Viacom shareholders are going to jump for joy when I tell them that recently Bob Evans’ deal at Paramount was renewed yet again. And best buddy Sumner Redstone is the reason, even though Evans has had exactly one movie producer credit for the studio since 1999 (How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days) and legend has it he’s rarely even allowed on the set of a film anymore. So why is old coot Sumner carrying basket case Bob? “Because, among other things, he helped build the place and I think that counts, don’t you?” a Paramount insider tells me. Despite all attempts by others to rehabilitate his image, I wrote off Evans ever since Heidi Fleiss back in the early 1990s shared much more than I ever cared to know about him. But here’s my favorite Industry story about Bob: I was waiting to interview a Paramount mogul who was 45 minutes late, so I started chatting up the secretaries in the office. And one of them leaned over to me and whispered, “I have a question maybe you can answer. There’s this guy with long stringy hair and weird dirty clothes who stops by from time to time. Someone told us he used to run Paramount.” I thought hard for a half a second, and then I brightened. “Oh, it’s Bob Evans. Yeah, he ran production at the studio. Got convicted for cocaine. And then was implicated in a murder. Welcome to Hollywood.” The secretary’s eyes went wide. All I can say is how unreal that this guy has such staying power — or that Redstone can be so loyal to Evans and not to his own children.
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