'Hobbit' hot in China. MPAA tries to work other side of aisle.

After the coffee. Before asking Madonna for an invite to her Oscar party.

The Skinny: "The Americans" lived up to my expectations and we all know how picky I am. Also good to have "Modern Family" back. I got through ABC's "Mixology," but after the first act I wanted to return my drink. Thursday's roundup includes a report on China's red-hot box office. Also, the Motion Picture Assn. of America is trying to woo more GOPers to its side.

Daily Dose: If there is one pay-TV provider in particular that is unlikely to strike a deal to carry the new Dodger channel SportsNet LA it is Dish. The satellite broadcaster is the only big distributor that isn't carrying SportsNet, the pay channel that is also home to the Lakers. While Dish declines to say how many subscribers it has in the region, industry estimates put the figure at around 500,000. Dish has not indicated whether it will carry the channel, but its actions regarding SportsNet speak for it.

Hot start. Box office in China is at more than $900 million for the first quarter of 2014 and will probably top $1 billion. Among the movies leading the charge are “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug,” "Frozen," and “The Monkey King.” Last year, China's first-quarter box-office take was $830 million. More on China's first quarter from the Los Angeles Times.


Playing both sides. While most industry lobbyists try to work both sides of the political aisle, the Motion Picture Assn. of America has traditionally focused more on Democrats than Republicans, which makes sense given the leftward leanings of many Hollywood big shots. But after many Democrats sided with Silicon Valley in legislation aimed at reducing piracy, the MPAA has realized it needs to start wooing the GOP if it wants success on Capitol Hill. The Wall Street Journal on the MPAA's efforts to broaden its clout.

If they can make it there. In a blow to Hollywood, Walt Disney Co. said the four TV shows its Marvel unit is making for Netflix will all be shot in New York. Disney Chief Executive Bob Iger and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo even held a press conference to break the news even though shows shooting in New York is hardly a new event. Of course, the deal to shoot in New York includes some sweet tax breaks for Disney. Details from the New York Times.

Actress beats Google. An actress who unwittingly appeared in "Innocence of Muslims," the controversial movie that led to riots in the Middle East succeeded in her legal efforts to get the movie pulled from Google's YouTube. The U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals agreed with actress Cindy Lee Garcia that she had a copyright claim on the film. Coverage from the Associated Press

PHOTOS: Biggest box office flops of 2013

Bailing out. David O. Russell, who is odds-on favorite to take home a best director Oscar for "American Hustle," is exiting "The Club," a drama in development at ABC that he was executive producing, says the Hollywood Reporter. Call it a hunch, but I'm guessing that not having O. Russell to trumpet in promotions and to other talent (no matter how little he may actually have been involved in the series) could have ABC cooling on the project.

There's no escape! For the first time, ABC will livestream the Oscars, says USA Today. So if you were hoping that being out on the town would spare you from the show, you are out of luck.

Inside the Los Angeles Times: Betsy Sharkey on why "12 Years a Slave" hasn't become a water cooler movie. Robert Lloyd on the Sundance TV series "Red Road."

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