The Morning Fix: RIP Dick Clark, Cannes lineup announced
After the coffee. Before being tortured by the dentist.
The Skinny: I think we can all remember the first time our parents let us stay up to watch Dick Clark count down the New Year and the first girl we kissed after he said "Happy New Year." It was a rite of passage. Rest in peace. Thursday's headlines include appreciations of Clark and a look at the Cannes Film Festival lineup.
Daily Dose: The NFL is doing all it can to boost the stature of its NFL Network cable channel, which is still struggling to get national distribution. Not only will the NFL Network carry 13 games this season on Thursday night, which is up from eight last year, but it's presenting matches of higher profile. The majority of its games feature teams that made the playoffs in 2011. The NFL Network is still trying to get carriage from Time Warner Cable, the nation's second largest cable operator. The question is whether other TV rights holders will start to grumble that the NFL is playing favorites with its own channel.
RIP. Dick Clark, who rose from a radio disc jockey to host of his own groundbreaking television music show and later built an entertainment empire, died Wednesday at 82. Known for his perpetually youthful looks and familiarly known as "America's oldest teenager," Clark also celebrated New Year's Eve with America for almost four decades as host of "Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve." As friendly and cheerful as Clark was on-camera, off-camera he could be a very demanding boss. He also was tainted in the late 1950s radio payola scandals. Obituaries and appreciations of Clark from the Los Angeles Times, New York Times, Rolling Stone and the Associated Press.
May Day. A much-anticipated report on the ethics scandal at News Corp.'s British tabloids from Parliament is expected to be released on May 1, according to Reuters. The report, which comes after several hearings and an investigation into phone hacking and illegal payoffs by staffers of News Corp.'s News of the World and Sun newspapers, is expected to be critical of James Murdoch, son of News Corp. Chairman Rupert Murdoch and the executive who had oversight over the papers.
Starting lineup. The Cannes Film Festival unveiled its lineup and the United States has a very visible presence. Variety said among U.S. titles that made the cut are Brad Pitt's "Killing Them Softly," DreamWorks Animation's "Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted" and Nicole Kidman's "The Paperboy."
Where'd everybody go? Tuesday night saw many top TV shows, including CBS's "NCIS," reach season lows. TV ratings always drop a little in the spring as days get longer and the weather gets warmer. I know it takes me awhile to adjust to the longer days. I'll be at work, look outside and see daylight, and not realize its already 7 p.m. In Michigan, it can stay light out until 10 p.m. in the summer. More on the numbers from the New York Times.
The case that won't go away. The Department of Justice has asked the Supreme Court to overrule a lower court ruling that had thrown out the Federal Communications Commission $550,000 fine of CBS for the Janet Jackson "wardrobe malfunction" that took place during the halftime show of the 2004 Super Bowl. By now, the legal fees of the government and CBS have easily topped the fine, but there is a principle at stake here, I suppose. Details from Multichannel News.
Ouch. As if Oprah Winfrey hasn't had a tough enough run lately given the struggles of OWN, the cable network she started with Discovery Communications, now Time magazine doesn't consider her one of the most influential people in the country anymore. The magazine's latest list leaves Winfrey off for the first time since it launched in 1999, according to the New York Post.
-- Joe Flint
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Photo: Dick Clark. Credit: Kevork Djansezian/Associated Press.