This Weekend in Weekly Variety

Picture 3 :: It’s now a pretty well-known fact that NBC will lose $200 million on the 2010 Winter Olympics. But is it still  worth the investment as a loss leader for the Peacock? Perhaps this year, when the Peacock could use a burst of prestige to counterbalance its primetime mess? Jon Weisman dissects the pros and cons of NBC’s Olympics gamble here

:: From the spin of things, NBC was strong-armed by its affiliates into dumping Jay Leno from primetime. But don’t believe the hype, Brian Lowry writes. Yeah, the affils played a role in the recent Late Night Crisis — but as a whole, affiliate clout continues to decline.

:: Staging a Broadway musical performance on TV is time-consuming and expensive — and there’s no guarantee that it will provide a boost at the box office. Yet, as Gordon Cox writes here, TV is still considered an important part of establishing a musical hit.

:: Is CBS’ “Undercover Boss” the next great hope for reality TV? The broadcast networks could use a new unscripted phenom, and Eye execs are bullish enough on “Boss” that it bows next Sunday behind the Super Bowl. More here.

:: The Supreme Court ruling that allows businesses to support candidates by purchasing campaign ads may have fans of democracy up in arms, but media companies are licking their lips at the potential windfall. (Did the Supreme Court just save the local TV business?)  

:: TLC’s Miss America pageant embraces new media in a big way.

:: Former TLC exec David Abraham has been tasked with his biggest challenge yet: Breathing new life into the U.K.’s Channel 4.

:: Makes sense: Spain’s TVE stops running ads during movies, and ratings soar

:: So how’s former Disney Channel programming topper Rich Ross going to work his magic on the film studio side? By taking a “less is more” approach, Marc Graser writes.

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