The Morning Fix: Dave, Jay and Oprah steal advertisers' thunder! Kadafi on Line 2. History at Lifetime. 'The View' goes wonky
After the coffee. Before finding out if Abe Vigoda is available for pilot season.
Maybe they can all get along. Never mind Tim Tebow and his mom or those Bud Light ads, the hottest commercial in the Super Bowl was CBS' own promotion for David Letterman that featured Oprah Winfrey and archrival Jay Leno. The ad, shot last week at Letterman's New York theater, will probably end up doing more to boost Leno, whose image has taken a beating since NBC decided to bring him back to late night and say goodbye to Conan O'Brien, than Letterman. That Letterman would do an ad with Leno seems to soften all the harsh criticism that the CBS host threw Leno's way over the last several weeks. More on how the spot was made from the Los Angeles Times and an overview of all the spots from the New York Times' Stuart Elliot.
'Dear John' sends 'Avatar' a letter. We saw this coming. A weekend with guys obsessing over the Super Bowl, light attendance and a tearjerker movie premiere spelled the end of James Cameron's "Avatar" at the top of the box office. "Dear John" took in $32.4 million, cruising to the top spot, while "Avatar" made $23.6 million. John Travolta's "From Paris With Love" made $8.1 million. More box office analysis from the Los Angeles Times and Hollywood Reporter.
Kadafi on Line 2 for you, sir. Saadi Kadafi, son of Libya's Moammar Kadafi, wants to be a player. According to the Financial Times, he has financed his first film, starring Adrien Brody and Forest Whitaker. The name of the movie is "The Experiment," and the name of the company he's backing is called Natural Selection. Sometimes, when one's mind is racing with witty cracks, it's best just to play it straight.
Drama of a Lifetime. Andrea Wong exited her position as CEO of Lifetime Networks on Friday. The move came as little surprise as Wong's role had been greatly reduced in the wake of the channel's merger into Arts & Entertainment. Ratings have been off, and the deal to swipe "Project Runway" from Bravo did not pay off financially. Although Wong has worked closely with Disney's Bob Iger and Anne Sweeney (Disney owns a chunk of Lifetime), no lifeline appears to be coming for Wong. Her likely replacement is Nancy Dubuc, currently president of the History Channel. More on Lifetime from Variety and the Wrap. If you want to know more about Dubuc, here's a profile on her and what she's done at History from our own Matea Gold from just a few weeks ago.
Lions Gate eying Miramax? Although it is often mentioned as a bidder for MGM, Lions Gate is also kicking the tires of Disney's Miramax, according to the New York Post. That deal might be easier for small Lions Gate to digest compared with MGM.
More commercials coming to the Web. You knew those days of one or two spots while watching a TV show on Hulu weren't going to last. With more shows ending up online and more advertisers and networks wanting to count all their viewers, not just the ones watching on TV, that means the commercial loads on the Internet will be bigger. The bad news from Advertising Age.
Olympic torch flickering? With the Winter Olympics just a week away and NBC already confirming it expects to lose $250 million, the usual debate about the value of big sporting events is going full blast. Broadcasting & Cable weighs in with an analysis of the pros and cons to the games. Don't worry, this won't be the last story on the subject over the next few weeks.
Inside the Los Angeles Times: ABC's "The View" is becoming more political, and so far it's not hurting the show.
-- Joe Flint