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Let’s Travel Together Down Memory Lane: The Ben Silverman Experiment Ends, Pt 7

By | Monday July 27, 2009 @ 2:31pm PDT

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Hollywood Predicts His Future TV Sales: The Ben Silverman Experiment Ends, Pt 6

By | Monday July 27, 2009 @ 1:02pm PDT

“I have a better chance of converting to Catholicism than Ben Silverman does ever selling a TV project to Nina Tassler or Steve McPherson or Kevin Reilly.” (Remark to me today by one prominent Jewish TV agent.)

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Ryan Seacrest Runs To Defend His Guy Pal: The Ben Silverman Experiment Ends, Pt 5

By | Monday July 27, 2009 @ 9:40am PDT

Isn’t it amusing how Jeff Zucker couldn’t find one positive specific to say about Ben Silverman in the official NBCU news release this morning beyond “Ben brought us tremendous new thinking in this changing media age”. Because Silverman leaves behind a record of abject failure. (By the way, the coming fall season’s primetime network development was taken out of Ben’s hands and put in Angela Bromstad’s. And, voila, the first decent programming.) Instead, some really talented NBCU executives were let go in a vainglorious attempt to prop up this dumbass. Oh, but who needs NBCU when Ben has Ryan defending him on Twitter:

First — Some biz ent news going to break this morning that will impact shows and stars. It will have impact one major network immediately
Second — guy that runs nbc- put office biggest looser etc on is leaving to launch a new studio. Bringing together most creative stars and producers
Third — This means better shows from our favorite stars in u.s. and around the world. Ben silverman just filling me in. This is big news in hwood

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Behind-the-Scenes Of NBCU’s Lies To Me: The Ben Silverman Experiment Ends, Pt 4

By | Monday July 27, 2009 @ 9:09am PDT

First mea culpa. I was fast asleep when the announcement that Ben Silverman, the gift that kept on giving to me for all his NBCU screw-ups, was finally letting boss Jeff Zucker off the hook for a hiring decision that will go down in the annals of television entertainment as one of the worst. Sure, my phone started ringing at 6:08 AM PT. But I blissfully ignored it because I wanted my full 8 hours. But here’s the thing: I knew back on June 24th that Ben was engaged in a desperate search for another job or financial backing to leave NBC so he could make it look like he’d jumped before he was pushed. I also knew Ben was telling Hollywood between July 21-23 that he’d be leaving NBCU “in 2 or 3 weeks”. Just one problem: Ben had done that, and said that, several times before in recent months. It was like Chicken Little saying the sky is falling: eventually, it turned out to be true. But I owed this to DHD readers: it was more important for me to be right rather than first. It wasn’t until late Friday that Barry Diller’s name was whispered to me as Silverman’s savior (Diller helped bankroll Ben’s Reveille start-up, too.) And each and every time I contacted NBCU, executives there lied to me. Jeff Zucker lied to me. Ben Silverman lied to me. They had their PR lie to me. (NBCU’s claim now is … Read More »

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NBCU Promotes Gaspin & Screws Graboff: The Ben Silverman Experiment Ends, Pt 3

By | Monday July 27, 2009 @ 8:06am PDT

So all that time Marc Graboff had to play the adult while his co-chairman Ben Silverman acted like an unruly child, all that time Graboff kept the trains running while Silverman screwed up over and over again, was for naught. Instead of rewarding him with sole or joint custody of NBC Entertainment and Universal Media Studios, he now humiliatingly has to report to NBCU’s new fair-haired boy Jeff Gaspin. In short, Graboff got Zuckered, just like the rest of NBCU.

UNIVERSAL CITY, CA – July 27, 2009 – Jeff Gaspin has been named Chairman, NBC Universal Television Entertainment, effective immediately. This move expands his role to now include oversight of NBC Entertainment and Universal Media Studios, in addition to all of his current duties. This new structure will consolidate all of the company’s television entertainment assets, both broadcast and cable, English and Spanish, under one roof and will better allow the company to leverage its content across all of those properties.

