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June 2008 Archive

Wasserman's Slam Dunk At NBA Draft

Wouldn’t Lew Wasserman be proud. With only a handful repping the entire basketball pactice, Casey Wasserman’s sports management agency had a cost-effective slam dunk at this year’s 2008 NBA draft. And there’s another showbiz connection: WMG principal and NBA player superagent Arn Tellem is married to CBS’ Nancy Tellem. Wasserman Media Group had 7 athetes selected in the Top 15 of the first round, including 6 lottery picks. Its client Derrick Rose (pictured above), the… Read

Obama Hardly A “Hollywood Candidate” — And Not Necessarily Sumner Redstone's

News reports say Barack Obama raised nearly $5 million at yesterday’s celebrity- and mogul-packed fundraiser at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion. The asking price for a ticket to the gala’s general reception for Obama’s campaign was $2,300. Tickets to the VIP dinner were $28,500 for the Democratic National Committee. The Center for Responsive Politics, analyzing fundraising data released May 21, said Obama had collected more than $4 million from the movie, TV and music… Read

Billy Crystal Has Exited ICM

ICM says it was an amicable parting of the ways. But one of my sources within the agency says it wasn’t because of a TV deal that didn’t happen. “Name calling ensued and Billy had had enough. Lots of this kind of dysfunction happening.” I hear Billy Crystal is going back to CAA’s Richard Lovett. Then again, Billy’s been on the agency merry-go-round for many, many years now.  Read

Newspaper Publisher/Philanthropist Endows UCLA Center For Costume Design

UCLA announced: An unprecedented gift of $6 million from newspaper publisher and philanthropist David C. Copley will endow a chair and an innovative new center for costume design at the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television (TFT). The center will be the first of its kind in the world. The permanent endowment will support the establishment of both the David C. Copley Chair for the Study of Costume Design, to be held by an internationally renowned designer and… Read

Goldstein On Finke; Finke On Goldstein

I was surprised to see what the Los Angeles Times‘ Patrick Goldstein said in today’s New York Observer under the headline, “Make Nice, Nikki: L.A. Times Starts Hollywood Blog”: When asked what blogs he reads, the first one Mr. Goldstein cited by name was Deadline Hollywood Daily, by Nikki Finke. Ms. Finke's site has become a go-to destination for Hollywood news and analysis, particularly during last year's writers' strike. Surely the L.A.Times wants a piece of her… Read

Big Actor vs Big Actor SAG-AFTRA Inanity

For days and weeks and now minutes ago, I’ve been bombarded with lists of name actors who are supporting either AFTRA’s AMPTP contract ratification or else SAG’s effort to get AFTRA to renegotiate. (Seriously, is someone going to choose how to vote just because AFTRA paraded Tom Hanks and Sally Field or SAG trotted out Jack Nicholson and Holly Hunter?) Then there are the letters, the membership emails, and all the other nasty missives back and forth between the union… Read

“Mark Canton Wants A Word With You…”

  Variety‘s Todd McCarthy has just reviewed Sony’s Hancock and hilariously said it has “a certain whiff of” 1993’s The Last Action Hero. Oy. Since that infamous pic brought down upper management of the studio way back then. If the Sony Pictures Entertainment toppers weren’t all heading into the Barack Obama $2,300-per-person fundraiser at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in the Los Angeles Music Center right now, I’d bet you could hear their screams all over Hollywood. As… Read

'Sit Down, Shut Up!' Final Showdown Between IATSE Toon And WGA Writers

I have learned that Sony late last night presented a new financial package to the WGA writers of Sit Down, Shut Up! — but it still keeps the animated series an IATSE show. A Sony insider tells me that if the WGA writers won’t agree to it then “the show won’t go forward”. There have been some other interesting developments since I first broke the news about the turmoil behind-the-scenes of this show scheduled for midseason on Fox in the coveted 8:30 PM time slot between The… Read

More Hollywood Title Inflation Coming…

I’m told that senior execs in Sony’s marketing / advertising / distribution departments will be rewarded with bigger titles in coming days. It’ll involve “a lot of promotions”. I can confirm, however, that one exec who’s not being upped (but is not being shown the door, either) is Josh Goldstine, the prez of creative advertising who reports directly to Sony Pictures Entertainment vice-chairman Jeff Blake. Goldstine has been at Sony since the Peter Guber era when… Read

Box Office

Why Hollywood Is Such A Homewrecker…

How often does this happen? Will Smith was on Letterman last night and noted that his 7-year-old daughter Willow’s film Kit Kittredge: An American Girl opens wide against his Hancock in U.S. theaters on the same day (July 2nd). Said Will, “I told her, ‘Daddy loves you sweetie, but I gots to stomp you at the box office.’ ” Then Dave snarked, “I’ve got a son, but even I know that American Girl thing is very popular.” But Willow was quoted as saying a few days earlier about… Read

R.I.P. Howard Brandy

I just heard from a source that showbiz PR man Howard Brandy died last night after a long illness. He was always a gentleman to journalists, with a dry wit and an ability to laugh at his clients’s many antics.  Read