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The Morning Fix: Bradley Cooper's hair beats Matthew McConaughey's abs! WGA strikes new deal. Pedowitz peddles toward CW gig.

After the coffee. Before making sure I don't go out in the rain without a BlackBerry.

The Skinny: Spent the weekend avoiding the rain, which meant basketball and movies. Saw "Barney's Version" and am still trying to wonder if I was supposed to like Paul Giamatti's character. Can't see how. In real news, the pretty boy beat the other pretty boy at the box office this weekend. The CW may finally have its new president, and "Harry's Law" is the hit no one believed in.

Stubble and hair beat abs. In the box-office battle, it was Bradley Cooper's hair taking it to Matthew McConaughey's abs as "Limitless" finished first with $19 million. McConaughey's legal thriller "The Lincoln Lawyer" was second among new releases with $13.4 million. Among current releases, "Rango" took in $15.3 million (off only 32% from its opening numbers), while "Battle: Los Angeles" scared up $14.6 million (a 59% drop from Week 1). Box-office analysis from the Los Angeles Times and Movie City News.

And then there were three. AT&T said Sunday it had reached an agreement to acquire T-Mobile USA in a deal valued at $39 billion. The pairing of AT&T, the No. 2 wireless provider, with T-Mobile, the fourth largest, will face heavy scrutiny from regulators and consumer activists who fear the merger will lead to fewer choices and bigger bills. Isn't that how it's supposed to work? Details from Bloomberg.

Verdict is in. David E. Kelley's "Harry's Law," a quirky legal drama starring Kathy Bates, was not supposed to work. NBC didn't really want to put it on, and when it did, critics hated it. Yet since premiering in January, the show has become the network's biggest draw. The Los Angeles Times looks at how the program critics love to hate has become a hit. For Kelley, the timing is perfect since he also is trying to develop a new version of "Wonder Woman" for the network.

Soap down the drain. Deadline Hollywood says ABC is looking to trim the number of soap operas it carries, and the odd man out may be "All My Children." Of course, it's no secret that ABC has a few daytime talk projects in the works, including one with Tori Spelling.

No kiss from Kate, but one from Maureen. When Chris Dodd was a senator from Connecticut, he was snubbed by Katharine Hepburn, the new head of the Motion Picture Assn. of America tells New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd. In his new post, Dodd can look for better treatment from Hollywood royalty.

It's not what they say, it's what they do. Google likes to say it is a tech company with a nice search engine but that it has no urge to become a media company. New York Times columnist David Carr makes the case that Google already is a media company.

Looking for work. Several stars of current TV shows are already lining up their next gigs before their current ones are over. Variety looks at who thinks they'll be needing a new job in a few weeks. Meanwhile, the Wrap offers up its list on what shows are on the verge of becoming endangered species.

Inside the Los Angeles Times: The CW is nearing a deal to name ex-ABC executive Mark Pedowitz it's new president. And the Writers Guild of America has struck a new agreement with the studios.

-- Joe Flint

Follow me on Twitter before it's too late. Twitter.com/JBFlint

 
Comments () | Archives (1)

RE: NBC didn't really want to put it ["Harry's Law"] on, and when it did, critics hated it.

Traditional critics really don't matter so much these days. Blogs, Facebook, Twitter, texting and email are now what drives people to watch (or not watch) TV shows and movies. Why is this so surprising to NBC? Haven't they heard of social networking? Duh!


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