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The Morning Fix: More cuts at Winfrey's OWN! 'John Carter' bleeds red ink.

March 20, 2012 |  7:40 am

After the coffee. Before seeing if we can get Tim Tebow to take the column over for me.

The Skinny: I enjoyed most of Season 2 of AMC's "The Walking Dead," which seems to put me at odds with the folks who spend their lives detailing and analyzing every moment on the show. Some deep thought on shows is nice, but sometimes it seems like people have too much time on their hands. Anyway, Tuesday's headlines include a look at Evolution Media Capital, the CAA-backed investment bank, new cuts at OWN and the money Disney will lose on "John Carter."

Oprah Winfrey in happier times

The Daily Dose: Starz has given its new drama "Magic City" a Season 2 order before the show has even premiered. The pay cable channel took a similar approach with its political drama "Boss." The move is meant to send a signal to critics and media watchers about how confident Starz is in the show. However, one has to wonder how in stone those renewals are written. If "Magic City" generates little interest will Starz really keep it going for two seasons? No, it will find a way to back out of the deal. It's a publicity ploy, nothing more.

They shoot, they score. Evolution Media Capital, an investment bank backed by Creative Artists Agency, has made a splash in the sports and media marketplace. Launched less than four years ago, EMC has already been involved in more than 20 deals with a combined value of $15 billion. Deals EMC had a hand in brokering include the sales of the Texas Rangers and entertainment company CKX as well as TV pacts for the Pac-12 and the Boston Celtics. A look inside EMC from the Los Angeles Times.

Oprah Winfrey's "aha!" moment. OWN, the cable network launched by former talk show queen Oprah Winfrey and cable programming giant Discovery Communications, is cutting staff and restructuring its operations. The decision to shed 30 staffers comes just days after OWN canceled its high-profile talk show featuring Rosie O'Donnell, which turned out to be a huge flop. Discovery Communications, which has sunk more than $300 million into OWN, is also putting a few of its own executives in key operating roles to try to boost ratings and stop the financial bleeding. Details from the Los Angeles Times and Deadline Hollywood.

"John Carter" takes bath. Walt Disney Co. said its epic flop "John Carter" would likely lose in the neighborhood of $200 million. The movie, which will end up being one of the biggest bombs in Hollywood history, cost some $350 million to make and market. So far, the film has made just under $200 million, worldwide, in its two weeks of release. Coverage of the Disney debacle from the Los Angeles Times, Associated Press, and New York Times.

Plot twist. The legal battle between former "Desperate Housewives" co-star Nicollette Sheridan and ABC ended in a hung jury Monday. Sheridan, whose character was killed off the prime-time soap a few seasons ago, had sued ABC, claiming she was fired from the show in retaliation for making a complaint against "Desperate Housewives" creator Marc Cherry. Sheridan came up one vote shy of winning her civil suit. Now the two sides will either do it again or reach some sort of settlement. Analysis of the trial from the Hollywood Reporter and Daily Beast.

Closing the kid gap. For years, Viacom's Nickelodeon has been the No. 1 network when it comes to reaching kids. But now the Disney Channel is closing the gap and only 31,000 viewers separate the two networks in the key kids 2-11 category. Here's USA Today on the fight for first place. One piece of advice to Disney Channel: Don't launch a "John Carter" cartoon.

They said what? IMDB.com is Hollywood's must-read database and trivia question solver. The website tracks actors and movies. Seems harmless enough. But Amazon's IMDB is not without its critics. Sometimes it gets information wrong and not all actors are thrilled to have their birthdays (and other stalker material including marital status and bra size) blasted out into the universe. A look at some of the gripes about IMDB from the Wall Street Journal.

Inside the Los Angeles Times: Patrick Goldstein looks at some recent TV and movie flops. Randall Roberts and Todd Martens on what made a splash at the SXSW festival.

-- Joe Flint

Follow me on Twitter. You could do a lot worse.  Twitter.com/JBFlint

Photo: Oprah Winfrey. Credit: George Burns/OWN.

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