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August 2008 Archive

MAJOR MESSY NBC SHAKEUP AHEAD: Network Wants To Fire Teri Weinberg & Hopes Ben Silverman Quits Very Soon

EXCLUSIVE: After weeks of checking out rumor after rumor, I’m finally able to pin down details of the long-overdue shakeup that’s ahead for NBC when this fall’s primetime schedule shapes up to be an unmitigated disaster. Someone has to shoulder the responsibility, and both Ben Silverman and the Reveille development exec he brought with him to NBC, Teri Weinberg, now deservedly have big fat targets on their foreheads. Staying in charge will be Marc Graboff and Katherine… Read

'Dark Knight': $500M In Record 45 Days

  So The Dark Knight posts still another best-ever. Media By Numbers is reporting that Warner Bros’ latest Batman installment crossing the $500 million domestic gross milestone today after only 45 days in release. It’s already the second-highest grossing pic of all time behind only the $600.8 million domestic haul of Titanic which took 91 days to pass $500M. The projected domestic cume for Dark Knight is $502,421,000 after this weekend. Interestingly, Wednesday, August… Read

UPDATE: AFTRA Set To Negotiate Interactive Contract Separately From SAG

MONDAY: Now AFTRA has officially weighed in on the Interactive Contract and confirmed what SAG Interactive Committee chair Michael Bell told me — that AFTRA is starting informal negotiations on its own. Wheras in 2005 both AFTRA and SAG bargained the Interactive Contract jointly. See AFTRA’s statement below Bell’s… SUNDAY: The Chair of the SAG Interactive Committee, Michael Bell, tells me that AFTRA is about to break with SAG on yet another previously jointly negotiated… Read

Box Office

LABOR DAY LEADERS: Ben Stiller's 'Tropic Thunder' Ousts Vin Diesel's 'Babylon A.D.' As #1; 'Dark Knight' Passes $500M Today

MONDAY AM UPDATE: Here is the tentative summer total through today’s holiday — $4.12 billion, compared to Hollywood’s best-ever $4.16 billion for summer 2007 or just 1.3% behind. The summer box office may have run up near-record numbers, but it crawled to a close this Labor Day weekend with some very uneven films. After 20th Century Fox’s Vin Diesel sci-fi starrer Babylon A.D. (3,390 theaters) opened No. 1 Friday with a narrow margin of victory, holdover… Read

SHOWBIZ LEGAL EAGLE GOES DOWN! Christensen Found Guilty On All Counts; Pellicano Also Convicted For 2nd Time

UPDATE: Sentencing will take place November 17th. Maybe Terry Christensen should have hired a real criminal attorney and not his entertainment law partner Patty Glaser who clearly got out of testifying against him by becoming his counsel. Being found guilty on one count of wiretapping and one count of criminal conspiracy means that Christensen could be jailed for as long as 10 years. This verdict is sure to shake up the entertainment legal landscape because Christensen… Read

Why Do NBC Anchors Love Aaron Sorkin?

  Few people in Hollywood actually like Aaron Sorkin, least of all his fellow Writer’s Guild scribes who recently learned about his attempts to undermine the guild’s solidarity behind the writers strike. But NBC political anchors really really like him. Last night, NBC’s Brian Williams and MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann had an on-air bromance over, of all things, Aaron Sorkin’s writing. Both men, twice on the telecast, compared Barack Obama’s Democratic National Convention… Read

Anti-Membership First Flyer Sighted…

My photographer Jim Stevenson spotted this anti-Membership First poster visible near a film production in Los Feliz today. Is this savvy or slimey? You be the judge. UPDATE: Opposing slate leader Ned Vaughn emails me: “Unite for Strength had nothing to do with this anti-Membership First flyer and I don't know who's behind it.” Read

More Bitterness: SAG Hollywood vs NY

Anti-Membership First Flyer Sighted…  It was inevitable in this bitter SAG election between Membership First and Unite For Strength that both slates would find red meat in the just-as-bitter relationship between SAG Hollywood and the NY Division. At issue now are remarks made by SAG national president Alan Rosenberg at two Membership First campaign events — August 23rd (a fundraiser at Nancy Sinatra’s house) and 24th (an informal meet and greet) as reported by Back Stage… Read

Lionsgate, A Studio With No Conscience

  The Pulitzer-prize winning New Orleans local newspaper thinks it’s an outrage that Lionsgate is releasing Disaster Movie on the 3rd anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. The studio that has hawked torture porn for years has now decided to make a buck off the suffering of hundreds of thousands of people, and on the eve of another terrible storm about to strike the Gulf states. “Around these Katrina-scarred parts, Aug. 29 is still — and will be for some time — a black-armband… Read

URGENT! Actors Guilds And Advertisers Agree To 6-Month Contract Extension

I just received the following announcement: New York and Los Angeles (August 27, 2008) – Screen Actors Guild (SAG), the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA) and the advertising industry's ANA/AAAA Joint Policy Committee on Broadcast Talent Union Relations (JPC) today jointly announced an agreement to extend, through March 31, 2009, the terms of their Commercials Contracts. The extension adds six months to the previous two-year extension the parties… Read Also Says MGM Is For Sale…

So my sources, BusinessWeek‘s sources, and now’s sources all report that MGM is for sale despite the studio’s denials. Last night, the well-known financial website (whose articles require a subscription) noted that MGM doesn’t need Goldman Sachs because it already has relationships in place to, quoting from a statement it released Monday, “explore enhancements to MGM’s long-term capital structure.” The website cited in particular existing MGM arrangements with… Read