, it will be interesting to see if he tries to tweak the network’s schedule before the start of the season. The big question is whether the low-rated Brian Williams news magazine “Rock Center” will stay in its Thursday 10 p.m. slot. That’s a valuable piece of real estate for a show with such small numbers. But Williams and the folks at NBC News have some powerful friends at the network so Bader may have to let that one lie.
Oscar host hoo-ha.Tom Sherak, who until a few days ago was president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, had one final dream before his term ended: Land NBC late night host Jimmy Fallon as host of the Oscars. The only problem is that the Oscars are on ABC and that network is not too keen on having a rival get that promotional platform. While ABC does not have veto power over who the host is, it can make a lot of noise behind the scenes. More on the story from the Los Angeles Times and some analysis of it from me.

Holy remake, Batman! This weekend’s box office battle pits Sony’s remake (I don’t use the word “reboot”) of “Total Recall” versus “The Dark Knight Rises,” which has ruled the box office for the past few weekends. Industry experts project that “The Dark Knight Rises” should be good for an additional $30 million while “Total Recall” may struggle to get past $25 million. The weekend’s other new wide release -- “Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days,” is expected to take in close to $20 million. Sneak peaks at the weekend box office race from the Los Angeles Times and Hollywood Reporter.


A quarter to remember. Profits at CBS rose 8% to $427 million for the second quarter of 2012, compared with the same time a year ago. Revenue was off because last year the company had major sales of programming to digital streaming services. Coverage from the New York Times.

A quarter to forget. Viacom said its third quarter profits fell by 7% to $534 million compared with $574 million for the same period last year. The drop is due to weak advertising at its cable network unit, where ratings are down for several channels including Nickelodeon. A look at the numbers from Bloomberg.

Cable? What cable? With cable TV subscribers on the decline, operators such as Time Warner Cableand Comcast Corp. are putting more emphasis on their broadband business, said the Wall Street Journal. Personally, sooner or later we’ll all get our content delivered through broadband, the question is who will get paid for it.

Inside the Los Angeles Times: Kenneth Turan on “Total Recall.” Betsy Sharkey on “Killer Joe.”

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