The talent agencies had a greatly reduced presence at the May upfronts. Amid stalled negotiations between the WGA and the Association of Talent Agents, which broke off in April with no deal, triggering the firing of agents by more than 7,000 writers, most agency parties were canceled or dramatically scaled back.
As the WGA-ATA standoff continues with no end in sight, the agencies’ traditional Emmy parties also are facing a demise, I have learned. The Big 4, CAA, WME, UTA and ICM Partners, which are embroiled in a legal war with the WGA via dueling lawsuits, along with Paradigm, have all canceled their bashes, long-time Emmy weekend staples.
That includes the UTA party at the Brentwood home of co-president Jay Sures and the ICM Partners brunch at the Santa Monica home of Managing Director Chris Silbermann that had been held for a number of years. CAA last year moved its Emmy party from its longtime location at the Bouchon in Beverly Hills to the Rose Cafe in Venice, while WME had gone for different locations each year, most recently The Rooftop by JG, Waldorf Astoria, last September. Paradigm’s Emmy party had been held at the home of Sam Gores.
While all five parties have been canceled, ICM Partners is considering doing an intimate gathering.
Gersh was the only agency to keep the upfront party tradition going this year with a full-scale reception. The agency, which represents a large contingent of actors on TV series, is considering holding an Emmy party. Expected to host their annual pre-Emmy brunch is management company Artists First.