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The Morning Fix: Court swears off indecency regulations. Piers Morgan headed to CNN. Lions Gate makes pitch to MGM

July 14, 2010 |  7:57 am

After the coffee. Before buying my advance tickets for "Inception."

Court swears off indecency regulations. A U.S. appeals court has tossed the Federal Communications Commission's indecency regulations, and the decision calls into question the FCC's clout to regulate broadcast TV and radio for content overall. The case grew out of the FCC's threats to fine Fox television stations for live telecasts in which there was inadvertent swearing. In the Fox case, Nicole Richie and Cher had sworn during live TV events, and a few years later, U2 singer Bono swore during an NBC telecast of the Golden Globes. The FCC can rewrite its rules or appeal the decision all the way to the Supreme Court. In the meantime, don't expect broadcasters to suddenly take their hands off the mute button or do away with seven-second delays just yet. More on the decision from the Los Angeles Times, New York Times, Wall Street Journal and Broadcasting & Cable.

Morgan to take King's throne. Piers Morgan, the British host of NBC's "America's Got Talent" is closing in on a deal to succeed Larry King at CNN. Although he's seen as a talent show host here, Morgan has a strong track record interviewing newsmakers in his native Britain. For several weeks, CNN denied it was talking with Morgan or even interested in him when reports first surfaced that he was the pick to succeed King. It was not long after those reports that King announced his retirement. More on the Morgan deal (he'll keep doing "America's Got Talent") from the New York Times and Los Angeles Times.

"Nailed" director bails. David O. Russell has left "Nailed," the political comedy that has had something approaching nine lives. The Hollywood Reporter has the back story on this one, which frankly sounds like one big soap opera that's impossible to follow.

Paramount committed to another mission. Despite disappointing box office for "Knight and Day," Paramount reiterated its desire to make another "Mission Impossible" movie with Tom Cruise. The Hollywood Reporter looks at what is at stake for the studio and Cruise with the next installment and seems to suggest that perhaps the franchise will go on without the star. Or maybe I'm doing too much reading between the lines.

Steinbrenner's legacy. Variety looks at how Yankees owner George Steinbrenner, who died Tuesday, changed the game. Besides becoming one of the first larger-than-life owners, featured in beer commercials and hosting "Saturday Night Live," his wide-open wallet played a big part in turning athletes into brands. The owner rivals loved to hate, the image of Steinbrenner was no doubt softened somewhat by the parody of him on NBC's "Seinfeld." Variety also credits Steinbrenner with being the first owner to create his own cable network to carry the team's games. Although the YES network is a big success, the Red Sox actually were ahead of the Yankees in owning their own cable network.

Does Bruckheimer need some magic? Tracking for producer Jerry Bruckeimer's "The Sorcerer's Apprentice" is not encouraging and could be his third miss. Of course, miss for him means it's not a mega-blockbuster. The The Wrap does some analysis on Bruckheimer's current track record.

And the Emmy Awards go to ... Deadline Hollywood looks at the upcoming talks between the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences and the broadcast networks over a new deal for the Emmy Awards. Could last week's nominations, which seemed to feature more broadcast shows in high-profile categories, encourage the networks to pony up for a new contract? There have been grumblings from the networks about the current deal and whether the awards wouldn't be better served by having a permanent home. Of course, that creates its own set of problems. The current deal is up at the end of August.

Inside the Los Angeles Times: John Horn looks at a battle between Chevron Corp. and director Joe Berlinger over his documentary "Crude," about the oil company's legal battles in Ecuador. Lions Gate has made a merger presentation to MGM. Starz President Chris Albrecht learned a valuable lesson about paying attention when answering e-mails.

-- Joe Flint

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