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The Morning Fix: 'Wimpy Kid' kicks butt! Fox affiliates need to get tough. Hoover biopic has critic.

March 28, 2011 |  7:31 am

After the coffee. Before asking why the heck "Win Win" got slapped with a R rating.

The Skinny: Saw "Win Win" this weekend and in the right hands it could work as a TV series. That it got an R rating shows some of the problems with the rating system. What I didn't see was "Sucker Punch." I'll wait for the unrated version.

Sucker punched. "Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Roderick Rules" was the surprise weekend winner at the box office, taking in $24.4 million. The movie, a sequel, beat "Sucker Punch," a film that had scantily clad women going for it. As has been the case just about every weekend this year, overall the box office was down from a year go. Box office analysis from the Los Angeles Times and Movie City News.

Here we go again. Kennedy family loyalists successfully managed to get a less than flattering eight-part miniseries on Camelot bumped from History to the more obscure Reelz Channel. Now Clint Eastwood's in the works movie about FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover starring Leonardo DiCaprio is under attack from another filmmaker. Larry Cohen, who made the 1977 movie “The Private Files of J. Edgar Hoover” told the New York Times that there were historical inaccuracies in the script Eastwood was using regarding both Hoover's professional and personal life. My hunch is that Hoover doesn't have as big a group of lobbyists as the Kennedys do.

Odd timing. ABC Entertainment head Paul Lee has pushed out Suzanne Patmore-Gibbs, the network's executive vice president right in the middle of pilot season. Interestingly, Patmore-Gibbs was the executive ABC had been putting in front of the press to talk about the network's development season. Did their PR people know that the person whose insights they were offering to the press apparently didn't have the kind of insights her own boss valued? Just wondering. More from Deadline Hollywood.

Haven't we seen this movie before? It wasn't so long ago that the future of the Weinstein Co. seemed to be in doubt. Then, through some restructuring, the company got a new lease on life and even found its box-office mojo again with "The King's Speech." Now the Weinstein Co. is looking to expand beyond movies again, which is what got it into trouble in the first place. The New York Post on the company's push into video games.

Plans for what? After reading a Wall Street Journal article about the possibility of no pro football next  season, my takeaway is that right now the TV networks are not too worried. No one at CBS, Fox, NBC or ESPN is talking about what they will put on in place of football should the NFL season be delayed or, gasp, canceled. The real worrying won't start until June or July. NBC has the most to lose without football. The network's already low prime-time ratings would fall off the planet without the NFL. CBS and Fox can sell the time used for football to programmers. They sure won't give the Sunday afternoon time slots back to affiliates. ESPN meanwhile will throw anything up there and still get paid.

Get tough. TVNewsCheck, a TV industry website, has some advice to Fox affiliates: Play hardball. Fox wants to squeeze money from their affiliates. TVNewsCheck suggests the affiliates preempt the network to remind them that they too have some power in this relationship.

RIP Tack Nail. Any reporter (including this one) who ever had to cover the Federal Communications Commission knew Dawson "Tack" Nail of Communications Daily. The relentless Nail dug scoop after scoop out of the FCC for decades. Nail was the consummate insider but looked like a total outsider with his rumbled sports coat, wild white hair and Southern drawl. Nail died last week from complications following a fall at 82. An appreciation from Broadcasting & Cable.

Inside the Los Angeles Times: Thousands in Los Angeles showed up to audition for Simon Cowell's "The X Factor," which debuts later this year. No, I wasn't there.

-- Joe Flint

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