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The Morning Fix: It's upfront week! 'Big Bang' gets big bucks. 'Iron Man 2' strong, 'Robin Hood' not so much. YouTube turns -- gasp -- 5!

May 17, 2010 |  6:37 am
After the coffee. Before the coffee shop on Broadway tosses me out for using its free wireless.

Upfront mayhem. This is the week the broadcast networks (and Turner Broadcasting) unveil their fall schedules to advertisers. The ad market is expected to be much stronger than it was this time last year, but will the shows? That's always the question. Media buyers will decide how to spend billions of dollars based on over-produced pilots and lots of promises. But at least they'll eat some free food and drink some free booze while doing it. Before we get caught up in the weeds and trees, here's are some looks at the forest from the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, New York Post and Advertising Age.

CTlogosmall NBC's makeover. NBC will unveil Monday a schedule of seven new shows for the fall (and five more for midseason) and no "Law & Order." The network was unable to strike a deal with show creator Dick Wolf to keep what is known in the industry as the mother ship around for what would have been a record-breaking 21st season. NBC's new lineup includes shows from J.J. Abrams and Jerry Bruckheimer and midseason programs from David Kelley and Paul Reiser. The network is also benching "Parks & Recreation" until the spring. It is commonplace for reporters who have to try to make sense of the schedules to reach for a theme in a network's lineup. The Wall Street Journal says NBC's schedule reflects its desire to be "smart and playful." The truth is network officials put on the shows they thought would work best and if some theme later emerges from it, all the better. More NBC coverage from the Los Angeles Times, USA Today, Variety, the Hollywood Reporter (who's reporter ticked off the peacock network by sneaking into the NBC rehearsals. We at Company Town salute such daring but like to think we had better things to do during a beautiful weekend in New York then to break news that would be released a few hours later) and Deadline Hollywood.  

"Iron Man 2" stomps "Robin Hood." "Iron Man 2" dominated "Robin Hood" at the box office, but its fall of 60% from week one has to raise some eyebrows. Although Universal's "Robin Hood" did not have a huge opening in the U.S., it did very well overseas. Still, that might not be enough to bring the movie into the black. Box office analysis from the Los Angeles Times, IndieWire and Hot Blog. Meanwhile, Peter Lauria of the Daily Beast looks at the survival skills of Universal Studios chief Ron Meyer, which will face another test if Comcast Corp. succeeds in its takeover of NBC Universal.

Lindsay Lohan and Taylor Lautner partying! Made you look! No, this is a link to New York Times' media columnist David Carr's article on "search engine optimization," the three most dreaded words for any reporter working today. In a nutshell, we need headlines that will make you click on a story. It can be a name, an act, a suggestion, whatever it takes. And if the words actually reflect the story you are going to read, all the better but it's not a priority.

Catching up on Cannes. Lest we forget in all this upfront excitement (can't you feel it?), there is a little film festival going on in France. Here's the Wrap's Sharon Waxman with an overview of the festival as it reaches the halfway point. 

"Big Bang" gets big dollars. TBS, the cable channel that just signed Conan O'Brien, is going to shell out about $1.5 million per episode for reruns of the CBS hit "The Big Bang Theory," according to Variety's Cynthia Littleton. Warner Bros., which makes the show, also sold reruns to the Fox-owned stations. "Big Bang" is one of the few big hit comedies coming into reruns over the next few years. Still, that price sounds a little high to me and it will to you to when you cable bill goes up so TBS can pay for all this stuff.

Inside the Los Angeles Times: Alex Pham looks at YouTube on its fifth birthday. Why does it seem like it's been around a lot longer? Oh yeah, because it is one of the main reasons we all have attention spans that last about five seconds. Kenneth Turan on the financial documentary "Inside Job," which is premiering at Cannes. For all the latest on the fall schedules, please visit Show Tracker

-- Joe Flint

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