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AEG not for sale, no NFL for L.A.? 'Burt Wonderstone' needs magic.

March 15, 2013|By Joe Flint
  • "The Incredible Burt Wonderstone" will need a lot of magic to be a hit.
"The Incredible Burt Wonderstone" will need a lot of magic to… (Warner Bros. )

After the coffee. Before deciding what to do about this whole life thing.

The Skinny: You ever get the feeling the world is operating at a different speed than you are? That's where I'm at these days. Well, maybe a weekend break will help. Friday's headlines include AEG's decision to take itself off the market, a preview of the weekend box office and a profile of Steve Harvey, who may become the new king of daytime TV.

Daily Dose: The tiny cable network Ovation just got its best ratings ever with the premiere of its music series "Song by Song." While 750,000 viewers is still pretty small, Ovation's numbers come only months after Time Warner Cable dropped it from its systems reaching more than 10 million homes. "This marks a new chapter for Ovation," Chief Creative Officer Robert Weiss said in a statement.

Off the market. Anschutz Entertainment Group, the sports and entertainment giant that owns LA Live, Staples Center, the Kings and a piece of the Lakers, is no longer for sale. Finding one buyer for the company's vast array of assets was a challenge as was finding one with deep enough pockets to satisfy AEG. Philip Anschutz, chairman of the company, is also reestablishing himself as the boss man and Tim Leiweke, the company's high-profile chief executive, is resigning. The departure of Leiweke probably means no NFL team in downtown as he was the driving force behind the push to build a stadium and luring a team here. More on the AEG news from the Los Angeles Times.

How to make viewers disappear. Ever see an ad for a movie and wonder how something ever got into production in the first place? That's how I feel about "The Incredible Burt Wonderstone," whose script looked like it was pulled from the Will Ferrell rejection pile. The movie, which stars Steve Carell as an magician trying to beat back a rival, opens this weekend but is not expected to pull a lot of viewers out of its hat. The other wide-release opening is "The Call," a thriller that could ring up enough business for second place. Expected to be on top again is "Oz the Great and Powerful." Weekend box office previews from the Los Angeles Times and Variety

Harvey's moment. While Katie Couric and Ellen DeGeneres get most of the attention when it comes to daytime TV, Steve Harvey has become a force in his own right. He also has other gigs hosting a popular radio show as well as the game show "Family Feud" that are winning him fans and building his business.  The Hollywood Reporter on Harvey's growing media empire.

Show me the money. Every day there are more stories about the growth of online media and the need for traditional media to embrace the platform. Only problem is ad rates are not rising to meet the costs of making all that content. The Wall Street Journal looks at the online advertising market, where supply far exceeds demand.

But who will he work for? Hulu named Andy Forssel acting chief executive of the online video site in the wake of the upcoming departure of Jason Kilar from the top executive position at the company. The real question is what will happen to Hulu? Controlling owners News Corp. and Walt Disney Co. have fundamental differences in their views on Hulu and observers are waiting to see if they can agree on a plan or if one buys the other out. Coverage of Hulu from Bloomberg.

Inside the Los Angeles Times: Kenneth Turan on "The Incredible Burt Wonderstone." Sheri Linden on "The Call."

Follow me on Twitter and win a chance to meet me in person. @JBFlint.

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