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Movies too long? 'Les Miz' opens strong. RIP Jack Klugman.

December 26, 2012|By Joe Flint
  • Tony Randall and Jack Klugman are roommates in the sky.
Tony Randall and Jack Klugman are roommates in the sky. (Paramount )

After the coffee. Before remembering to put in for this week off next year.

The Skinny: My father and grandfather were journalists, but growing up if you asked me who made me want to be a reporter I would have said Oscar Madison. Rest in Peace Jack Klugman. Wednesday's stories include a look at how long movies have gotten and early box office results for Christmas. Also remembering Klugman and Charles Durning. Hope everyone had a good Christmas.

Daily Dose: The nomination of Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) to secretary of State will mean changes at the Senate Commerce Science and Transportation Committee's communications subcommittee. Kerry is chairman of the subcommittee, which deals with, among other things, Internet and media matters. Kerry has been critical of the constant distribution fights between pay-TV operators and local broadcasters.

Time is on their side. I saw "Zero Dark Thirty" Tuesday (and yes, I followed the movie with the Jewish tradition of Chinese food on Christmas) and it ran 2 hours and 40 minutes. That's not an anomaly for movies these days, as the running times for many of 2012's big releases are well over two hours, in part because many powerful directors have final cut. If a movie is good, the fans don't mind, but for theater owners it can mean less business. The Los Angeles Times takes a look at why movies are getting so long.

Ka-ching! "Django Unchained" and "Les Miserables" both had a merry Christmas at the box office. Deadline Hollywood and Variety look at the early results from Christmas Day. All I know is that the ArcLight Cinema in Hollywood was packed.

Smoking gun. In defending gun owners, National Rifle Assn. chief Wayne LaPierre blasted the video game industry for its role in desensitizing kids to the consequences of violence. But the gun industry and video game publishers have a complex relationship. Real guns are often portrayed in games -- sometimes without permission but often there are marketing agreements in place. The New York Times on how guns and games are in bed together.

Cloudy cloud. If you were looking to spend some time using Netflix over Christmas, you may have run into some problems. Netflix blamed an outage at an Amazon web center cloud, according to Reuters. That's too techy for me and way above my pay grade but as I understand it the cloud is something of a server in the sky. No word if Netflix and Amazon will apologize for forcing people to actually spend more time talking with their family on Christmas Eve and Christmas.

Take my name off the door. Does NBC News anchor Brian Williams want to put some distance between himself and the struggling newsmagazine he hosts? The New York Post says NBC is considering dropping Williams' name from "Rock Center" and that Williams will reduce his role on the program, which has been something of a flop with viewers.

No real crimes to solve? On Sunday's "Meet the Press," host David Gregory tried to make a point in an interview with National Rifle Assn. head Wayne LaPierre by holding up a magazine that could hold more than two dozen rounds. Now Politico reports that the D.C. police are investigating the show for violating its strict laws on guns and ammunition. Really? It was a theatrical display to make a point, but if crime in my hometown is now so low that the police have the resources to waste on this then I guess it's cause for celebration.

Inside the Los Angeles Times: Robert Lloyd on Jack Klugman. Character actor Charles Durning died at the age of 90.

Follow me on Twitter. Hurry! @JBFlint.

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