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'Django' chained in China. Disney confirms layoffs.

April 11, 2013|By Joe Flint
  • "Django Unchained" starring Jamie Foxx was pulled from Chinese theaters on its first day of release.
"Django Unchained" starring Jamie Foxx was pulled from Chinese… (Weinstein Co. )

After the coffee. Before getting my taxes done.

The Skinny: Is it football season yet? Oh, well. Thursday's headlines include layoffs at Walt Disney Co., China yanks "Django Unchained" and Fox tries a new way to keep viewers watching during commercials.

Daily Dose: When does synergy cross the line into shameless self-promotion? Watchers of "NBC Nightly News" get to think about that all the time. The most recent example was this week when, during a story about North Korea's stepped-up nuclear activity, a scene from the "Weekend Update" segment of "Saturday Night Live" was used to illustrate a point. It felt inappropriate. Of course, it's no secret that NBC News anchor Brian Williams is a big "SNL" fan. A few weeks back he even did an item on "SNL" ratings during the newscast.

Dark day. Walt Disney Co. is laying off about 150 people at its movie studio unit. While that is a relatively small number given that Walt Disney Studios employs about 7,000 people, it still jarred the town. Given that the majority of Disney movies come from its Pixar and Marvel units, a trimming of the ranks at its own in-house studio isn't a complete shock. Disney said in a statement, “As part of an ongoing review to ensure that the studios’ operational structure and economics align with the demands of the current marketplace, we have made the difficult decision to reduce our staffing levels in several divisions of the studio.” Details on the cuts from the Los Angeles Times and Deadline Hollywood

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Django chained. Quentin Tarantino's "Django Unchained" was pulled from movie theaters in China on its very first day of release. No reason beyond "technical issues" was given. The bloody film had already been edited to appease the Chinese government. The decision caught distributor Sony off guard. The movie has been heavily marketed in China in advance of this week's premiere. Details from the Los Angeles Times and New York Times.

That's one way to get a new deal. On Tuesday, the New York Times said Alec Baldwin was in talks with NBC to take over Carson Daly's talk show, which airs at 1:30 a.m. On Wednesday NBC poured some cold water on that one by announcing it had signed Daly to an extension. Oops. More on Daly's deal from the Hollywood Reporter.

Split screen. Obsessed "American Idol" fans will have a tougher time going to the bathroom during Thursday night's episode. That's because Fox is doing away with traditional commercial breaks. Instead, ads will be shown on a split screen along with a behind-the-scenes look at the show. Variety explains how Fox is trying to keep viewers engaged while feeding them commercials.

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Does Kate Upton come with the deal? IMG, a management and marketing firm that specializes in sports and models, is on the block and banks and investment houses big and small are lining up to handle the sale. The New York Post looks at which banks want to handle the sale as well as potential buyers. IMG

Inside the Los Angeles Times: HBO's "Veep" will start its second season this Sunday.

Follow me on Twitter and together we'll go far. @JBFlint.

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