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The Morning Fix: Magic time for Dodgers! Old story for 'Modern Family'

March 28, 2012 |  7:32 am

After the coffee. Before seeing if Magic Johnson needs a first base coach.

The Skinny: I've developed a new drinking game. Take a shot every time someone says "Marilyn" on NBC's "Smash." You'll be hammered by the end of the show. Wednesday's headlines include the sale of the Dodgers to a Magic Johnson-led group, a new deal to bring back CBS's "Two and a Half Men" for a 10th season, and the cast of ABC's "Modern Family" wanting a bigger paycheck. Also, meet Vito Vincent, an actor who's trying to claw his way to the top.

Magic Johnson got the Dodgers
The Daily Dose: Thanks to reality shows such as "Basketball Wives" and "T.I. & Tiny," cable channel VH1 has made gains among African American viewers. However, that's bad news for BET, which like VH1 is owned by Viacom. While BET is still dominant among black viewers, so far this year it has seen its ratings among its key demographic decline as VH1 has made gains.

Tough town. Like many struggling actors, he came here in search of stardom. But after some success in New York doing commercials and even a bit part on "30 Rock," Vito Vincent, an orange tabby cat, is finding it's a lot tougher in Tinseltown. The competition is stiffer and even a weight loss program hasn't paid off yet. The Los Angeles Times looks at Vito's struggles to make it big. Hey, Hollywood, I have two tuxedo cats -- one long hair and one short -- available for auditions.

Modern family, old story. The cast of ABC's hit comedy "Modern Family" wants bigger paychecks. The Hollywood Reporter says the majority of the cast makes about $65,000 per episode (Ed O'Neill makes more) and wants $200,000 in their next deal. Of course, their current deals still have a few years to go but the cast sees that 20th Century Fox Television, which makes the show for ABC, has already sold reruns to USA Networks. Typically, studios will renegotiate early in return for the cast agreeing to extend their deals for a few more seasons.

Winning! While the cast of "Modern Family" figures out how to get more money, CBS is getting closer to a new agreement with Warner Bros. to bring back the comedy "Two and a Half Men" next season. There are lots of complications having to do with Warner Bros.' rerun deals, as well as a new contract for Ashton Kutcher, who wisely signed only a one-year deal when he agreed to replace Charlie Sheen. Details from TV Guide and Variety.

All in the family. Cable operator Cablevision Systems Inc., which primarily services the New York City area, has gone through a lot of turmoil over the past several months. While many key executives have left, including Chief Operating Officer Tom Rutledge, one executive has risen up -- Kristin Dolan, wife of Chief Executive James Dolan. The Wall Street Journal looks at the drama at Cablevision and how Wall Street is reacting.

Rumble at the bike rack after school. Fans of "Twilight" and "The Hunger Games" should be able to find common ground, but instead they bicker over who's the bigger dork. I mean, they argue over which is the better franchise. It's all good for Lionsgate, the studio behind "The Hunger Games" and the new owner of Summit Entertainment, which makes the "Twilight" movies. More on the battling fan bases from USA Today.

Inside the Los Angeles Times: The Dodgers have been bought for $2 billion by a group led by former Laker great Magic Johnson. It's a lot of money until the team strikes a new TV deal. The abrupt cancellation of HBO's "Luck" is a big blow to the Los Angeles production community. Production company Legendary Entertainment ("The Dark Knight") has raised nearly $250 million in new financing.

-- Joe Flint

Follow me on Twitter. You'll learn something. Twitter.com/JBFlint

Photo: Magic Johnson. Credit: Al Seib/Los Angeles Times.

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