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The Morning Fix: 'Kick-Ass' avoids having its butt kicked. Starz has some success so it's time to clean house. Viacom's hefty payrolls

April 20, 2010 |  7:54 am

After the coffee. Before realizing you didn't know Oklahoma City even had a basketball team.

"Kick-Ass" tops "Dragon." All the numbers are in, and Lionsgate's "Kick-Ass" managed to squeak out a win over DreamWorks' "How to Train Your Dragon" when all the numbers were tallied. That said, the $19.8 million it made in its opening weekend is still a disappointment. Although the marketing may have made viewers think "Kick-Ass" was "Super Bad" meets "Spider-Man," I thought it was more "Super Bad" meets "Reservoir Dogs." Fortunately for me, I liked that combination. Box-office dirt from the Los Angeles Times.

CTlogosmall Viacom's big payroll. The Wall Street Journal's Martin Peers takes aim at Viacom and CBS Chairman Sumner Redstone's $33-million compensation. Noting that the separation of Viacom and CBS did not create many cost-savings in the executive suites, Peers says between Redstone, CBS chief Leslie Moonves and Viacom CEO Philippe Dauman, the three had stock and cash compensation of $110 million, of which almost $50 million or nearly 3% was in cash, which comes to about 3% of the combined $1.8 billion net income of Viacom and CBS. All I know is that if Leslie Moonves' compensation was valued at $43 million for 2009, he should be able to handle paying Charlie Sheen to stay on "Two and a Half Men" out of his own pocket.

What have you done for me lately? Pay-cable-channel Starz finally has a little momentum with its freshman hit "Spartacus" and the return of the critical darling "Party Down." In Hollywood. that means it's time to get a new programming team. Former HBO topper Chris Albrecht, who took over as CEO of Starz earlier this year, is gutting the development staff there, according to Deadline's Nellie Andreeva. Among those headed for the door are Executive Vice President Bill Hamm. Joining Starz, per Andreeva, is Carmi Zlotnik, who worked with Albrecht at HBO and at his very short stint at IMG.

Comedy Central locks in laughs. No surprise here but Comedy Central has signed a new deal with its late-night team of Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert through the 2012 elections, reports the New York Times. The extension for Stewart will no doubt have some speculating whether he now really really really is out of the running ever to succeed David Letterman on CBS. 

Bond, James, oh never mind. Add James Bonds' martini as the latest thing put on hold while Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer figures out its future. EON Productions, the longtime producer behind the franchise, said it was not going forward on the 23rd Bond movie until the fate of the cash-strapped studio was determined. More from Variety

Not even king for a day. Although it's still only a month into his new show, the early ratings for CNN's John King are not promising. Last week, he hit a new low in the demographic of viewers ages 25 to 54, which the news channel targets, and so far is down 40% in that demographic from what the network was doing a year ago. New York magazine with a look at King's unimpressive reign.

Uh, it's called daylight savings time. Look it up. The New York Post got itself all excited today thinking it stumbled onto a strange dip in TV ratings over the last few weeks. Not to get all "really?" on them, but this happens every year after daylight savings time kicks in as folks like me sit at their desk until 7 p.m. not realizing how late it is because it's still light out, and prime-time numbers dip.

Inside the Los Angeles Times: Movie theaters are looking to sporting events and, yes, opera, as a way to make money. The new prime time for local TV in Los Angeles is 4:30 a.m., when several stations are competing with early-morning newscasts. Patrick Goldstein on what Kobe Bryant has in common with some of today's sullen movie stars.

-- Joe Flint

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