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The Morning Fix: Fall TV gridlock! Joaquin Phoenix apparently was faking (I'm shocked!). Hollywood loves Detroit, and the feeling's mutual

September 17, 2010 |  7:29 am

After the coffee. Before wondering why I never realized how similar Ben Affleck's and Adam Sandler's voices are.

Plenty of new shows on TV. Next week, the new television season officially starts (although some new shows have already premiered) and USA Today warns of new show gridlock. Not only are there 23 series premiering on the broadcast networks, cable, which usually showcases their wares in the summer or winter off seasons, is also gunning for fall. HBO has "Boardwalk Empire" debuting this Sunday and last week FX launched "Terriers." It will really be a manic Monday this season with Fox launching "Lone Star," NBC with "The Event" and CBS' reboot of "Hawaii Five-0. Then there are those other nagging headaches such as dealing with digital, fixing Fridays and, most importantly, making some quality shows and getting advertisers to pay more for them. 

And I thought it was real. Casey Affleck, director of "I'm Still Here," the movie that chronicles the bizarre behavior of actor Joaquin Phoenix over the last few years is, as many expected, not exactly for real. Affleck confirmed to the New York Times that Phoenix is giving "the performance of his career." Affleck did say that the David Letterman, the CBS late night talk show host on whose show Phoenix seemed to be melting down, was not in on the joke. However, that seems to contradict a Letterman writer who claims the host was in on it in an interview last year with Nuvo, an Indianapolis-based alternative paper. 

Box-office battle. There's something for everyone this weekend at the box office. Want to hang out with teenagers? Go see "Easy A," a high school comedy starring Emma Stone and Amanda Bynes. Want some grit? There's Ben Affleck's Beantown bank heist "The Town," which I saw and can recommend, although there are some holes in the plot. If you want arty, there's "Never Let Me Go," and if you want weird, there's "Catfish." Anyway, box-office projections from the Los Angeles Times and Variety.

Motor City madness. With its big tax incentives and need for money, Detroit (my birthplace) has rolled out the red carpet to Hollywood. Besides TV shows set in Detroit such as ABC's "Detroit 187" and HBO's "Hung," more movies are shooting there and often the films are set somewhere else (take for instance the upcoming Hillary Swank flick "Conviction," which takes place in New England). More on what locals hope will spark a second coming of Detroit from the Wall Street Journal. All I'll say is remember it's called pop, not soda there, and if you want to use my childhood home, it's on Fairfield between Six and Seven Mile Road.

Don't come running to us. Federal Communications Commissioner Meredith Attwell Baker said media should not get any financial aid from the government no matter how dire their health. In the last year, some media advocates have suggested that the government help bail out the struggling newspaper industry, although such talk has never gained serious ground on Capitol Hill. "Without true independence from government, the press could not serve its proud role as a check on governmental authority, the commissioner said at a conference, adding, "Direct government funding of journalism would also erode the public’s attitude toward media, an attitude already characterized by more skepticism than trust." More on her remarks from The Hill.

Inside the Los Angeles Times: Robert Lloyd likes, but doesn't love, HBO's "Boardwalk Empire." Is that allowed? Betsy Sharkey on the darkness on the edge of the Toronto Film Festival. Warner Bros. chief Barry Meyer is no fan of Apple's TV rental plan.

-- Joe Flint

Follow me on Twitter because it will get your weekend off to a good start. Twitter.com/JBFlint

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