By Joe Flint
9:27 AM EDT, May 13, 2013
After the coffee. Before getting through two upfronts in one day.
The Skinny: It's a beautiful day here in New York. Too bad I'll spend it indoors at the NBC and Fox upfronts, and then running in and out of Starbucks to steal their Wi-Fi to file blog posts. See what I go through for all of you? Monday's headlines include a recap of the weekend box office, news that a top television executive is expected to leave Warner Bros., and NBC's unveiling of its fall schedule. If you are interested in receiving an email alert when the Morning Fix is live, please send me a note.
Daily Dose: British entertainment giant ITV has struck a deal to take a controlling interest in High Noon Entertainment, the reality production company behind such cable TV hits as "Cake Boss" on Discovery Communications' TLC channel and "Tough Love" on Viacom's VH1. Last year, ITV bought Gurney Productions, another company behind "unscripted" shows.
A great "Iron Man" beats a good "Gatsby." "Iron Man 3" muscled its way to the top of the box office, taking in $72.2 million in its second weekend of release in North America. Finishing second with $51.1 million was "The Great Gatsby," which delivered big numbers despite disappointing reviews. Initially projected to take in about $40 million, "Gatsby" exceeded even the most optimistic of expectations. The only movie that had something to cry about this weekend was the Tyler Perry-produced comedy "Peeples," which made less than $5 million. Box-office recaps from the Los Angeles Times and Hollywood Reporter.
Long week. This is -- as many of you probably already know -- upfront week, which is when the networks unveil their fall schedules to advertisers. The broadcast networks used to be the Holy Grail of television. But now, as cable continues to gobble up viewers and Netflix and other new platforms emerge as legitimate conveyors of entertainment, are CBS, NBC, ABC and Fox in danger of becoming afterthoughts? They still reach the masses, but their piece of the pie is shrinking and now they need to convince Madison Avenue to pay even more to buy commercials on their programming. Upfront week previews from the Los Angeles Times and Wall Street Journal.
NBC bets on Fox. NBC unveiled its fall schedule on Sunday, and it includes a new sitcom starring Michael J. Fox and a drama called "The Blacklist" starring James Spader. Back for a second season is "Revolution." Gone are "Smash" and the comedies "Go On" and "The New Normal" as well as the news magazine "Rock Center." NBC also said "Saturday Night Live" cast member and head writer Seth Meyers will take over "Late Night" when current host Jimmy Fallon succeeds Jay Leno as host of "The Tonight Show." Coverage and analysis of NBC's schedule from the Los Angeles Times, New York Times, USA Today and Variety.
Out the door? Looks like Bruce Rosenblum, the chief executive of the Warner Bros. TV Group, is exiting. Rosenblum's departure is not a complete surprise given that he was passed over earlier this year as the successor to Barry Meyer as chief executive of all of Warner Bros. in favor of Kevin Tsujihara, who had headed the studio's home entertainment unit. Peter Roth, head of Warner Bros. TV, the creative unit of the Warner Bros. TV Group, is expected to assume additional responsibilities along with executives Jeff Schlesinger and Craig Hunegs. Read more from the Los Angeles Times and Deadline Hollywood.
What will they think of next? ABC is going to start live streaming its network to tablets and mobile phones. Even though we live in a digital age, this is not as easy as it sounds. There are lots of hurdles involving the clearance of rights for programs as well as getting the network's affiliates on board. The first markets to offer "Watch ABC" will be New York and Philadelphia, then it's to gradually roll out to other parts of the country. Details on the initiative from the Los Angeles Times and Reuters.
Hope the view from retirement is good. TV legend Barbara Walters is officially announcing her retirement from ABC. The 83-year-old, who currently appears on the daytime talk show "The View," will exit stage left next summer after a lengthy career of many firsts. The Associated Press on Walter's amazing run.
Follow me on Twitter for all sorts of silly upfront observations. @JBFlint.
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