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The Morning Fix: The British are coming! Oprah's troublesome tweet.

February 14, 2012 |  7:12 am

After the coffee. Before the Valentine's Day scramble.

The Skinny: It's Valentine's Day, when guys try to figure out what gift won't get them smacked, lead to tears or break their bank account. I'm open to suggestions. Tuesday's headlines include a look at the BBC's effort to build a Hollywood presence, a review of Reese Witherspoon's "This Means War," and how a tweet from Oprah Winfrey got her in hot water with Nielsen.

Reese Witherspoon hopes for a hit

The Daily Dose: While "Modern Family" gets all the love from critics, "The Middle" -- ABC's other Wednesday night family sitcom -- has gradually been growing its audience. This season the show is averaging more than 9 million viewers, up 33% from two seasons ago when it premiered. Within the next few weeks, Warner Bros., which makes the show for ABC, will look to cash in on its growth by selling the reruns. Cable networks as well as broadcast stations will be pitched. Don't be surprised if TBS and USA go after "The Middle."

The British are coming! When Jane Tranter moved to Los Angeles from England to become head of BBC Worldwide Productions, she had to do more than learn which side of the road to drive on. She also had to figure out which BBC shows that were successes back in London could be adapted to U.S. television networks. So far, she has had five shows on the air and put another eight in production. A look at Tranter from the Los Angeles Times.

Was there any doubt? Big surprise out of Paramount. Michael Bay has signed on for another "Transformers" movie. The fourth in the franchise is part of a new deal the director made with the studio. Details from Variety.

This doesn't look like Kansas anymore. Warner Bros. and Disney may get caught up in a legal battle over the latter's plans to make a movie inspired by "The Wizard of Oz." Warner, of course, made the original and now a little copyright spat is developing. More from the Hollywood Reporter.

He shoots, he scores! Jeremy Lin has become the flavor of the day in the NBA. The Harvard grad has come out of nowhere to boost the New York Knicks. But is he big enough to bring Time Warner Cable to its knees? Some analysts and media watchers think the attention Lin is getting could lead the cable company back to the negotiating table with MSG, the cable home of the Knicks, which pulled the channel from TWC's New York City systems. The two have been unable to strike a new deal and now many Knicks fans who are TWC subscribers are missing all the fun. The Associated Press examines whether Lin's rise could put pressure on the cable company to cut a deal. My hunch is that the answer is no.

I am sorry. As if Oprah Winfrey didn't have enough headaches trying to get her struggling cable network OWN going in a positive direction, now the queen of talk has been chastised for trying to encourage homes with Nielsen ratings boxes to watch her channel. That's a no-no as far as the folks from Nielsen are concerned. The New York Times on Oprah's troublesome tweet.

So much for fight the power. The Morning Fix strays a little bit from our wheelhouse to offer you a piece from technology writer Dan Lyons about the type of journalism often practiced by those supposedly covering Silicon Valley. It is both disturbing and enlightening.

Inside the Los Angeles Times: Betsy Sharkey on "This Means War." A look at whether Whitney Houston's passing will translate to iconic status along the lines of Michael Jackson or Kurt Cobain or if the current obsession over her will fade when the next celebrity tragedy rolls along.

-- Joe Flint

Follow me on Twitter. I'm the Jimmy McNulty of media reporters. Twitter.com/JBFlint

Photo: "This Means War." Credit: Kimberly French / Associated Press

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