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The Morning Fix: Welcome to Farmers Field! Oscar trash talk starts as whisper. CBS punts on NFLPA ad. Sheen is creating work.

February 1, 2011 |  7:20 am

After the coffee. Before wondering whether I'm the only one who'd rather not see L.A. get a football team.

The Skinny: Just saw an ad for "Hall Pass." Needless to say that's one movie that won't be getting any money from me. Shouldn't you see whether you can get a football team first then worry about the stadium? Just saying.

All that's missing is a team. Entertainment giant AEG is expected to announce Tuesday that Farmers Insurance has agreed to a pricey naming-rights deal for a new downtown stadium that would house an NFL franchise. The Los Angeles Times says the 30-year contract is valued at $700 million. Of course, Los Angeles still doesn't have a football team to play in what would be called Farmers Field, and many question the logic of jamming a stadium into an already crowded L.A. Live complex. Having lived here when the Rams and Raiders pulled out, I wonder what's changed. Plus, I just don't like the idea of trying to steal a team from another city and enjoy all the games we get on Sunday.

Is CBS anti-player? The National Football League Players Association says it has had an ad rejected by CBS that it wanted to run during a college game. The NFLPA is, of course, at odds with the NFL over a new labor agreement. CBS, of course, pays the NFL hundreds of millions to carry football. The NFLPA, of course, thinks that relationship is just a little too cozy and not fair to the players. CBS, of course, didn't get back to Advertising Age, with a comment on why it passed on the ad. We expect, of course, that CBS will eventually say it does not accept certain types of issue advertising.

Let the trash talk begin. Now that "The King's Speech" has emerged as a favorite to do well on Oscar night and probably take Best Picture, the subtle efforts to derail that train will start. The New York Times observed that an ad touting "True Grit" noted that it was the "most honored American movie" of the year — "lest anyone forget that a vote for 'The King’s Speech' is a vote to send the top Oscar offshore."

Portman's a lock. The Daily Beast notes that actresses playing "crazy chicks" usually clean up during awards season. TDB cited Kathy Bates (Misery), Nicole Kidman (The Hours), Angelina Jolie (Girl, Interrupted), or Jessica Lange (Blue Sky) as proof of their theory. While I could probably find five examples of times when an actress playing a "crazy chick" didn't win, that would be a crazy waste of time.

Getting more Greif. TV producer Leslie Greif is changing the name of his production company Boutique TV to Thinkfactory Media and is expanding, reports Variety. Greif, one of the more colorful producers around, currently oversees the Gene Simmons reality show "The Family Jewels" and several other shows for A&E and History.

See, Sheen's woes are actually creating work! With Charlie Sheen out of action and CBS's "Two and a Half Men" on indefinite hiatus, the network has ordered more episodes of sitcoms "Mike and Molly" and "Rules of Engagement" to fill some of the void, says the Hollywood Reporter. There has been lots of griping that Sheen's antics are costing people work, but clearly he is helping some people out, just not the ones who work on his own show.

Stewart passes O'Brien. Comedy Central's Jon Stewart claimed the late night top spot in viewers and key demos, beating TBS's Conan O'Brien. In other cable news, Piers Morgan started strong, but his ratings have taken a huge hit. More on the numbers from the Wrap.

Running out of numbers. You know how every day it seems as if there's a new area code? Well, there is soon going to be a shortage of IP (Internet protocol) addresses. Fear not, a new system is in the works, but it is very complicated. In fact, it's too complicated for me to explain here, but I thought you'd find it interesting. More on the IP shortage from the Wall Street Journal.

Inside the Los Angeles Times: It's easier for a woman to get a board seat on a Fortune 500 company or join the clergy than direct a Hollywood movie. The picture's not good for California's visual effects business.

-- Joe Flint

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