November 2007 Archive

This Is No Time To Be Jaywalking, Leno

Not since the Helen Kushnick debacle 15 years ago when his manager crashed and burned as The Tonight Show's exec producer has Jay Leno taken such a terrible PR wallop as he did today. Today's Drudge headline, misleadingly, says “Leno fires staff” when what happened is that about 120 of the show's non-writing staffers today were laid off by NBC due to Leno's refusal along with the rest of the Top 5 late night hosts to cross WGA picket lines (since they're all guild members… Read

“Speechless” #16: Amy Ryan/Patricia Clarkson

CAST: Amy Ryan, Patricia Clarkson CREATIVE TEAM: George Hickenlooper, Alan Sereboff, Kamala Lopez, Jill Kushner MUSIC: Anthony Marinelli TECHNICAL TEAM: Joel Marshall, Justin Shumaker, Clint Bennett This is the 16th of the Writers Guild Of America member-conceived Internet videos for Project “Speechless” featuring A-list Screen Actors Guild talent. For the first time in the TV and movie industry, high-profile SAG actors are together taking their talents directly and… Read

That Ben Silverman Is One Lucky Guy

This is guaranteed to make Hollywood hate Ben even more without Silverman even shooting off his mouth in the press yet again. How nice for him that Shine, the UK indie owned and run by Elisabeth Murdoch, will snag his production company for something like $200 million. Ironic that a Murdoch winds up solving NBC's conflict of interest problem, eh? (See my previous, Don't Sweep This Under The Rug, NBC.) By the way, unlike Rupert's idiot sons in the media biz Lachlan and… Read

URGENT! Talks Day #4: Producers Present New Media Proposals To Writers; WGA Responds It's A Rollback & Rejects; But Is This The Whole Offer Or Just 1/2 Of It?

(Keep refreshing for the latest…) THURSDAY PM UPDATE: I'm told WGA negotiators are still waiting for the other “half” of the AMPTP's Day #4 new proposals (the half that presumably contains the missing terms on ESTs, electronic sell-throughs?) which agent Bryan Lourd said should be in their hands by Tuesday if not before. Then the writers will make a counter-offer to producers on Tuesday. Here's the WGA West and East email to members critical of today's New Media offers… Read

EXCLUSIVE: Moguls Supposed To Present A Better Offer To Writers At Talks Today

(Keep refreshing for the latest…) I was told last night by a top Hollywood CEO that the moguls had decided to allow AMPTP to put on the negotiating table a sweetened deal at Talks Day #4 today. “The producers are trying to put something on the table tomorrow [Thursday] that will jaw this loose. It will include streaming and EST [electronic sell-through] and all the rest,” the source said specifically. The problem is I can't confirm yet that the AMPTP has indeed bettered… Read

EXCLUSIVE: Conan O'Brien To Pay Staff

I just learned that Conan O'Brien has made arrangements to pay his staff who will be laid off by NBC as of Friday. About 80 production people — like talent bookers, producers, production assistants — will be taken care of by the Late Night host who is supposed to move to The Tonight Show in 2009. Sources tell me this is on a week-to-week basis for the moment until or if Conan, who's a WGA member and got his start as a comedy writer, goes back to work. Obviously, NBC is… Read

EXCLUSIVE: Talks Day #3 'Stalemated'

There's little more to say about Wednesday's talks other than that, unfortunately. “This is not heading in the right direction,” a mogul quoted his labor exec as saying to him yesterday. Another source told me, “It's stalemated. Nothing's getting achieved.” I'm not sure people are aware that CAA partner Bryan Lourd all week has been at the hotel where the talks are being held. He's working both sides in a form of  “footstep diplomacy” (as opposed to Henry Kissinger's old… Read

AMPTP Finally To Fight Video With Video

I'm told the AMPTP's so-called PR council formed by corporate communications execs at the studios and networks really want to make their own clever YouTube videos to compete with the ones up and running by striking WGA members. No greenlights yet. Until then, here's a wry WGA-member written video entitled “Harsh Words” — a riff on the actors-scribes “Speechless” campaign — purporting to state a very unofficial AMPTP position. (It's a fake AMPTP Read

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