After the coffee. Before wishing my brother Happy Birthday.
The Skinny: It's my oldest brother's birthday today. Of course, if I think about how old he is it will just make me feel old too and that won't do anyone any good! Wednesday's roundup includes a look at the marketing blitz for "Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues." Also, Viacom has a strong fourth quarter and the soap "All My Children" may finally be kaput. If you are interested in receiving an email alert when the Morning Fix is live, please send me a note.
Daily Dose: NBCUniversal is taking sole ownership in Sprout, the tiny kids network that has been trying to take on much bigger rivals including Nick Jr. and Disney Jr. Originally launched by PBS and Sesame Workshop along with NBCUniversal parent Comcast, the nonprofit partners have dropped out over the years. The question will now be whether -- with PBS out of the picture -- Sprout's programming will change in an effort to get more commercial dollars.
Hope the commercials aren't funnier than the movie. There is no shortage of advertising tied to "Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues." Not only has Ron Burgundy been pitching Dodge trucks, there are also ads for Jockey Underwear and an ice cream from Ben & Jerry's. Having been under wowed by the trailer, I have to wonder whether star Will Ferrell and Paramount Pictures were more focused on the marketing than the script. But then again the sheep will run to see it no matter how lame it looks. No, I'm not really this bitter and I liked the first one. The Los Angeles Times on "Anchorman 2."
Movies for me? The end of the year is when the movie studios tend to release movies that are more than explosions or bad jokes. Yes, it's awards season again, which is the one time when wooing people over the age of 35 is not only accepted, it is actually encouraged. The Hollywood Reporter looks at the Oscar box office battle.
Expensive Fuse. The music cable channel Fuse, owned by MSG, is on the block and may stay that way if the price tag being sought isn't lowered. The New York Post says MSG is seeking at least $300 million, which may make many potential bidders balk.
Kids and zombies. Viacom Inc., parent of cable channels MTV and Nickelodeon and movie studio Paramount, released strong fourth quarter results this morning thanks to better ratings at some of its TV networks and the box office success of "World War Z." The Los Angeles Times, Bloomberg and Reuters with early looks at the numbers.
RIP. Les Brown, one of the first journalists to cover television as a business, died at the age of 84. Brown was a reporter at Variety and later the New York Times before founding the magazine Channels. He also authored several books including an encyclopedia on the industry that still sits on my desk and gets used at least twice a week. Obituaries from the New York Times and Variety.
Inside the Los Angeles Times: The end appears near for the soap opera "All My Children."
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