The Morning Fix: Disappointing 'Engagement.' No app for TV.
After the coffee. Before starting a backlash against the backlash against HBO's "Girls."
The Skinny: I promise I'll never turn off another playoff game, no matter how much of a blowout it looks like. I was safe with the Knicks game but missed a classic comeback by the Clippers. Lesson learned. Monday's headlines include the surprise success of "Think Like a Man" at the box office, the struggle to bring apps to television and a look at why this summer's movie season will feel like a rerun.
Daily Dose: This time of year, TV actors and producers are walking on egg shells waiting to hear if their shows will get renewed for the fall schedules, which are announced in a few weeks. Some casts have to be good sports about the whole thing too. NBC had its prime-time programs take part in filming a bit the network will show at its presentation to advertisers next month. Some of those participating, including the cast of the drama "Parenthood," still don't know if they'll be back next season. If the show gets cut from the schedule, their faces will get cut from the video. Ouch.
Return that ring. "Think Like a Man" once again surprised the box-office experts by staying in first place and beating back four new movies. The romantic comedy took in $18 million and is clearly appealing beyond its African American base. The big disappointment of the weekend was the romantic comedy "The Five-Year Engagement," which was supposed to open at No. 1 with $18 million but finished fourth with $11.2 million. I do recall saying in this space last Friday that the movie's marketing left much to be desired, so I'm honestly not surprised that viewers stayed away. It was pitched like a straight-to-DVD release and tried too hard to tie itself to "Bridesmaids." Box-office recaps from the Los Angeles Times and Movie City News.
Why isn't there an app for that? Although new platforms have changed the way people get their content, cable and satellite companies have steered clear of so-called apps. Though it may seem like only a matter of time until one turns on the TV screen and downloads apps for the cable channels they want, programmers have little incentive to tear up the current business model. Time Warner doesn't want to sell you a TNT app. They want you to have to buy TNT, TBS, TruTV, CNN and their other channels. The New York Times looks at the challenges of introducing the app approach to the pay-TV world.
Bygones. Although much of Hollywood cooled on its love affair with President Obama after the administration expressed concern about anti-piracy legislation that was subsequently defeated, now the wallets are opening up again. George Clooney is hosting an all-star fundraiser expected to bring in at least $10 million. The Wall Street Journal looks at how Obama is wooing back Hollywood.
We have met the enemy, and he is us. Kids love watching cartoon on Netflix. Disney and Nickelodeon make nice money selling their content to the streaming service. But in some cases, Netflix viewing may be taking eyeballs away from the cable channels. Media analyst Todd Juenger wonders if kids programmers should rethink how they sell to Netflix. More from Barrons.
Maybe the lockout was a good idea. A shortened basketball season gave a sense of urgency to the season, and ratings were up at ABC and TNT and flat on ESPN. The playoffs are already off to a strong start as well. Still, I don't recommend the labor dispute strategy again. Details from Variety.
Inside the Los Angeles Times: If this summer feels like a rerun, that's because there are lots of sequels at the box office. Ben Fritz looks at what is coming this summer.
-- Joe Flint
Follow me on Twitter because, well, I'm the man. Twitter.com/JBFlint
Photo: A scene from "Think Like a Man." Credit: Alan Markfield / Associated Press