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February 2008 Archive

SAG & AFTRA Together To Set Talks Date

2ND UPDATE: AFTRA Chairman Claims Joint Resolution With SAG “Erroneous” But Admits OKing It; “I Regret I Did Not Object” PPDATE: Huh? No SAG-AFTRA Lovefest After All? This is potentially bad news for the AMPTP today. The Hollywood CEOs had been hoping to exploit the longtime bitter rivalry between SAG and AFTRA in order to pit both unions against one another in the run- up to contract negotiations (just as the moguls had done between the DGA and the WGA). But the… Read

WHAT A SURPRISE! Hollywood Only A Bit Player In Feds' Memo For Pellicano Trial

After all this time — the years, the witnesses before the grand jury, the rumors, and the media coverage — I can tell you that the trial memo filed last night by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the case of United States v. Pellicano, et al is not going to shake up Hollywood one iota. Of course, these are very serious charges against Anthony Pellicano and his co-defendants Mark Arneson (a 29-year veteran of the LAPD), Abner Nicherie (a Las Vegas businessman), Rayford Turner… Read

Could Pellicano Go Through Two Trials?

If a federal judge severs a pair of counts from the wiretapping and conspiracy case against Anthony Pellicano, then the imprisoned Hollywood P.I. would have two trials — the one starting Wednesday, and a second to be held later alongside bigwig showbiz attorney Terry Christensen. Pellicano surprised U.S. District Judge Dale Fischer by not objecting to the severance motion. Fischer asked whether Pellicano wanted two trials, and he answered, “Yes.” That’s the reporting… Read

Paramount Cancels 3 HD-DVD Releases

Not only has Blu-ray won the format war, but now HD-DVD is rubbing consumers’ faces in it. Paramount will stop releasing HD-DVDs after next week. Cancelled releases include Bee Movie (DreamWorks Animation, which is distributed by Paramount, had scheduled it for March 11), Sweeney Todd (April 1), and even the just announced There Will Be Blood. Into the Wild and Things We Lost in the Fire will be Paramount’s last vestiges of its short-lived HD-DVD agreement. Instead all… Read

UPDATE: SAG To Start Talks In Spring; “We Are Well Underway In This Process”: SAG-NY Accuses SAG-LA Of Delaying

2ND UPDATE: The New York board of directors of the Screen Actors Guild released a resolution today that urges the guild to begin negotiations on a new contract as soon as possible. It’s well known that the NY and LA branches of SAG are often at odds. The resolution comes only hours after SAG leaders Alan Rosenberg and Doug Allen sent a letter to members updating them on the union’s immediate plans. Pressure on SAG leaders to start talks earlier is coming from big-name… Read

TOLDJA! New Line Folds Into Warner Bros; Bob Shaye & Michael Lynne Exit; Read All The Interoffice Memos Here

This is, in my estimation, a logical, necessary and ballsy move by Time Warner’s new chief Jeff Bewkes (unless Toby Emmerich is kept on as New Line Cinema’s president of production, which would be moronic). It also shows that Bewkes is moving aggressively to start the transformation process of a corporation desperate for change after so many years when his predecessor Richard Parsons acted like just a caretaker of the status quo. But with change comes pain, and New Line… Read

Petition Drive Leaders Have Met With SAG

Now that the writers strike is truly behind Hollywood, I’m turning my attention as much as possible to the actors’ upcoming contract negotiations with Hollywood CEOs. Already, Variety is using its Page One bully pulpit to pressure SAG leadership to begin talks with the moguls because the studios are “refusing” to schedule new start dates on films that can’t complete shooting by June 30. (See my previous, Read

My Eyes! My Eyes! My Lying Eyes!

Last night on The Late Show, David Letterman noted the writers approval of the new contract by having the WGA’s Dave Young and the AMPTP’s Nick Counter come out onstage at the Ed Sullivan Theater. And shake hands. And hug. And then lip-lock for a passionate 2-minute kiss. And then keep kissing throughout the show. Suffice it to say, these weren’t the real Dave Young and Nick Counter. See the video here… Read

More Hillary vs Obama On SNL Ordered…

Already Lorne Michaels has asked Jim Downey to write another Hillary vs Obama skit to open the next Saturday Night Live show. (With Ellen Page hosting, the Juno star might play Chelsea Clinton.) Not bad for a veteran SNL writer who 10 years ago was fired by NBC for going after politicians in power on the show’s “Weekend Update”. Not only did Downey’s savvy opener last Saturday suddenly make SNL hot again, but Hillary Clinton cited the skit during yesterday’s Democratic… Read

Series From Internet To NBC Bombs Big

UPDATE: Sources say Quarterlife will move from NBC to NBC Universal-owned Bravo. The announcement that Ed Zwick and Marshall Herskovitz had sold their 36-episode Internet show Quarterlife to NBC for a network series caused a lot of talk during the writers strike. (See my previous, Zwick/Herskovitz: WGA Friends Or Foes?) The show was seen as the first wave of an independent production future on the Internet for writers. But when NBC bought Quarterlife during the strike… Read

The Hollywood Reporter's Publisher Exits; More Variety-zation Of THR's Nielsen

Jeez, we hardly knew him. John Kilcullen, who since October 2006 has served as publisher of  beleaguered The Hollywood Reporter, will leave the company at the end of this month. The reason is “to pursue his passion as an entrepreneur,” which has now officially replaced “to spend more time with his family” as the latest explanation for forced exits. Also senior vp of the Film & Performing Arts and Music & Literary groups within Nielsen Business Media, Kilkullen in his five… Read