The Morning Fix: Upfront in full swing! Hollywood's lack of creativity not paying off at box office. ESPN closing its restaurants
After the coffee. Before figuring out how long until the Yankees get Strasburg.Two and a half networks down. CBS said Tuesday it was done selling advertising inventory for the 2010-11 television season. The most-watched network joins Fox and the CW in wrapping up the so-called upfront advertising sales season. ABC and NBC expect to be done in the next few days. In terms of dollars, estimates of what CBS sold in commercials ranges from $2.2 billion to $2.6 billion. Fox sold about $1.9 billion while the CW sold around $375 million. More on the deal-making from Advertising Age, Bloomberg and the New York Times.
Hollywood made its bed. The disappointing start to the summer movie season is a sign of the chickens coming home to roost, says IndieWire's Anne Thompson. As studio executives continue to back projects that are pre-sold (a book, an old TV show, a toy, etc.) the product becomes bland and the audience gets bored. You know the rest. Of course, to buck that trend someone actually has to use their gut in making a decision and try to back something that might actually intrigue viewers instead of just serving them the same old stuff. Who will be this brave executive?
So what is Sandy's next movie? With an Oscar in her purse, a bad marriage fading in her rear-view mirror and a smash appearance at the MTV Movie Awards, eyebrows were raised when word surfaced that Sandra Bullock's next movie would be another romantic comedy with Ryan Reynolds. But although she is involved in "Most Wanted," word from her camp is that it is not her next movie. The Los Angeles Times' Steven Zeitchik on what's going on with Sandy.
No booyah here. ESPN is closing the bulk of its ESPN Zone restaurant chain, reports the Los Angeles Times. Aimed at sports fans but offering a family-friendly atmosphere, the restaurants were usually in high- rent districts (New York's Times Square) and had pricey (in comparison to dive sports bars) menus.
Web ratings rise. Web viewing, normally a daytime phenomena, is on the rise in the evening. The Wall Street Journal says evening viewing in March was up 14% to 62.4 million, while daytime Web viewing was up only 1% to 45.4 million. Of course, what we don't know is how many people watching the Web in prime time were also watching television.King for a week. CNN's aging and fading talk-show host Larry King enjoyed a ratings renaissance last week, thanks to interviews with President Obama, Lady Gaga and Bill Gates and plenty of hype around King's 25th anniversary. The New York Times, which is obsessively following King's ratings, provides analysis. Meanwhile, the Lakers-Celtics series is scoring, with USA Today noting that the NBA Finals are off to their strongest start since 2004.
-- Joe Flint
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