Gaspin already has management responsibility for the company’s portfolio of entertainment cable networks, including USA, SyFy, Bravo, Oxygen, Universal HD, Sleuth, and Chiller, as well as its interests in the A&E and History networks. In addition, Gaspin oversees the company’s television distribution, including linear, digital and wireless, off-net syndication and first-run efforts, as well as the Telemundo broadcast network and its owned stations.

Ben Silverman, who has been Co-Chairman, NBC Entertainment and Universal Media Studios, has announced that he is returning to his entrepreneurial roots to form a new venture. He

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Here’s The Email This Putz Sent Around: The Ben Silverman Experiment Ends, Pt 2

By | Monday July 27, 2009 @ 7:48am PDT

From: Silverman, Bn (NBC Universal)
To: [His Hollywood Email List]
Sent: Mon Jul 27 06:14:04 2009
Subject: Fw: Release

Its go time brother!!!!!!! Let’s rock it out!!!!!

From: Simpson, Stacy
To: Silverman, Bn (NBC Universal)
Sent: Mon Jul 27 05:00:11 2009
Subject: Release

Stacy Simpson | I A C
Vice President, Global Communications

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So Why Did NBCU Lie About This To Me? The Ben Silverman Experiment Ends, Pt 1

By | Monday July 27, 2009 @ 7:40am PDT

IAC, Ben Silverman Announce Partnership
New Business to Produce, Distribute Content for Web, TV and Other Platforms Globally Utilizing

NEW YORK, July 27 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — IAC and media entrepreneur Ben Silverman today announced that they are forming a new company to capitalize on the ever-evolving world of multimedia production and distribution, leveraging unique marketing expertise. The company, which will be headed by Ben Silverman, will unite producers, creators, advertisers and distributors under one roof and produce all forms of content for distribution across a variety of platforms around the world.

This will be the industry’s first global platform that connects advertisers, distributors and content creators early on in the development process, enabling advertisers to be a partner in campaigns and content creation.

“This new venture will take full advantage of all areas of Ben Silverman’s extensive media expertise – as an agent, producer and advertising innovator – to create a truly integrated and truly interactive new media production entity, a next generation enterprise that bridges the gap between traditional television and the internet,” said Barry Diller, IAC Chairman & CEO.

Already a pioneer in pushing the boundaries of the media industry, as evidenced most recently by Silverman’s work as Co-Chairman of NBC Entertainment – bringing advertisers into the process further upstream resulting in integrated campaigns and better content – this venture will leverage Silverman’s unique expertise and break the current silos of the media industry to create a broad-based, 360-degree, multi-creative company. The new company will aim to go further than the industry has

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DHD: The Week In Review

By | Sunday July 26, 2009 @ 10:00pm PDT
  • It’s Now Official: Anne-Marie Johnson vs Ken Howard Running For SAG President
  • Scared Of Dr. Katzenberg? Who Wouldn’t Oppose MPTF Long Term Care Unit Closure?
  • ‘Wall Street 2′ Offer Going To Josh Brolin
  • Did Anyone Tell Hollywood?
  • SAG Board Narrowly Votes To Oppose MPTF’s Long Term Care Unit Closure
  • SAG Board Recommends To Members New Basic Cable Live Action Successor Pact
  • SAG Board Delays Initiation Fee Increase
  • Guinea Pigs Rule, Heigl’s ‘Ugly Truth’ Makes Bank, ‘Harry Potter 6′ Fades Fast, ‘Orphan’ Opens
  • R.I.P. Harvey Frand
  • FCC Now At Full Strength
  • Flynn’s Light Cycle From ‘Tron: Legacy’
  • UPDATED: WGA And SAG Start Process of Announcing Their Officer Campaign Slates
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    It’s Now Official: Anne-Marie Johnson vs Ken Howard Running For SAG President

    By | Sunday July 26, 2009 @ 7:30pm PDT

    UPDATES WGA/SAG Start Process of Announcing Officer Campaign Slates

    As I told you, the SAG slates are finally shaping up for September’s election. While Ken Howard declared Friday his candidacy on behalf of Unite For Strength for SAG President, today Anne-Marie Johnson declared her candidacy for SAG President on behalf of Membership First. Seymour Cassell is foolishly trying to play the spoiler as an Independent but few are taking his candidacy seriously. (He’s the numbskull who falsely told the trades that Doug Allen had been fired when he wasn’t — yet.) Not when so many vital issues will be decided.

