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The Morning Fix: Theater owners fight back against Hollywood. FCC enters final stages of Comcast - NBC review. 'Jersey Shore' is spreading.

December 23, 2010 |  7:20 am

After the coffee. Before the last-minute race to the mall.

The Skinny: We're slowing down to a crawl here in Morning Fix land. Get ready for a slew of year-end reviews and year-ahead previews in the days ahead. As for real news, we're not expecting a ton of it. Comcast said it won't close on its deal to take control of NBC Universal until next year. Like a disease, MTV's "Jersey Shore" is spreading. The new president at ABC News has a fan club.

We're not gonna take it. When it comes to distributing movies, Hollywood wants to blow through every release window as fast as it can. Movie theater owners argue that having movies pop up on DVD or pay-per-view so soon after they hit theaters takes away the incentive of consumers to go to movies and is short-sighted. Now the theater owners are trying to make their case with Wall Street, agents and producers.
"We are reaching out to the creative community and the business community because we think some of the studios are moving down a path of a bad business model," National Assn. of Theatre Owners President John Fithian told the Los Angeles Times. "They risk losing two dimes to save one nickel."

Don't change the carpets yet. Comcast Corp. said it does not expect its deal to acquire control of General Electric Co.'s NBC Universal to close before the end of the year. Of course, the two government agencies -- the Federal Communications Commission and Justice Dept. -- in charge of approving or denying the merger never said they'd be done by the end of the year. But Comcast kept saying it wanted the deal to close by then. It was their way of subtly trying to pressure regulators. So Wednesday, when Comcast put out its statement, most of the headlines said the deal was delayed. Meanwhile, the FCC is expected to circulate its memo on what the conditions should be to commissioners today (Thursday). More from Bloomberg.

Not exactly a welcome wagon. Ben Sherwood, who takes over as new president of ABC News in 2011, is the subject of a less-than-flattering video making the rounds in media circles that likely was created by some current or former staffers in the unit. The video replays Sherwood's remarks upon accepting the job while at the same time questioning his abilities and past. Sherwood had worked at ABC News years earlier as executive producer of "Good Morning America" before leaving to pursue a career as a writer. More on the video and reaction from Gawker.

Ralphie delivers the goods. Variety looks at the long life of "A Christmas Story," which went from a forgotten theatrical to a cult cable classic. Based on a short story by Jean Shepherd, the 1983 movie has turned into a cash machine.

Is there anything Betty White can't do? The Wall Street Journal released its best and worst of ad campaigns for 2010. No surprise that the Snickers ad with Betty White was on top of the list while a Nike ad featuring Tiger Woods backfired, as did BP's efforts to clean up its image after the oil spill.

What, no show for Snookie? MTV said it is working on its first spinoff of its reality hit "Jersey Shore." Paul "Pauly D" Delvecchio, the one with the hair that looks like the hat Jughead wears, may end up with his own show. Personally, I would have thought that Mike "The Situation" Sorrentino would have been the one MTV might have given a show to first. More on how the program everyone loves to hate or hates to love is spreading from the New York Post.

Inside the Los Angeles Times: The Los Angeles Police Department busted some pirates. A reality check for those with big expectations for the debut of Oprah Winfrey's OWN cable channel.

-- Joe Flint

Follow me on Twitter or I'll have to climb down your chimney. Twitter.com/JBFlint

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