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The Morning Fix

'Crood' awakening at box office. FCC's Genachowski stepping down.

March 22, 2013|By Joe Flint

After the coffee. Before getting up to speed on March Madness.

The Skinny: I'm no college basketball fan and even I know Harvard winning is a big upset. So what did I do last night. I did laundry, ate falafel, cleaned the cat box and watched two episodes of "The Mindy Project." Are you jealous yet? Friday's headlines include the box office preview, a big exit at the Federal Communications Commission and more on all the drama at "The Tonight Show."

Daily Dose:  A little peak into my world. Every day I get hundreds of emails from publicists with lame pitches. Thought I'd share this one offering up Erin Morgart, described as a "supermodel" and "health and fitness expert." She's available to talk about why "attractive people are usually hired sooner, get promotions more quickly, and are paid more than their less-attractive coworkers." So I need to interview a model to learn that people are superficial and make snap judgments based on appearance? I'll make a snap judgment and say no thanks.

"Crood" awakening. With a projected box office of $40 million, the animated family film "The Croods" is expected to take the top spot at the box office this weekend. That would be good news for DreamWorks Animation given that its last film "Rise of the Guardians" was a big flop. The action movie "Olympus Has Fallen" will probably finish in second place with about $20 million. The Tina Fey-Paul Rudd comedy "Admission" probably won't make the grade. Box office previews from the Los Angeles Times and Variety.

PHOTOS: Celebrities by The Times

Genachowski going. As expected, Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski is exiting as head of the regulatory agency that oversee the media and telecommunications industries. Genachowski spent much of his term debating how to properly regulate the Internet, often clashing with media watchdogs and free market advocates in the process. On the media front, he created an auction process to encourage broadcasters to sell back some of their airwaves that could then be used for wireless communications. It remains to be seen how many broadcasters will be willing to sell. News and analysis from the Wall Street Journal and Time.

Wonder who paid. "Tonight Show" host Jay Leno and NBC Entertainment Chairman Robert Greenblatt went out to dinner last night, according to the Hollywood Reporter. Normally, a network executive dining with one of his biggest pieces of talent wouldn't exactly be news. In this case it is given that Leno has been making a lot of fun of NBC's ratings performance during his opening monologue and, of course, there is also renewed speculation about Jimmy Fallon taking over the show next year. Separately, the New York Daily News reports that NBC could get a big tax credit from New York if it moves the show there from Burbank.

More Hallmark moments. The Hallmark Channel, one of the few TV networks that tries to steer clear of crude and violent content in favor of more wholesome fare, is making a bigger push into original content. The channel, which already makes a lot of original movies, is getting into the original series business as well. Who knows, if "The Following" gets even more gory, I may have to go to Hallmark Channel for relief. More on the network's original programming plans from the New York Times.

Reunion. We'll end today's report on a happy note. Mary Tyler Moore, an ailing Valerie Harper and Cloris Leachman are going to do an episode of "Hot in Cleveland," the TV Land sitcom whose cast includes ex-"Mary Tyler Moore" co-stars Betty White and Georgia Engel. Now just throw in Ed Asner and Gavin MacLeod. More on the reunion from Deadline Hollywood.

Inside the Los Angeles Times: Betsy Sharkey on "The Croods." International box office provided a big boost to the movie industry.

Follow me on Twitter and feel the magic. @JBFlint.

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