    Anne-Marie Johnson’s statement read:

    “It is indeed a great honor to be asked to run for president of the Screen Actors Guild. I’ve been serving this union as a national board member for 12 years and its 1st vp for three. I’ve dedicated thousands of hours working hard to improve the wages and working conditions for all SAG members and to ensure that our members needs are met. The Screen Actors Guild is a wonderful talent union and I’ve been proud to be a member for over 2 decades. The next few years will be extremely challenging. Tough decision will have to be made. My ultimate goal is to help lead this union in the right direction to

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    Comments 48

    Scared Of Dr. Katzenberg? Who Wouldn’t Oppose MPTF Long Term Care Unit Closure? UPDATE: Answered!

    By | Sunday July 26, 2009 @ 5:55pm PDT


    UPDATES SAG Board Narrowly Votes To Oppose MPTF’s LTC Unit Closure
    MPTF Reaction below

    2ND UPDATE: I’m now being told that almost all of SAG’s Regional Branches and New York Division and a few of Hollywood’s Unite For Strength members DID NOT oppose the MPTF long term care facility closure. Shameful.

    Here’s what I’ve found out about the SAG vote: The Hollywood Division board dominated by Membership First met a few weeks ago and passed a resolution to recommend that the National Board take a stand opposing the MPTF long-term care facility closure. The Hollywood Division actually passed a back-up motion that if the Unit For Strength/ NY Division/ Regional Branches majority National Board chose not to act, then the Hollywood Division would come out with a statement of its own opposing the closure. After all, the MPTF is in their backyard and lots of their members depend on it. The protest group Saving The Lives Of Our Own, which is trying to be neutral in SAG’s rough-and-tumble internal politics, claims it had supporters from both SAG factions and hoped this was an issue that would bring everyone together. But the vote turned out to be shockingly closer than expected. I’m still trying to get the names of those who voted against opposing the MPTF long … Read More »

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    2009 Comic-Con: Megan Fox’s ‘Body’

    By | Sunday July 26, 2009 @ 2:55pm PDT

    Luke Y Thompson is covering the Con for DHD with an emphasis on Hollywood:

    Though not a part of the general Comic-Con, Fox put on a footage-screening and panel for JENNIFER’S BODY exclusively for press. The advance word on this has been mixed – via leaked publicity pictures, it has been made very clear that there is Megan Fox nudity in the film, and there’s clearly a hope that’ll sell. Similar self-promotion, after all, worked for the movie’s screenwriter, Brook Busey, who renamed herself Diablo Cody, wrote a book about being a stripper, and rode that Suicide Girl image all the way to an Oscar. Diablo is also a great name for someone writing horror…though her trademark as such to date has been teen-hipspeak that fans either love or think is way overdone.

    (Note: from here on out, I’m using the term “Fox” to refer to Megan Fox, not the studio.)

    I fall into the “overdone” camp…but I do find it funny that hardcore geeks who’ll defend Joss Whedon against similar charges aren’t wholely in the Cody camp. Some would blame that on sexism. I don’t know.

