The Morning Fix: Oscars spin and analysis! Disney, Cablevision sort of make peace. Move over, Sun Valley
"The Hurt Locker" delivers the pain. The Iraq-war bomb-squad drama "The Hurt Locker" was the big winner at the 82nd Academy Awards on Sunday night, taking home best picture and best director for Kathryn Bigelow. If you had Jeff Bridges and Sandra Bullock in your pool (who didn't?), you also won. But there were a few upsets thrown in there as well, including Geoffrey Fletcher ("Precious") for adapted screenplay. Awards coverage, reaction and analysis from the Los Angeles Times, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Variety, Hollywood Reporter, Dave Poland's Hot Blog and USA Today.
Speaking of pain. Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin did the best they could last night, but what was with that opening number? And how about that weird interpretive-dance thing in the middle of the show? Why the bad camera shot of the John Hughes alumni, and who picked the lamest of clips from his movies? Reviews are mixed for the show itself, but it did provide people with plenty of Twitter moments. Opinion from the Los Angeles Times, New York Times, Variety and Wrap.
Who blinked? It was a long weekend for Cablevision subscribers in the New York City area. Disney pulled the signal of WABC-TV there early Sunday morning (right in the middle of a "Lost" rerun), and the signal stayed off until 15 minutes into the Oscar telecast. The two sides had been bickering over fees Disney wanted Cablevision to pay to carry the TV station. There was debate about who could claim victory in this battle as accounts differed on the terms of the new deal. Did Disney get more than 50 cents per subscriber for WABC, or was the price tag about half that? Either way, neither side looked good to politicians or consumers, many of whom hustled to Radio Shack to buy antennas to get the signal. Maybe the two companies can do the classy thing and offer refunds to those folks. Details on the back-and-forth squabbling from the Los Angeles Times, New York Times, Wall Street Journal and Variety.
Big weekend for "Alice" despite those creepy posters. Walt Disney Co.'s "Alice in Wonderland" had a record-setting opening weekend for a winter premiere, taking in more than $100 million. Of course, if you try hard enough, you can make any opening a record. Let's see, biggest opening for a weekend that included a full moon. Biggest opening on the opening weekend of baseball season. You get the idea. Box office from the Los Angeles Times, Hollywood Reporter and Hot Blog. Meanwhile, big surprise here that Disney's ABC Family has the TV deal for the movie.
Move over, Sun Valley. Just what the world needed, another big conference where self-important titans of industry can schmooze with one another for a week while navel-gazing journalists drool over every pronouncement about the future of media. What, too jaded? Come on, it's Monday. The Financial Times looks at the Abu Dhabi Media Summit, which is this week. Everyone will be there! What, you weren't invited? Must have been an oversight.
If it's safe enough for them. Advertising Age notes that, despite the controversy surrounding its cars, Toyota is all over the ABC sitcom "Modern Family." The car company has a product-placement deal with the sitcom, although we suppose as long as no one crashes, Toyota shouldn't have too much to worry about.
Family ties. The New York Post is making hay out of the fact that Bernstein analyst Michael Nathanson is the brother-in-law of NBC Universal Chief Executive Jeff Zucker. Although most industry insiders have been well aware of the connection for years and Bernstein has disclosed it in the past, the tabloid says as of late he has not been as vigilant in mentioning the relationship. Considering how NBC's been doing lately, can you blame him?
-- Joe Flint