The Morning Fix: Popcorn or basketball this weekend? Kate and William hysteria growing. Jodie Foster stands by her man.
After the coffee. Before quietly exiting for the day.
The Skinny: Notice how time seems to go faster the older you get? Chew on that this weekend while watching basketball and ignoring the rest of the world. OK, enough deep thoughts. In the news Friday: Congress defunds NPR. Jodie Foster continues to stand by her man, Mel Gibson. Lots of battles at the box office this weekend, and the hype for the William and Kate wedding is already in overdrive.
Movies or basketball? That will be the test for most men this weekend. New films "The Lincoln Lawyer" and "Limitless" star pretty boys Matthew McConaughey and Bradley Cooper, respectively. Both will be vying to knock off "Battle: Los Angeles." However, I think the NCAA tournament coverage has to be factored into determining box office. Personally, I wouldn't mind seeing the dumb-looking movie with the goofy-looking alien. I'm in that kind of mood. I also want to see "Win Win." But you don't read this to know what I'm thinking. Box-office projections from the Los Angeles Times and Variety.
Where's "Lone Star"? Forbes came out with its list of "TV's Biggest Moneymakers." At the top are Fox's "American Idol" and CBS' "Two and a Half Men." The problem with this list is that all Forbes did was put together estimates of the ad revenue these shows take in. That does not necessarily make them the most profitable shows for their respective networks. For example, Forbes says CBS gets $2.89 million in ad revenue for a new episode of "Two and a Half Men." Well, the network pays a lot more than that for the show. It's a little simplistic to just add up commercial dollars and make a list. A good list would be one that factors in the costs of the shows and determines what programs are most profitable. That would take work, though, and who has time for that?
Can I crash the reception? Is it a sign of aging that I have no interest in the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton? It can't be. I wasn't interested in the wedding of Prince Charles and Lady Diana either. Unfortunately, I won't be able to escape it, and neither will you. Besides the wedding itself, there will be shows and specials about the wedding. Heck, Lifetime already has a movie in the works about the couple. I hope C-SPAN has something good on April 29. The Wall Street Journal on what it predicts will be the most-watched event in TV history.
Save our city. Ons Sunday, ABC is scheduled to air the season finale of "Detroit 1-8-7," a dark cop drama filmed in the city that has become a symbol of urban blight. Unfortunately, the ratings for the show are not at a level that usually means renewal. USA Today critic Robert Bianco makes a plea to ABC to keep the show around next fall, and he's convinced me that I need to watch it more, so there you go.
Wait, De Niro says no? Given his willingness to keep pumping out "Meet the Parents" sequels, it's hard to believe that Robert De Niro's decision-making process on what movies to make goes beyond whether his bank account will add a few more zeros. Industry website Deadline Hollywood reports that a once-hot project -- "Honeymoon with Harry" -- is now in limbo because of the "usual De Niro paralysis." Not sure that it's paralysis, given all the movies he appears in. Throw some more coin at him and make your movie, or -- parish the thought -- hire another actor.
Relevant? I'd settle for funnier. In what sounds like a case of a headline in search of a story, the Wrap suggests that "Saturday Night Live" is suffering from a lack of relevance because by the time people watch it, many of the jokes or celebrities being mocked have already been grilled elsewhere on TV and online. Of course, the story does not present any stats to prove that "SNL" is being hurt by "Funny or Die" or other humor websites and shows. No ratings comparisons with a year or two ago. No quotes from people on the show lamenting the 24-hour news cycle. Just a cute opening that says "SNL" has a "Newsweek" problem. There is also an assumption that every skit is somehow tied to a celebrity or the news of the week, which is not the case. Now, a good article might be about how so much of the show seems tired and why no one else seems willing to take on "SNL."
Inside the Los Angeles Times: The House of Representatives voted to end federal funding of National Public Radio. Roman Polanski had his Harvey Weinstein and Debra Winger, and Mel Gibson has his Jodie Foster.
-- Joe Flint
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