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The Morning Fix: Hulu's headaches! Second-guessing 'Arthur' and 'Your Highness.' NFL and players get to talk it over.

April 12, 2011 |  7:00 am

After the coffee. Before avoiding sin in Sin City.

The Skinny: Everyone loves to guess why a movie didn't work after it comes out, but rarely before. This week it is "Arthur" and "Your Highness" that are getting the Monday morning quarterbacking treatment.  Elsewhere, Hulu is causing headaches and the NFL and its players have to learn to play nice through  mediation.

The cure is worse than the disease. Hulu, the online video site co-owned by News Corp., Disney and NBC Universal, has become popular. That's a problem for its owners because the site's growth has also highlighted the potential the Internet video platform has to undermine the traditional television business. The problem is that the site potentially encourages consumers to drop their cable subscriptions, but the revenue Hulu generates is not nearly enough to foot the bill for the programming costs.  Writes the Los Angeles Times: "The crux of the problem is that Hulu's ad sales are still dwarfed by some $30 billion annually in programming fees that pours into the media giants from cable, satellite and telecom providers. Those fees support the cost of producing content, and undercutting them by steering viewers away from TV and to the Internet would jeopardize the sturdiest financial leg of the TV industry."

Maybe there will be a reality show called "Rosebud." Hearst Corp., the venerable media company whose holdings include magazines, almost 30 television stations and stakes in cable networks ESPN, Lifetime and A&E, has bought a chunk of legendary reality producer Mark Burnett's production company. “This venture provides Mark a platform and freedom to continue and grow his unique type of innovation," said Hearst Entertainment president Scott Sassa, who noted that Burnett's "Survivor" is to reality TV what "I Love Lucy" was to sitcoms. Burnett had been trying to find a buyer or a partner for his company for some time. Analysis from the Los Angeles Times, Deadline Hollywood and the Wall Street Journal.

Maybe it just was not very good. The Hollywood Reporter looks at why Russell Brand's remake of "Arthur" bombed. The reasons mentioned include his wiry body and the idea that lovable drunks are not so lovable anymore. My hunch is a little Brand goes a long way and a lot of Brand can start to get annoying. It would be fun to see him play a bad guy in a movie. Maybe he should remake "A Clockwork Orange."

See above. Just as "Arthur" didn't seem to strike the right note with consumers, perhaps the same can be said of "Your Highness." That's not stopping the Wrap from speculating that James Franco's performance as Oscar host hurt the comedy. Yes, because we all know that those young men the movie was aimed at are just the type to hold a grudge against someone for not knocking it out of the park while hosting an awards show mostly watched by people over the age of 40. I'm starting to get Mark Cuban's rants against some forms of Internet journalism.

Did they flip a coin to see who argues first? A judge has ordered that the NFL and its players to try and resolve their labor differences with a mediator. While talking is good, there is no real expectation of an agreement that would keep the league on track. More on the back and forth between the league, the players and the courts from the New York Times.

Great, now I have to buy a new television. "Avatar" director James Cameron and Vince Pace, his chief cameraman on the hit movie, have created an initiative to ramp up 3-D production for the small screen. "3-D is just how all broadcast entertainment will be done. Sports, episodic drama, scripted and unscripted -- we haven't seen anything yet that doesn't have a great degree of value added by being in 3-D," Cameron told Reuters.

Inside the Los Angeles Times: Scott Collins on Hollywood's Civil War obsession. James Caan is more than a tough guy.

-- Joe Flint

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