The Morning Fix: Oscar noms are in! OWN's big idea -- lots of Oprah. Sony layoffs. Paramount to test 'Catfish.' Is 'Lost' pirate-proof? 'Star Trek' game could have parents locking basement door.
After the coffee. Before figuring out who got robbed in the Oscar nominations. Oh, and sorry East Coast, six more weeks of winter, per Punxtsutawny Phil.
Bigelow vs. Cameron. Kathryn Bigelow's Iraq war drama "The Hurt Locker" and James Cameron's groundbreaking 3-D epic "Avatar" each got nine Oscar nominations, including best picture and best director. Bigelow and Cameron, who used to be married to each other, aren't the only ones smiling this morning. Other multiple nominees include "The Blind Side," "Up in the Air" and "Push." Early analysis and reaction from the Los Angeles Times, New York Times, USA Today, Variety and Hollywood Reporter. Now look for a slew of articles debating whether getting an Oscar provides any real boost at the box office and whether the 10 movies nominated for best picture are really worthy of the statue.
There's a groundbreaking idea. OWN, the cable network being launched by Oprah Winfrey and Discovery Communications, will include a show about (drum roll, please) the end of Winfrey's daytime talk show. The New York Times reports that the documentary series on Winfrey's last season of talk will premiere in January of 2011, when the new network launches. Maybe after that series ends, OWN will do a second series about Winfrey's new life in cable TV.
Sony sacking 450. A great year at the box office wasn't enough to stop Sony Pictures Entertainment from cutting its workforce by almost 7%, or 450 people. The studio announced that the cuts would be across the board although it is the home entertainment and information technology units that will feel the most pain. This marks the second time in a year that Sony has had layoffs. More from the Los Angeles Times.
CBS and Turner may play ball. The NCAA has a window to exit its deal with CBS early and open bidding for its March Madness college basketball championship series. Sports Business Journal says if the NCAA does decide to opt out of its $6-billion long-term contract with CBS this year (or let it run through 2013), CBS and cable programmer Turner Broadcasting might team up on a new bid. That scenario would happen only if the NCAA decided to expand the number of teams in the tourney from 64 to as many as 96. Other potential bidders could include Fox and ESPN (big surprise there).
Is ABC's "Lost" piracy proof? Probably not, but when a version of this week's premiere episode of what will be the show's last season popped up online, many the show's rabid fan base rose up to say no, they'd rather watch it on the small screen. The Hollywood Reporter on the purity of the "Lost" fan base. Meanwhile, the Wrap's Joe Adalian looks at what the industry can learn from the success of "Lost."
Paramount deciding whether to hook "Catfish." In an unusual move, Paramount Pictures is going to test-screen the Sundance documentary "Catfish" on its lot before deciding whether it wants to buy it, reports Variety. The film, a documentary about a family, has become controversial as doubts about the authenticity of the project have risen, although the folks behind the movie say its all real. Tell you what, send me a DVD and I'll let you know what I think.
Inside the Los Angeles Times: A new online "Star Trek" video game could send a generation back to their parents' basement. Grammy ratings soar; is it a good sign for the Oscars? Thanks to "Avatar" and other 3-D movies, Imax is on a roll and will post its first annual profit in four years. CBS has sold out the Super Bowl. Maybe next year Fox can get a halftime act under the age of 40 to perform.
-- Joe Flint