    But what I do know is that when the script for JENNIFER’S BODY first leaked, there was a bit of horror – and not the right kind – at some of the Cody dialogue that played right into her typecasting. “You’re lime green jello, and you can’t even admit it!” was the most

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    2009 Comic-Con: Mike Judge’s ‘Extract’

    By | Sunday July 26, 2009 @ 2:54pm PDT

    Luke Y Thompson is covering the Con for DHD with an emphasis on Hollywood:

    A workplace comedy isn’t exactly standard Comic-Con fare, but it makes sense when one realizes that most attendees here are big fans of cult TV shows, and Jason Bateman starred in Arrested Development. Also, Extract is directed by Mike Judge, whose IDIOCRACY was remade last year on a big budget and called WALL-E (I kid, I kid…though that robot movie really did draw heavily on both IDIOCRACY and SILENT RUNNING, even as the filmmakers only publicly acknowledged the latter).

    In EXTRACT, Jason Bateman plays the boss of a small factory that makes artificial flavorings. He has marital issues – the wife, played by Kristen Wiig, won’t have sex with him. And when a freak accident happens at the factory and an employee gets castrated by flying debris, a gold-digger named Cindy sees opportunity in cozying up to a guy who has a big cash settlement and no balls, so she infiltrates as a temp.

    Judge is asked if this is a spiritual sequel to OFFICE SPACE. He replies that when Beavis and Butt-head took off, he became a boss, and started to have some sympathy for management, and this movie reflects that.

    Charges of sexism? Judge says “When someone complains about how women are treated in everything I do, I tell them everyone gets treated poorly in everything I do.” Adds that he isn’t trying for

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    2009 Comic-Con: ’9′ Disappoints

    By | Sunday July 26, 2009 @ 2:53pm PDT

    Luke Y Thompson is covering the Con for DHD with an emphasis on Hollywood:

    If there was a disappointing movie panel at the Con, 9 would be it. (Not to be confused with DISTRICT 9, which rocked, or Rob Marshall’s NINE, which is not being marketed here).

    Comic-Con audiences can smell desperation. It’s one thing when footage shown gets such a loud response that the fans ask to see it again. It is quite another when the people on the panel show their stuff again regardless of response. And when what they’re showing again is a trailer that has been in theaters for months now, well, that is lame, and reeks of desperation. Which you should not have if your product is an animated movie produced by both Tim Burton and Timur Bekmambetov (who, it turns out, looks like a nesting-doll version of Bluto from Popeye. And now the Russians are going to kill me for saying that. Better eatsks me spinach…ughughughughugh!)

    In fairness, the trailer looked really sharp in digital projection. Apparently, the movie deals with the adventures of nine burlap sacks who were brought to life by a scientist right before the apocalypse…but this is an alternate reality, so no worries, kids, the future shown here probably won’t happen. “Visionary” director Shane Acker (listen, bud, Zack Snyder made two features before he got called visionary, so you don’t earn it merely with one short) saw the word “stitchpunk”

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    ‘Wall Street 2′ Offer Going To Josh Brolin

    By | Sunday July 26, 2009 @ 6:19am PDT

    I hear Josh Brolin on Monday will get an offer to star as the villain in Oliver Stone’s Wall Street sequel. Fox’s first choice was Javier Bardem, but he turned down the stock-shorting hedge fund manager role. And, with the film’s start date fast approaching, I’m told that Stone and screenwriter Allan Loeb (21, Things We Lost In The Fire) also have finally locked the script. In fact, Oliver and Josh, who did W together most recently, were overheard at dinner earlier this month talking about the screenplay. Brolin would now join co-stars Michael Douglas, reprising his Best Actor Oscar-winning role as Gordon Gekko 21 year later, and Shia LeBoeuf. More background here.

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    Did Anyone Tell Hollywood?

    By | Sunday July 26, 2009 @ 5:34am PDT

    Newsweek‘s latest issue declares “The Recession Is Over”.

    Comments 21

    SAG Board Narrowly Votes To Oppose MPTF’s Long Term Care Unit Closure

    By | Sunday July 26, 2009 @ 3:02am PDT

    UPDATE: Hmm. SAG’s National Board received presentations from representatives of the Motion Picture & Television Fund (MPTF) and the activist group Saving the Lives of Our Own. “After thorough discussion of both sides of the issue, the Board voted 51.74% to 48.26% to publicly oppose the closing of the MPTF’s Long Term Care facility, SAG said in its news release Saturday night. So who on the SAG Board wouldn’t declare their opposition to the eviction of the facility’s elderly residents because of the closure? No one’s saying.

