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The Morning Fix: 'G.I. Joe' off duty.

May 24, 2012|By Joe Flint
  • 20th Century Fox is taking unusual steps to promote "Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter."
20th Century Fox is taking unusual steps to promote "Abraham Lincoln:… (20th Century Fox )

After the coffee. Before getting over jet lag.

The Skinny: Caught the finale of "American idol" on Fox on Wednesday night on the flight back from Boston. Couldn't they have done that show in an hour? Thursday's headlines include the efforts to woo viewers to "Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter," a delay in the release of the newest "G.I. Joe" movie, and a top cable executive saying there are too many channels out there.

Daily Dose: Ever wonder how a cable channel starts to lose its identity and become like every other channel? It usually starts small. On Wednesday, Variety reported that Discovery Science bought rerun rights to the cult show "Fringe." While "Fringe" certainly fits the definition of science fiction, Discovery Science is supposed to be about science fact. If "Fringe" gets any sort of number for Discovery Science, don't be surprised if the channel starts looking for more movies and reruns and gradually remakes itself into yet another entertainment channel taking up space in a crowded landscape.

Secret access. The Pentagon and Central Intelligence Agency gave "Hurt Locker" director Kathryn Bigelow and her producer/screenwriter Mark Boal access to information regarding the Navy SEAL mission to kill Osama bin Laden. The revelations from Judicial Watch have raised eyebrows in Washington about whether the Obama administration gave access to the filmmakers in part because such a movie might boost his reelection campaign. The movie's release date has been pushed to after the election. Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.) said he was very worried about "the possible exposure of classified information to these filmmakers, who as far as I know do not possess security clearances." That may be true, but they do know where the good Hollywood parties are. Additional coverage from the Los Angeles Times.

Recruiting viewers. A movie about Abraham Lincoln may seem like a hard sell to kids. But when it's "Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter" well ... that may even be a harder sell. That's why 20th Century Fox is engaging in some unusual promotional stunts, including traveling the world to screen it to members of the military to generate heat for a movie whose title sounds more like a "Saturday Night Live" parody than a summer thriller. The New York Times looks at the marketing behind this summer's most bizarre-sounding action movie.

He's singing my tune. Time Warner Cable Chief Executive Glenn Britt thinks there are too many cable networks out there. “There are a lot of general-interest networks that have lower viewership, and the industry would take cost out of the system if they shut those networks down and offered lower prices to consumers,” he told Bloomberg. “The companies involved would make just as much money as they do now because of the costs.” Alas, that sentiment isn't stopping Time Warner Cable from launching two regional sports network in Los Angeles, a market that already has two such channels. 

And I thought it was because people laughed at it during the trailers. Paramount Pictures said it is moving the release of "G.I. Joe: Retaliation" from June 29 to March 2013. An insider said the move was made so the movie could be released in 3-D and more buzz could be built. They probably should have thought of that before spending millions on a commercial in the Super Bowl promoting the movie. All I know is every time a trailer for the movie popped up the crowd was chuckling, and not in a good way. More from the Los Angeles Times and Associated Press. Meanwhile Deadline Hollywood said the Seth MacFarlane-directed Mark Wahlberg comedy "Ted" will grab the spot held by "G.I. Joe." I've seen trailers for that movie and it, too, looks really bad.

Done deal. Talent agency International Creative Management has completed its employee buyout and now almost 30 agents will be partners and owners in the shop whose clients include sitcom writer Chuck Lorre and talk show host Ellen DeGeneres. Details from the Los Angeles Times and Wall Street Journal

Spin 101. Sony Pictures Television, the studio behind NBC's low-rated critical darling "Community," issued a memo to the cast and others involved with the show about how to handle questions from the media about the firing of creator Dan Harmon. Basically it is a memo on how to say nothing and seem happy about it. More interesting to me was another little note in the memo, which was obtained by the Hollywood Reporter, that said, "We're tracking the coverage and conversation and will circle back if we feel the need to reshift our plan or messaging." That's code for "We're watching you."

Inside the Los Angeles Times: Todd Martens on the highs and lows of Wednesday night's "American Idol" finale. It was only a matter of time until someone turned "Jersey Shore" into a play.

Follow me on Twitter for my Memorial Day sales special. Twitter.com/JBFlint

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