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The Morning Fix: 'Bruno' is hot and cold; 'True Blood' boils for HBO; online advertising soft too; TV chasing Bernie Madoff

July 13, 2009 |  7:02 am

After the coffee. Before figuring out whether "Bruno" is a hit or a flop. 

CTlogosmall Hit or miss? An opening weekend of $30.4 million for a relatively low-budget comedy should be reason to celebrate. But in the case of "Bruno," which did $14.4 million on Friday, but tailed off for the rest of the weekend, the verdict is mixed. The Los Angeles Times says "Bruno" won't do "Borat" numbers. More box office analysis from Variety and The Hollywood Reporter.

"True Blood" boiling for HBO. The vampire drama "True Blood" has pumped new life into HBO. The show is generating ratings not seen for years at the pay cable network as it appeals to a wide range of viewers, no small feat in today's niche world. The New York Times.

Ryan's riches. The Hollywood Reporter says "American Idol" host Ryan Seacrest's new three-year deal to stay with the show and develop new programs for its producer 19 Entertainment is worth $45 million. Next up for the producers, getting Simon Cowell a new deal.

Gersh growth: The Gersh Agency has a new locale, is expanding its reach and will now be known simply as Gersh. Also, there's a new Gersh scion in the picture as well. Deadline Hollywood Daily

Universal unrest? The Wrap's Sharon Waxman weighs in on all the rumors surrounding NBC Universal ranging from a shake-out at the studio to speculation on what Vivendi will do with its 20% stake in the company. The verdict? So far a lot more smoke than fire.

At least they won't have to put him up in a nice hotel. Investor Bernie Madoff is a big get for TV news. The challenge will be convincing him to go on camera. Producers speculate on the best approach. Broadcasting & Cable.

Soft upfront won't help online. Don't look for online advertising to benefit from the woes of the television industry, says PaidContent.

Business Week looks for buyer. Bloomberg is reporting that Business Week parent McGraw Hill is looking to sell. It's been a tough year for biz mags (and everyone else) as Forbes and Fortune are looking thin and Portfolio shut down.

Inside the Los Angeles Times: Transformers is a hit in the toy section as well. Tourists now add reality shows to their Hollywood site-seeing. HBO's "Teddy" is high on praise, soft on analysis. 

--Joe Flint

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