The Morning Fix: Paychecks shrinking! Palin makes rounds. Did Tom Brokaw really retire? Forget the Emmys, I want me a Paley!
Cry me a river. Hollywood stars are not immune to the economy and a changing media landscape. Salaries are now more about incentives these days than they are about a big upfront pay check and a piece of the box office gross. Mind you, George Clooney can still afford his villa in Italy. The New York Times takes a look at the new rules. Also, a look back to a piece the Los Angeles Times' Claudia Eller wrote a few weeks ago on the same topic and Tom Cruise's latest contract to do another "Mission: Impossible" movie. Meanwhile, USA Today has the obligatory story about how an Oscar doesn't guarantee cash or a big career. No, but they do look nice over the fireplace. Oh wait, we have one of those stories too, looking at documentaries and art house movies.
You betcha I want a piece of the show! Entertainment Weekly's Lynette Rice pops the juicy nugget that former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin has been making the rounds of the networks with reality producer Mark Burnett to pitch a series about Alaska. Fear not, it doesn't appear that she's pitching a show about herself or her family, but rather one about the state itself. That said, can't imagine she won't have some on-camera part or else what's the appeal to a buyer? Palin has had a busy week out here, appearing on "Leno" on Monday. She's also been seen at the Beverly Wilshire, reports my brother who was staying there this week.
Will rash of negative stories hurt "The Hurt Locker?" There has been a slew of controversial articles over the last week scrutinizing Kathryn Bigelow's Oscar-nominated war drama, "The Hurt Locker." The Wrap looks at whether any of this will have an effect on the film's chances of taking home a bunch of statues Sunday night.
Speaking of controversy. Legendary movie maker Harvey Weinstein, who along with his slightly more low-key brother Bob founded Miramax and now run the Weinstein Co., is the subject of a new documentary from Barry Avrich, reports Michael Cieply of the New York Times. In his pitch to potential backers, Avrich promises a "powerful, uncensored account of a brilliant, feared, charming and yet loathsome character.” Industry insiders are betting whether it gets distributed, but if there is a buck to be made in it, maybe Harvey himself will pick it up.
And the Paley goes to ... The Paley Center for Media has tapped television heavyweights Tony Vinciquerra of Fox and Steve Mosko of Sony as part of a planning committee to see if the nonprofit think tank and museum should launch its own television awards show. The move comes at a time when the TV industry is not on best terms with the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, the folks behind the Emmy Awards. The Paley Center, in the meantime, needs to develop new revenue streams and this could be one way (disclaimer: I worked at Paley Center for three years and no, I can't get you into Paley Fest). Details from Variety and the Los Angeles Times.
Keep your pants on. Dockers is getting some free commercials in CBS' coverage of the NCAA tournament because its Super Bowl ad, featuring guys without pants, ran right alongside the Career Builder ad that also featured, yes, guys without pants. More on this one from Advertising Age. For what's its worth, I remember the Career Builder spot but not the Dockers one.
Inside the Los Angeles Times: Matea Gold on Tom Brokaw's non-retirement. Kenneth Turan's review of "Alice in Wonderland." Mary McNamara says Ellen DeGeneres needs to sharpen up on "American Idol." It's already been an epic journey for the new pay cable channel Epix.
-- Joe Flint