The Morning Fix: 'Blind Side' rushes to top. Liguori makes Discovery! How important is NBC itself to Comcast (not very). Oscar campaigns getting cheap.
After the coffee. Before hauling out the London Fog.
Finding their voice. While video game sales continue to explode and new technology allows for more sophisticated stories, the voices behind the games say their pay isn't keeping up. The debate over money has led to a showdown between video-game companies and the Screen Actors Guild, whose members have rejected a proposed voice-over contract. "The concern going forward is that as these games become larger and larger and generate more income, we as actors won't see any more money when we walk out the door," says Dave Wittenberg, a veteran video-game actor. A look at who will have a stronger voice in this battle from the Los Angeles Times.
"The Blind Side" rushes to top spot. In its third weekend, Warner Bros.' Sandra Bullock tearjerker "The Blind Side" blew past "New Moon" to take first place at the box office. Needless to say, the drama, based on a true story, has turned into a hit beyond anyone's wildest dreams. The limited opening of Paramount's "Up in the Air" flew high as well. That one should be big when it fully spreads its wings on Christmas. Box-office analysis from the Los Angeles Times, Variety and the Hollywood Reporter.
What does the 'B' in NBC stand for again? NBC staffers who work for the broadcast network were no doubt already feeling like the forgotten ones every time NBC Universal CEO Jeff Zucker talked about how important cable programming was as opposed to broadcast. Now that a cable giant, Comcast Corp., has struck a deal to control NBC Universal, many staffers at the National Broadcasting Co. part of the company are feeling a little unwanted, per the New York Times. For what it's worth, Comcast Chief Operating Officer Steve Burke praised NBC and its owned stations at an investor conference in New York this morning.
Liguori lands. Former Fox big shot Peter Liguori is becoming the new chief operating officer of Discovery Communications. Liguori, who was a cable executive before taking charge of Fox Broadcasting, will have the key (or is it thankless?) job of serving as Discovery's chief liaison to Oprah Winfrey, who is partners with Discovery on her cable network, OWN. Liguori also is assigned the task of boosting Discovery's profile with producers in Hollywood. It will be interesting to see how Liguori, who is used to running the show, works with his boss, Discovery CEO David Zaslav, who is very hands on and hardly Mr. Low Profile himself. Details from the Los Angeles Times.
"Monk" leaves on a high note. USA Network's "Monk," which ended its eight-season run on Friday, averaged more than 9 million viewers for its finale episode. That's not only a record for the show, but also a record for any basic-cable drama. A look at the ratings run of "Monk" from the Hollywood Reporter.
Spinning out the door. Nate Schreiber, president of Hollywood public relations giant PMK/HBH is leaving the company, according to Deadline Hollywood. He was tapped for that post just a year ago, succeeding the legendary Pat Kingsley.
For Your Consideration. A bigger Oscars show may not mean more money spent luring academy voters. The Wrap looks at how studios are becoming really tight-fisted when it comes to awards season.
Inside the Los Angeles Times: Critic Mary McNamara on how "The Blind Side" reawakened her passion for football.
-- Joe Flint