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August 2006 Archive

EMMYS: What Was NBC/Conan Thinking?

The very idea that tonight’s Emmy showcast on NBC was so scripted-in-stone that neither the network nor host Conan O’Brien could change a word of the broadcast opener, or decide not to show it altogether and substitute another skit crafted at the last minute, is absurd. After all, isn’t that the reason Hollywood pays writers for these awards shows? C’mon, couldn’t one executive or producer, much less Conan or the television academy that puts on the Emmys, pipe up and… Read

Well, This Explains Hollywood Moguls…

We all know that Hollywood’s executive suites are populated by Hollywood’s Napoleons. Long on ego, short on stature. So now the latest working paper from the National Bureau of Economic Research finds that tall people are smarter than their height-challenged peers. “As early as age three — before schooling has had a chance to play a role — and throughout childhood, taller children perform significantly better on cognitive tests,” wrote Anne Case and Christina Paxson of… Read

Oops! Brad Grey Now Has No Deniability

Here’s yet one more reason why rival Hollywood studios are salivating to use the newly branded Brad Grey Wimp Factor to get a leg up on Paramount with talent. Newsweek just ensured that Paramount boss Brad Grey has no deniability in the Viacom vs Cruise cock-up. “Critics saw it as evidence that Paramount chairman Brad Grey and his boss, Tom Freston, were powerless. Redstone says that’s false. ‘We were all in agreement about ending Tom Cruise’s production deal,’ Redstone… Read

Box Office

Outkast's 'Idlewild': Hip-Hop 2's Demise?

All of Hollywood had their eyes on the box office of popular hip hop group Outkast’s Idlewild from Universal this weekend since, historically, musicians who try to crossover into film rarely have luck although rap and hip hop artists have had a better time of it than most. (Eminem’s 8 Mile…) Playing in just 973 theaters, the Universal movie did $2.1 mil Friday and $2.2 mil Saturday which puts its weekend opening total at $5.9 mil. I, for one, wish Outkast had done… Read

Box Office

U.S. Loves Sports! Pro Football Film 'Invincible' #1; NASCAR Spoof 'Talladega Nights' #2; 'Little Miss Sunshine' #3; Outkast's 'Idlewild' Best Per-Screen $$$

SUNDAY UPDATE: U.S. moviegoers made sports films #1 and #2 at the box office this weekend. There’s nothing more predictable, as the NFL returns to television, than a movie about a down-on-his-luck guy who attempts an against-the-odds shot at making a pro football team. So I’m told Disney’s formulaic Invincible starring Mark Wahlberg opened in 2,917 theaters with so-so numbers that were still better than expected — earning $5.4 million Friday but up 30% Saturday with $6.7… Read

Guv Arnold Settles Groping, Smearing Lawsuit; That's Some Fab Friend You Have, Steven/Jeffrey/Haim

So this is the fab Republican “friend” whom Steven Spielberg, Jeffrey Katzenberg and Haim Saban and some other so-called Hollywood Democrats are financially and politically supporting in this November’s California gubernatorial election? Media reports today say Arnold Schwarzenegger has finally settled that lawsuit brought by Anna Richardson, the British TV host who accused the actor of groping her and two of his top political aides of later smearing her reputation… Read

I Was Sent This (Fake) WMA Email

No, I didn’t write this: I received this in my email and found it amusing. In the interest of fairness, send me fake trade articles, emails or internal memos for CAA or ICM or Endeavor or United Talent, and I’ll post the best one for each agency. Labor Day lazy days, right? WMA To Open Dubai Office by Colom Asiseeum, Variety International In what many in Hollywood are calling a surprising move, the venerable ten percentery, William Morris Agency, announced today that… Read

Viacom vs Cruise: Brian Grazer Mouthtrap

What a convenient time for Brian Grazer to be off vacationing with family and out of touch with his office and reporters. But not out of touch with his Hollywood pals, thankfully. I’m told that the Imagine uber-producer is disputing to friends ever “making a congratulatory call” to Viacom Inc Chairman Sumner Redstone for dumping Tom Cruise’s Paramount production deal, as the octogenarian claimed to the media. I’ve learned that Grazer is quietly explaining that he simply… Read

Viacom vs Cruise: LA Edition Of NY Times Missing Bert Fields' Holy Crap Quote

Los Angeles subscribers to The New York Times still don’t realize they are missing the “money quote” from Tom Cruise’s attorney Bert Fields today in the newspaper’s coverage of the Viacom vs Cruise war of the words. In the edition they received, the article’s final paragraph has the actor’s co-producer Paula Wagner claiming there are plans for that $100 million equity financing deal from a pair of hedge funds, and ends with this inocuous sentence: “But Mr. Fields, who has… Read

Viacom vs Cruise: The Truth About Lying

The Los Angeles Times had this angle today, but screenwriter/columnist Bruce Feirstein said it first and funnier on “As anyone who's ever worked in Hollywood will tell you, the basic social contract ("Local Law #1") is that nobody ever tells the truth, about anything…So after decades of polite lies, I can't help but wonder if my friend Sumner is going to start a trend here. Consider the following: “Oldspeak: ‘She was suffering from exhaustion.’ “Newspeak:… Read

Viacom vs Cruise: Who Ya Gonna Call?

Just thought I’d point out that Rogers & Cowan is having a helluva summer in terms of celeb crises. The PR agency represents not only Mel Gibson but also Tom Cruise. (Well, the good news for Gibson is that Cruise’s bad news gets Mel off media minds.) No wonder Tom’s latest flack Paul Bloch called around town yesterday asking the power players about Viacom vs Cruise, “Whaddaya think?” The overwhelming response was a thumbs-up for Tom’s career. “He looks like a victim,” one… Read

Michael Eisner Loves Jet Blue. Seriously.

OK, I’ve heard the stories about how cheap Michael Eisner is. How he asks for change back when he slips a fiver to the valet parking attendant. And so on, ad nauseum. Still, it came as a huge surprise to me when, the Internet gossip site, reported that the ex-Disney honcho and wife Jane flew Jet Blue from LA’s Burbank Airport to NYC yesterday. But now I’m told that Eisner, even though he’s worth a cool half-billion dollars easy, loves Jet Blue and flies it all the… Read