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The Morning Fix

'Paranormal 4' scares competition, 'Animal Practice' put to sleep.

October 19, 2012|By Joe Flint
  • "Paranormal 4" should scare away the competition.
"Paranormal 4" should scare away the competition. (Paramount )

After the coffee. Before trying to pick some of Lance Armstrong's endorsement deals.

The Skinny: Another long week is in the books. Friday's headlines include the box office preview, Wall Street's obsession with the TV season and NBC not monkeying around anymore with "Animal Practice."

Daily Dose: Sports radio personality Dan Patrick may be getting a new TV home but he's staying put on the radio, at least for now. Patrick's popular morning show had been carried on television by Fox Sports but that deal ended this week (his show will remain on DirecTV's Audience Network). A new deal, most likely with NBC Sports Network , could be announced as early as Friday. While there has been talk of a new radio home too, Clear Channel's Premiere Networks has Patrick for at least another year.

Normal activity. I've somehow gotten through life without seeing a "Paranormal Activity" movie. That has made me something of an anomaly and I will be once again this weekend. But my skipping "Paranormal Activity 4" won't stop the movie from finishing first and probably take in $50 million in its premiere weekend. That should crush Tyler Perry's thriller "Alex Cross," which is the only other new wide-release. Look for "Taken 2" to continue to be hot and don't be surprised if "Argo" has a great second weekend. Previews from the Los Angeles Times and Hollywood Reporter.

Do the Wall Street shuffle. Advertisers and network executives aren't the only people scrutinizing the start of the fall TV season. Wall Street analysts seem particularly obsessed with the first few weeks of the season, which has seen ratings declines at CBS, ABC and Fox. Some analysts are worried, while others think that given the way media consumption habits are changing, it is too early to press any panic buttons. Variety takes the pulse of the street.

Eyeing Sony. CBS chief executive Leslie Moonves again expressed his interest in acquiring Sony's TV and movie units should they become available. In an interview with the Wall Street Journa,l Moonves said while he's happy with CBS' assets, if an opportunity to go after Sony's Hollywood holdings emerged, he'd definitely kick the tires.

No monkey business. NBC canceled its sitcom "Animal Practice." While normally a network canceling one show doesn't rise up to Morning Fix level, "Animal Practice" is a good example of why testing doesn't mean anything. The program, which featured an adorable scene-stealing monkey, did well with preview audiences and NBC promoted the heck out of the show. But once viewers got over the novelty of the monkey, there wasn't much else there. Advertising Age on the lessons of "Animal Practice."

I am sorry. News Corp. Chairman Rupert Murdoch loves to tweet but sometimes (like many of us) he presses send before thinking it through. Murdoch ended up apologizing to Hugh Grant after taking some shots at the actor's personal life. Wonder if Grant will do any work for a News Corp.-owned studio or network anytime soon. Details from the Telegraph.

Inside the Los Angeles Times: Meet Lou Ye, the Chinese filmmaker whose movies get under the skin of China's government. Betsy Sharkey on "The Sessions."

Be part of the problem. Follow me on Twitter. @JBFlint.

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