    But this is who the grass-roots organization Saving the Lives of Our Own, which has been tirelessly protesting the closure and which maintains it is “completely neutral” in the election politics of SAG, thanked Saturday night on its website:

    July 25, 2009 – Los Angeles, CA:

    Thanks to the efforts of President Alan Rosenberg and spear-headed by First Vice President and Madame Chair Anne-Marie Johnson, with support from SAG Board Members Elliott Gould and SAG Senior Committee member Bill Smitrovich, and SAG Senior Committee / SAG Healthcare Safety Net Committee, the Screen Actor’s Guild National Board has voted to support Saving The Lives Of Our Own in their mission to keep Long Term Care open now and for the future, and to restore Motion Picture and Television Fund’s commitment of “Taking Care of Our Own”, adding their muscle in stopping

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    SAG Board Recommends To Members New Basic Cable Live Action Successor Pact

    By | Sunday July 26, 2009 @ 3:01am PDT

    SAG’s National Board of Directors also approved joint bargaining with AFTRA for the Industrial & Educational Contract. Here’s the statement:

    Los Angeles, CA (July 25, 2009) – The Screen Actors Guild National Board of Directors today voted an overwhelming 95% to 5% to recommend a successor agreement to the 2006 Basic Cable Live Action Agreement, which covers dramatic television motion pictures, excluding animated television motion pictures, produced for initial exhibition on a basic cable service.

    The tentative agreement, which would expire concurrently with the TV/Theatrical agreement on June 30, 2010, includes:

    • Effective annual increases comprised of 3.0% in year one and 3.5% in year two in wage increases and .5% in pension contributions upon ratification.

    Other terms match the terms of the recently approved TV/Theatrical agreement.

    The motion states:

    The National Board recommends the Basic Cable Live Action Agreement in a referendum to the membership, with supportive information about the contract and the contract itself.

    Approved 95% – 5%

    In other actions the board:

    Authorized the Interim National Executive Director to expand the joint bargaining agreement with AFTRA under which the Commercials Contracts were negotiated to include the Industrial & Educational Contract with the 2008 Industrial & Educational Contract Negotiating Committee to serve through the next round of bargaining of the Industrial & Educational Contract.

    Approved unanimously

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    SAG Board Delays Initiation Fee Increase

    By | Sunday July 26, 2009 @ 3:00am PDT

    The Screen Actors Guild National Board of Directors met Saturday at a previously scheduled videoconference plenary in Los Angeles and New York. Among its decisions, it voted 70.49% to 29.51% to postpone the automatic increase of the initiation fee for 2009. According to the SAG news release issued later:

    “The move provides an economic incentive to new members across the country by approving a one-year remission in the standard increase to the new join fee. ‘The automatic increase in initiation fees would have made the cost of joining SAG more difficult for actors across the country, particularly in this difficult economic period.  This action recognizes the stark reality facing professional actors and helps to keep the possibility of membership within reach of those who wish to join,’ said SAG Interim National Executive Director David White. The Guild’s initiation fee increases are determined as a multiple of the principal day rate as determined by the Guild’s collective bargaining agreement.”

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    2009 Comic-Con: Zack’s ‘Suckerpunch’ Art

    By | Sunday July 26, 2009 @ 2:59am PDT

    Luke Y Thompson is covering the Con for DHD with an emphasis on Hollywood:

    Below is a picture of a new T-shirt that was given out during the WATCHMEN DVD panel. It is, as far as I know, the first publicly released artwork anywhere from Zack Snyder’s next movie, SUCKERPUNCH, after 300 and WATCHMEN. It will be his only pic not based on previously written material. He didn’t give out any plot details or stuff like that. Just the shirt.


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