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The Morning Fix: 'Iron Man 2' and Betty White rule the weekend. TV networks gear up fall schedules. Movie openings in your home?

May 10, 2010 |  7:31 am

After the coffee. Before wondering if "Saturday Night Live" will get Abe Vigoda to host next season's opener.

"Iron Man 2" huge but not HUGE. We're all so jaded that the news for some press is that "Iron Man 2" took in $133.6 million in its opening weekend but didn't set a new record. It only became the fifth-biggest opening of all time. Even with the inflation factor, that still seems somewhat impressive. As my dad, also a journalist, once said of the craft: "Behind every silver lining is a cloud." Anyway, box-office analysis and spin from the Los Angeles Times, Hot Blog, Wall Street Journal and Hollywood Reporter.

More laughs at NBC? That's laughs at NBC, not laughing at NBC. The network's prime-time entertainment head, Angela Bromstad, tells the Hollywood Reporter that the peacock network will consider adding another hour of sitcoms on its schedule beyond Thursday night. That's about the only tidbit in the interview. Oh, and sorry "Chuck" fans, she wouldn't say whether the show would be coming back. Variety offers us a broad overview of network TV's week ahead, including issues facing CBS (Charlie Sheen) and NBC (nailing down a deal for another season of "Law & Order"). Could Sheen walk? Anything is possible, but the cynic in me still says he gets a deal done by next week. 

iTunes tax? The Wrap looks at a battle between North Carolina and Amazon.com over whether the online retailer's customers in that state owe sales tax and wonders whether it will extend to iTunes and other Web-based merchants. If a state can tax it, the odds are it will try.  

CBS to play with iPad. NewTeeVee.com lands an interview with Anthony Soohoo, senior vice president of CBS Interactive, who says the network will have a heavy load of content on Apple's iPad come this fall.

If you think "Family Guy" is obscene ...: Take a look at some of the salaries at Fox parent company News Corp., including the paycheck of chief executive Rupert Murdoch. Hey, we're not calling Rupert's base salary obscene (anyone who still believes in news is OK with us), but that was the word used by one executive pay analyst. More on how media executives continue to pull in big paychecks while the industry struggles from the Los Angeles Times.

Forget "American Idol," buy ads in "Chuck." Advertising Age's Brian Steinberg does some analysis of Nielsen's IAG rankings, which looks at how engaged viewers are with the shows they're watching and finds that cult shows such as ABC's soon-to-be-history "Better off Ted" has a higher viewer engagement than "American Idol." No surprise that the show with the most engaged audience (lunatic is the word that comes to my mind) is ABC's "Lost." NBC's "Chuck" and ABC's "Brothers & Sisters" also have obsessed followers. In theory, these folks are also more likely to recall the commercials they've seen.

Thank you, Robert Bianco. The USA Today TV critic dares to pan Betty White's hosting duties on NBC's Saturday Night Live." He's not anti-White mind you, he's against lame writing, which "SNL," as usual, offered up. We get it, watching a sweet-looking 88-year-old with a soft voice talk dirty is funny -- the first six times or so, but a whole night of it? The show did do very well in the preliminary ratings, as Deadline Hollywood notes. Final ratings for "SNL" won't be out for several more days as Nielsen apparently runs numbers about as fast as Betty White runs.

Keeping tabs. One of the biggest challenges of doing this roundup (besides getting up at 5:30 a.m.) is keeping up with all the reporters who routinely have interesting takes on our industry. A few have found new homes, including the Wrap's Joe Adalian, who is going to New York magazine's site Vulture; Claire Atkinson, who leaves Broadcasting & Cable for the New York Post; and Peter Lauria, who left the Post for The Daily Beast. I realize the Morning Fix is read as much by other reporters as industry folks and wanted to let the industry know where some of the folks they read are going or have gone. And for all the writers out there, I can't find everything, so if you have a clip that you think is Morning Fix worthy (and Lord knows I've set a high bar), then send it my way.

Inside the Los Angeles Times: The FCC has given a green light to the movie industry that could lead to movies premiering in the home when they premiere in the theater. Soft-core adult entertainment is still a staple of pay cable.

-- Joe Flint

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