After the coffee. Before finishing the Christmas shopping.
The Skinny: Was watching the underrated "Carlito's Way" again last night. Poor Carlito, if only he'd taken Benny Blanco from the Bronx seriously. For a Friday before Christmas week, we've got a pretty full Morning Fix. The "Duck Dynasty" mess is getting only bigger. Katie Couric and Disney are pulling the plug on her syndicated daytime show. Also a preview of the weekend box office.
Daily Dose: Earlier this month, NBC hit pay dirt in the ratings with a live version of "The Sound of Music" and is already figuring out its next live musical. Other networks will also probably jump in. Interestingly, "The Sound of Music" was initially pitched to ABC, according to people familiar with the origins of the project. But while ABC was debating whether it was worth the risk, NBC Entertainment head and theater fanatic Bob Greenblatt swooped in and made the deal.
The ducks quack back. The controversy over "Duck Dynasty" star Phil Robertson's unfiltered thoughts on homosexuality and civil rights shows no sign of slowing down. A&E's decision to suspend Robertson from the hit reality show has led to a backlash among fans of the programs about a family and their duck hunting business as well as a debate about whether the punishment fits the crime. Meanwhile, the Robertson family has said they are not sure if they can continue with the show without their patriarch. In other words, "Duck Dynasty" has turned into a game of chicken and we're waiting to see who blinks first. More from the Los Angeles Times, New York Times, Variety and USA Today.
Breaking news. Apparently a movie called "Anchorman 2" has opened. I have seen very little publicity about this film. It seems to have just popped up out of nowhere. Paramount and star Will Ferrell are apparently going with a word-of-mouth approach on this one. I kid, I kid. Industry projectionists think "Anchorman 2" will make more than $50 million in its first five days. Am I nuts for thinking that's not all that much given the hype machine? Anyway, here are box office previews from the Los Angeles Times and Hollywood Reporter.
Maybe she can try late night next. Katie Couric rocked in morning TV but early evenings and now daytime have proved more challenging. On Thursday, Couric and Walt Disney Co. said the former "Today" and "CBS Evening News" anchor would end her syndicated daytime talk show next spring after just two seasons. Disney had hoped Couric would be the next Oprah Winfrey, but the expensive show never caught fire with viewers as Couric struggled to make the transition from news anchor to daytime queen. Couric has already signed a deal to join Yahoo as part of its video efforts. Coverage from the Los Angeles Times and Deadline Hollywood.
Tale of the tape. Any day now Charter Communications is going to make an unsolicited bid for Time Warner Cable (and likely ruin whatever I have planned for that day). The Wall Street Journal profiles leaders of the two companies -- Charter's Chief Executive Tom Rutledge and Time Warner Cable's Rob Marcus, who becomes CEO next month. Rutledge has worked his way up the cable business. while Marcus is seen as more of a deal executive. Just tell me which one will likely lower my bill. What? Neither? Well boo to all this then!
Fun with numbers. Want to know what shows rich people watch? How about dog owners? What about people who jog in the mornings or eat eggs every day? Well, there may not be much data on those last two. Anyway, Vulture decided to look for both the hard facts and some unusual trends in TV ratings. And it has lots of pictures too.
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