The Morning Fix: Disney's Iger on a roll, is McPherson though? Leno's late night audience is older than Conan's. Hollywood's new baby boom.
After the coffee. Before placing your bet on what "Glee" will do Tuesday night.
"Date Night" delivers. The Tina Fey and Steve Carell comedy "Date Night" was the big hit of the weekend, taking in just over $27 million and battling Warner Bros.' "Clash of the Titans," which took in $26.9 million for a virtual tie at the box office. While "Clash" may end up with more money by the time Sunday's numbers are calculated, it also benefits from being a 3-D movie, which means higher ticket prices. DreamWorks' "How to Train Your Dragon" had another strong week. Box office analysis from the Los Angeles Times and Hollywood Reporter.
Stuffed suit no more. Sunday's New York Times did a lengthy piece on Disney chief Bob Iger's reign, calling him a "blockbuster CEO." The story even quotes Disney board members Steve Jobs talking about something other than himself or an Apple product and Warren Buffet. A little news nugget in the piece is that Iger said he doesn't feel a need to unload ABC right now (that's what the article says; there is no quote from Iger on that subject). The potential clouds on the horizon include how Disney will incorporate Marvel and its chief executive, Isaac Perlmutter, in the company. Already there is some tension there.
Wither McPherson? While the New York Times was smiling on Iger, Peter Lauria of the Daily Beast went after one of his top executives -- ABC Entertainment chief Steve McPherson. While "Modern Family" and a few other sitcoms are doing well for the network, it is struggling elsewhere in prime time and McPherson's aggressive style has rubbed some at the network the wrong way including his boss, Anne Sweeney, reports Lauria. Of course, McPherson rumors are always flying around, but he does enjoy a good relationship with Iger and getting a few new shows off the ground this season would make an immediate change seem unlikely.
Back from the dead. Jason West and Vincent Zampella, the two red-hot video game developers who were involved in the creation of Activision's "Call to Duty" only to be fired, have created their own company with backing from Electronic Arts, reports the Los Angeles Times. The new company will be called Respawn Entertainment, and Times reporters Alex Pham and Ben Fritz tell us non-gamers that respawn means a character that's been killed off comes back to life. West and Zampella are still involved in an ugly legal battle with Activision, so there still may be a need for some more respawning down the road.
'Leno' skews gray. Not really a surprise, but Jay Leno brought a lot of older viewers back to late night when he returned to his hosting duties on NBC's "Tonight Show." The audience for Leno is not only about 50% bigger than what Conan O'Brien was averaging, but also 10 years older, says the New York Times. The median age for Leno's late-night show is 56. Leno's numbers are also up, duh, because NBC is doing better in the 10 p.m. hour now that he isn't on in that hour anymore. This is one of a slew of articles on late night, and more will be on the way over the next few days as O'Brien starts his comedy tour and Fox has a meeting with affiliates later this week during which the idea of O'Brien coming to the network might be discussed. Still want more? Here's Variety, Hollywood Reporter and Wrap.
Baby boom. Looks like babies are cute again as the Hollywood Reporter warns that a bunch of movies with infants as a plot point are in the works. Fortunately, so far there is no plan to make a movie about that annoying baby from the E-Trade ads. Last week, a 20th Century Fox spokesman even took to Twitter to deny that his studio would be inflicting that on the American public.
Hope they meet the release date schedule. Weinstein Co. boss Harvey Weinstein's wife is expecting a baby, reports the New York Post. Congrats.
Inside the Los Angeles Times: Betty White is finding more work now than she did when she was raking in Emmys for "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" and "Golden Girls." The Geffen Playhouse unveils its 2010-11 season.
-- Joe Flint