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The Morning Fix: Fox caught up in Dodger mess! Mel Gibson speaks! USA's secret formula.

April 22, 2011 |  7:30 am

After the coffee. Before figuring out how good a Friday it can be if I'm working on it.

The Skinny: Hope everyone has a nice quiet Friday and happy Easter. Don't think of me slaving away at the office. While you're off you can read about how the role of Fox in Major League Baseball's decision to oust Dodger owner Frank McCourt is getting lots of scrutiny. Not a sports fan? Well then perhaps you're interested in USA Network's formula for success. Still not doing it for you? How about a Mel Gibson interview?

Take me away from the ballgame. Major League Baseball's decision to seize control of the Los Angeles Dodgers from owner Frank McCourt continues to dominate the media landscape in large part because of the role News Corp.'s Fox played in the events leading up to the move. Fox had loaned McCourt money to meet payroll, an action that has annoyed Major League Baseball. Fox, which carries the Dodgers on its Prime Ticket cable channel, figured if it didn't, then Time Warner Cable would. Time Warner Cable already snagged the Lakers away from a Fox-owned regional sports network and was likely to make a play for the Dodgers too. Analysis from the Los Angeles Times, Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg. The Hollywood Reporter meanwhile looks at 10 media big shots who could make a play for the team.

Add quirky people and bowl of fruit here. USA Network has a very specific formula for its dramas that includes bright colors, bowls of fruit and a sunny disposition. No brooding middle aged men with drinking and women problems here. The Wall Street Journal looks at the cable channel's recipe for success, which has led to big ratings even if most critics and Emmy voters dismiss many of its shows as empty calories.

How many times can I say I'm sorry? In his first extensive interview since his latest meltdown, Mel Gibson chats with Deadline Hollywood about his telephone manners and the prospects of his career going forward.

Justice weighs in. The rules that the Federal Communications Commission uses to determine if a broadcaster is carrying indecent material keep getting slammed in court. But the FCC won't go down without a fight and now the Justice Department has filed a brief to the Supreme Court arguing that the rules need to remain in place. Details from Broadcasting & Cable.

Here comes Madea! Easter weekend will see another"Madea" movie from Tyler Perry and Reese Witherspoon's "Water for Elephants" taking on "Rio," "Hop" and "Scream 4." Think I'll be watching HBO. Box office projections from Variety and the Los Angeles Times.

Inside the Los Angeles Times: Robert Lloyd on HBO's "Cinema Verite." Patrick Goldstein on giving the Dodgers a Hollywood fix.

-- Joe Flint

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