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The Morning Fix:

'Argo' goes to top spot. DVR revolution! Romney stays off couch.

October 29, 2012|By Joe Flint
  • "Argo" sneaks out of the weekend with the top spot at the box office.
"Argo" sneaks out of the weekend with the top spot at the box office. (Warner Bros. )

Before the coffee. After making sure my mom is safe from Frankenstorm.

The Skinny: Hope all my peeps back in New York and D.C. are out of harm's way from the big storm. I thought of staying home from work as a show of solidarity but wasn't sure if my bosses would appreciate it. Monday's headlines include a recap of the weekend box office, a look at how the DVR is changing the TV industry and ratings troubles at Comedy Central and Nickelodeon.

Daily Dose: When the final ratings for the World Series come in (perhaps as early as Monday although there is a good chance the storm back east may delay the results), odds are it will  be the least-watched World Series in history. A four-game sweep will do that but this one, which saw the San Francisco Giants knock out the Detroit Tigers, started weak right out of the box. Too bad because what the Giants did was pretty remarkable.

"Argo" sneaks off with top spot. "Argo," the Ben Affleck-directed thriller about the rescue of U.S. citizens from Iran in the midst of the 1979 hostage crisis, finished first at the box office with $12.4 million. What makes this quite a feat is that "Argo" has been in theaters for almost a month and is clearly on its way to hit status the old-fashioned way -- strong reviews and word of mouth. While "Argo" is rising, "Cloud Atlas" came crashing to earth. The expensive Tom Hanks-Halle Barry movie that is half romance and half science fiction took in less than $10 million in its debut weekend. Also flopping were "Silent Hill: Revelation 3D," "Fun Size" and "Chasing Mavericks." Box office recaps from the Los Angeles Times and Variety.

Game changer. Digital video recorders have been around for a few years but this season the devices are really starting to force the television industry to rethink a lot of its business. DVRs can boost viewership for shows, which is a good thing. DVRs also make it very easy for viewers to skip commercials, which is a bad thing. A look at the pros and cons of the DVR and how the industry is reacting to changing media consumption habits from the Los Angeles Times.

Romney the recluse. While President Obama is no stranger to late night television, Mitt Romney has mostly steered clear of the couch. Of course, given that most of the late night shows seem to poke more fun at Romney than Obama, is this really a surprise?  I long for the days when candidates for the most part steered clear of trying to show their comedy chops. I also don't need the wives of candidates co-hosting morning programs. The New York Times looks at the late night TV's efforts to land Romney. 

Stormy weather. As the East Coast goes into lock down because of Hurricane Sandy (I prefer Frankenstorm), the Weather Channel is going to work. Like CNN when news breaks, Weather Channel sees its biggest rating spikes during bad weather. The challenge for the channel is to cover the storm and be of service to people without looking like it is hyping its coverage. A look at Weather Channel's plans for Sandy from the Associated Press.

Nothing funny to see here. Rating declines at Viacom's Nickelodeon have been well documented but now attention is starting to be paid to struggles at Comedy Central and MTV, two of the media giant's other cable channels. Both channels have seen their audiences shrink lately, which is causing concern not only at the networks but also among advertisers. More from the Wall Street Journal.

Inside the Los Angeles Times: "Sabado Gigante" celebrates its 50th anniversary.

Follow me on Twitter and I'll retweet storm updates. @JBFlint.

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