The Morning Fix: No big sendoff for Jay Leno tonight! Figuring out Oscar votes. Jack Bauer to the big screen. Saints beat 'MASH'
Will he at least sing to Jay? Ashton Kutcher will be Jay Leno's last big guest on his final show tonight. Seems safe to say this isn't the way either NBC or Leno saw the talk-show host's prime-time efforts ending. Less than six months after the debut of the show that -- as Time Magazine said in a cover story -- could change the television business, it's already over. Heck, NBC even quietly moved up the last show date and has hardly been promoting the event. Unlike Conan O'Brien's last show, there probably won't be a surge in viewership tonight. More on Leno's final days in prime time from he Los Angeles Times' Greg Braxton and Variety. As for O'Brien, he and Fox are still in a (very) slow dance. The Wrap with what each side needs to expect for a deal to work.
Super numbers. New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees wasn't the only one with something to smile about Monday. CBS' coverage of the Super Bowl drew 106.5 million viewers, breaking an almost 30-year-old mark set by the finale of "MASH" for most-watched TV event in the U.S. ever. Yes, there were a lot fewer eyeballs in 1983 when "MASH" went off the air, but today there's also a lot more competition. "MASH" star Alan Alda said he was happy for the Saints although he did wonder about how Nielsen measures viewing (as do we all, Alan). More on the numbers, the history and the help the game got from social media from the Los Angeles Times and New York Times.
Ryan's rewards. The surprise success of "Dear John" is a big notch in the belt of Relativity Media and its boss, Ryan Kavanaugh. "Dear John" was one of the films that Relativity was making on its own rather than just financing. Business Week, which says a lot of Hollywood grits its teeth when talking about Kavanaugh, looks at his business plan.
Forget Florida, this is really complicated. We won't know until after the Oscars if the Supreme Court will have to weigh in, but the voting procedure may be just that complex. The New Yorker looks at how the academy will be figuring out what gets best picture this year. Only for those who like to see sausage get made.
Viacom wants some fuel. Viacom is in talks to buy News Corp.'s action-sports cable channel, per Sports Business Journal. The channel, which is only in about 30 million homes, would fetch something in the low- to mid-six figures. News Corp. has indicated it wants to ease out of the niche cable channel business.
Jack Bauer to the big screen? Variety reports that 20th Century Fox's film and TV units are teaming up on a "24" movie that would send Keifer Sutherland to Europe on a mission. Screenwriter Billy Ray, whose previous credits include one of the best movies about journalism ever ("Shattered Glass") and one of the, uh, not-so-best, "State of Play," is on board to write the movie version.
Hope this goes better than the first one. Tim Robbins is joining the cast of "The Green Lantern." According to the Hollywood Reporter, Robbins will play the senator father of the movie's bad guy, played by Peter Sarsgaard. The article notes that the last movie Robbins was in that was based on a comic book was "Howard the Duck."
-- Joe Flint