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Lucky call for 'The Call' and L.A. How full is your DVR?

March 20, 2013|By Joe Flint
  • "The Call" is a rare homegrown production.
"The Call" is a rare homegrown production. (TriStar )

After the coffee. Before figuring out whether I need a fashion makeover.

The Skinny: I'm bummed HBO canceled "Enlightened" after two seasons. I really was starting to get into the show but I also understand the decision given how small the audience was. Even though HBO says they don't care about ratings, it's not in the charity business either. Wednesday's headlines include how the hit movie "The Call" ended up being shot in Los Angeles instead of Canada and why the broadcast networks are struggling to develop new reality hits. 

Daily Dose: New CNN chief Jeff Zucker recently dubbed Jake Tapper the new face of CNN. Unfortunately for CNN, the face didn't give the network a ratings lift. See what I did there? Tapper's first day numbers for his afternoon show, "The Lead with Jake Tapper" averaged only 400,000 viewers, off by 30% from what CNN had been averaging this year. While it's only been one day, it does show the challenges CNN will have in bringing viewers who have migrated to rivals back to the network to sample its new programs.

Answering the call. The strong box office performance of the thriller "The Call" not only gave a boost to star Halle Barry, it also was a winner for Los Angeles, where the movie was shot. Believe it or not, today a movie or TV show shooting entirely here is a news story. Many studios now take their projects to more tax-friendly locales here or in Canada and that was supposed to be the case with "The Call." But, as the Los Angeles Times explains, fate intervened and the production stayed put.

The great programming debate. Pay-TV distributors are getting more vocal about wanting to change the way programmers sell their content. The issue has to do with companies that own lots of networks bundling them together in a one-size-fits-all fashion. Many distributors would like more freedom in deciding what channels to sell and consumers are clamoring for more options in how they buy pay-TV. Programmers argue such a move would hurt smaller niche channels and actually lead to less choice. More from the Washington Post.

I'm not the only one. A new study reveals that 41% of content recorded on digital video recorders is never watched and ultimately deleted. That fits me. I have a ton of "Two Broke Girls" just sitting around collecting digital dust. Motorola Mobility, which conduced the research, says the number would go down if consumers could transfer shows from the DVR to their tablets to give them more options on catching up. To me, a show on DVR is like a dirty dish in the sink. If I don't watch it right away, suddenly there are two shows in there and then three and then, well you get the idea. Details on the research from Variety.

Can't get real. The broadcast networks are struggling to find the next big reality hit. It's been years since a new concept such as "Survivor" captivated a nation. Meanwhile, the cable industry seems to find some new success every other week. Vulture looks at the slump and what programmers might consider doing to reverse the trend.

Off to court we go. An actress who sued the Internet Movie Database (IMDb) -- a popular research tool in Hollywood -- for revealing her age will get her day in court. Junie Hoang, who provided false information to the website and then tried to get it removed only to have IMDb find her real birthday and put it on her page, sued in part claiming her privacy had been violated and her career damaged because her real age had been published. The New York Times with the latest on the case.

Inside the Los Angeles Times: A Supreme Court copyright ruling could have implications for Hollywood. Tribune Co. (parent of the Los Angeles Times) made a big TV hire.

Follow me on Twitter to stay on top of what matters and what doesn't. @JBFlint.


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