The Morning Fix: Can 'Smash' be a smash. The Oscar-voting rabbi.
After the coffee. Before avoiding seeing all the Super Bowl ads before Sunday.
The Skinny: I heard on sports radio that Clippers star Blake Griffin is not participating in the NBA's dunk contest during the All-Star game. Well, I'm available. Now that you're done laughing, Friday's headlines include a peek at some L.A. ad agencies who made spots for the Super Bowl, a box-office preview, the latest from the Golden Globes trial and a look at the big bet NBC is making with "Smash."
The Daily Dose: It was supposed to be a two-week trial at best, but the fight between the Hollywood Foreign Press Assn. and Dick Clark Productions over who controls TV rights to the Golden Globes will enter its third week on Monday. The judge in the bench trial, A. Howard Matz, wants this thing wrapped up and on Thursday told lawyers for both sides that there would be no "standard closing arguments." Instead he'll question both attorneys. Maybe Dick Clark himself can come down to hand out prizes.
The whole truth and nothing but the truth. The legal fight between the HFPA, the Golden Globes owner, and Dick Clark Productions got interesting Thursday when HFPA chairman and former president Philip Berk took the stand and seemed to contradict himself and CBS Chief Executive Leslie Moonves. Coverage from the Los Angeles Times and Variety.
Score one for the home team. If the Super Bowl turns into a blowout (which does happen on occasion), it will be the commercials that people will remember. Although the perception is that all the big ads are done out of New York, several L.A. agencies are behind some of the biggest spots that are to appear during the game. Los Angeles Times reporter Meg James looks at the local angle behind Madison Avenue's biggest day.
Super Bowl blahs. A studio distribution executive has to be pretty mad at you to release your movie on Super Bowl weekend. That's why there are no super-blockbusters coming out. Last year's Super Bowl weekend was the fourth-lowest grossing weekend of the year. The movies debuting seem to be going after cult audiences and families, which is as smart a play as one can have on this challenging weekend. "The Woman in Black" is a horror movie starring "Harry Potter" wizard Daniel Radcliffe. "Big Miracle" is a family film about the rescue of trapped whales. "Chronicle" is about three boys who discover they have superpowers. Box-office previews from the Los Angeles Times and Hollywood Reporter.
Double duty. How many people can give you Oscar history and recite the Torah from memory? Probably not many. But Marvin Hier can. Not only is Rabbi Hier founder and dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, he is also a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences who casts a vote in the film competition. The New York Times with a look at Hier's unique perspective on the Oscar race.
If it isn't broke, don't fix it. There's a lot to work on at Sony Corp. that will keep the consumer electronic giant's new chief executive, Kazuo Hirai, busy. But one of Sony's few bright spots is its Hollywood movie and music operations. The Wall Street Journal looks at Hirai and the relationship between Sony's entertainment operations and the rest of the company, and the Los Angeles Times' Alex Pham says the numbers don't tell a pretty story for the new boss.
-- Joe Flint
Follow me on Twitter. I'll show you how it's done. Twitter.com/JBFlint
Photo: A scene from NBC's "Smash." Credit: Will Hart / Associated Press