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The Morning Fix: Web protest! 'Idol' back. Tebow passes on CBS.

January 18, 2012 |  7:40 am

After the coffee. Before being glad I grew up in an Internet-free world and know how to exist without Wikipedia.

The Skinny: Fear not, readers. While other websites are using their power for political expression, the Morning Fix won't leave its readers in the lurch. Wednesday's headlines include the latest on the fight between Hollywood and Silicon Valley over proposed legislation aimed at Internet piracy. Also, stories on Sundance and the return of Fox's "American Idol."

Wikepedia went dark in protest of SOPA anti-piracy legislation

The Daily Dose: Now that it has announced its merger with Summit, Lions Gate wants to unload its TV Guide Network, which once ran just TV listings but now has a heavy load of reruns and a handful of original shows. "This is going to be a tough sell," predicts SNL Kagan analyst Derek Baine. Indeed, while the channel is in over 80 million homes, its low ratings may turn off whatever potential buyers are out there. Also, the big cable players -- Discovery, Scripps, Viacom and Time Warner, already own plenty of channels and don't need to add an underachiever.

Blackout. In what may be best described as the Web equivalent of black arm bands, many popular sites and portals including Google, Craigslist and Wikipedia are voicing their concerns about antipiracy legislation that Hollywood is trying to get through Congress. Silicon Valley and media activists say innovation and speech will be stifled. Hollywood counters that piracy is a drain on its bottom line and hurts the creative process. Wikipedia and other sites have shut down while Google has blacked out its logo on its home page. A look at the passions this legal fight has stirred up and how Hollywood got outmaneuvered from the Los Angeles Times, Wall Street Journal and New York Times.

Not a sunny Sundance. Studio executives will be invading Utah's Park City this week for the annual Sundance Film Festival, looking for the next quirky hit or Oscar-winning documentary. The New York Times says many of this year's films and documentaries are a little on the dark side, a reflection of our times. The movies may be grim, but my hunch is the festival itself will still be filled with the usual partying. So good of everyone to put on a brave face.

Anytime, anywhere. Remember the Taylor Lautner movie "Abduction" that you ignored when it hit theaters? Now you can ignore it on Facebook too. Lions Gate, which produced the kidnap drama, released the movie via Facebook at the same time it goes out on DVD. Details from Variety.

Picking up speed? In 2011, NASCAR ended a ratings slump that had the networks that carry the sport -- Fox, ESPN and TNT -- a little nervous. In an interview with Broadcasting & Cable, NASCAR Chief Executive Brian France says he'd like to sign new deals before the old ones expire in 2014.

Tebow passes on CBS. In a move aimed at pumping up ratings for its pregame show, CBS Sports tried to land Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow to join the network's coverage of this Sunday's AFC championship game between the Patriots and Ravens. Tebow, who has become a TV phenom and ratings draw, said no thanks. More from USA Today.

Inside the Los Angeles Times: Fox's "American Idol" faces intense competition this season. Russ Campbell is the man to see if your character needs some distinctive glasses.

-- Joe Flint

Follow me on Twitter. I won't abandon you as a form of a political speech. Twitter.com/JBFlint

Photo: Wikipedia's message to users. Credit: Nelson Ching/Bloomberg.

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