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‘The Hurt Locker’ Dominates Gothams

By | Monday November 30, 2009 @ 8:59pm PST

The 19th Annual Gotham Independent Film Awards were held in NYC tonight.
The winners were:

BEST FEATURE
The Hurt Locker (Summit Entertainment)
Director: Kathryn Bigelow
Producers: Kathryn Bigelow, Mark Boal, Nicolas Chartier, Greg Shapiro

BEST DOCUMENTARY
Food, Inc (Magnolia Pictures)
Director: Robert Kenner
Producers: Robert Kenner, Elise Pearlstein

BEST ENSEMBLE PERFORMANCE
The Hurt Locker

BREAKTHROUGH DIRECTOR
Robert Siegel, Big Fan

BREAKTHROUGH ACTOR
Catalina Saavedra, The Maid

BEST FILM NOT PLAYING AT A THEATER NEAR YOU
You Won’t Miss Me
Director: Ry Russo-Young
Producer: Ry Russo-Young

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John Ferriter’s $25M Lawsuit Against WME

By | Monday November 30, 2009 @ 5:36pm PST

UPDATES Ferriter Claims Unlawful Termination, WME Claims Told Him To Work
UPDATES Agent John Ferriter Declares War On WME
UPDATES John Ferriter & WME Feuding; “This Is Going To Get Ugly”
UPDATES John Ferriter “Hates” Coming Into WME

FerriterJohn Ferriter’s $25 million lawsuit alleging contractual fraud, wrongful termination, breach of contract, defamation/slander, and so on was filed in Los Angeles Superior Court on November 17th against William Morris Endeavor Entertainment and the old William Morris Agency as well as board members Ari Emanuel and Rick Rosen as well as Mark Itkin. It is still inexplicable why Ferriter, the former William Morris board member and EVP and worldwide head of non-scripted TV, filed the 44-page lawsuit months after the merger, and months after WME kept him on despite a long hospital stay. Because it certainly seems that his anger is misdirected, in that his primary problem is with the bosses of the old William Morris Agency, especially Jim Wiatt and Irv Weintraub who were left out of the new company. In that sense, this legal complaint is an interesting window on the behind-the-scenes activity inside the Morris merger with Endeavor. But many see this lawsuit as Ferriter’s attempt to pump up his profile and salve his bruised … Read More »

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AP: GE & Vivendi Finally Reach Tentative Deal On That 20% NBC Universal Stake

By | Monday November 30, 2009 @ 5:30pm PST

vivendi-logo-1The price tag is said to be $5.8 billion. This, even after GE chairman Jeff Immelt last week went to Paris to beg the one-time French water company to come to reasonable terms. Then again, the French love money even more than screwing their partners, and Vivendi knew it had GE by the balls. What I can’t understand is why GE ever put itself in such a vulnerable position in the first place by placing Vivendi in the catbird seat during this Comcast-GE negotiation for NBC Universal. Now the deal for Comcast to takeover 51% of NBCU can go forward. And Vivendi can become more of a telco company. But GE shareholders got screwed. And Immelt is no Jack Welch.

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Changes At ABC Sales & NBC Marketing

By | Monday November 30, 2009 @ 4:37pm PST

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Broadcasting & Cable today says longtime ABC sales and marketing president Mike Shaw is leaving and that Disney is considering creating a new position for ad sales across all its properties.

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The NBC Agency announced today a consolidation of its West Coast Creative Team under the leadership of Jim Vescera, EVP & Creative Director of NBC Entertainment. The reorganization combines the on-air promotion and off-air advertising/digital teams into one creative group, and includes the promotion of Dave Doré to a new role as SVP & Creative Director, NBC Entertainment Marketing. The Agency also announced the promotion of Lorenzo de Guttadauro to SVP of Brand Creative, NBC Entertainment.

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Producers Guild Announces TV Awards

By | Monday November 30, 2009 @ 1:25pm PST

LOS ANGELES (November 30, 2009) – The Producers Guild of America (PGA) announced today the nominations for Television Series and Non-fiction Television categories that will advance in the voting process for the 21st Annual Producers Guild Awards. The PGA Awards television categories include: Danny Thomas Producer of the Year Award in Episodic Television, Comedy; Norman Felton Producer of the Year Award in Episodic Television, Drama; PGA Producer of the Year Award in Non-Fiction Television; and PGA Producer of the Year Award in Live Entertainment and Competition Television.

The nominated shows are listed below in alphabetical order by category:

Danny Thomas Producer of the Year Award in Episodic Television – Comedy
NBC’s “30 Rock”
Showtime’s “Californication”
HBO’s “Entourage”
NBC’s “The Office”
Showtime’s “Weeds”

Norman Felton Producer of the Year Award in Episodic Television – Drama
AMC’s “Breaking Bad”
Showtime’s “Dexter”
ABC’s “Lost”
AMC’s “Mad Men”
HBO’s “True Blood”

PGA Producer of the Year Award in Non-Fiction Television
CBS’s “60 Minutes”
Discovery Channel’s “Deadliest Catch”
A&E TV’s “Intervention”
Bravo TV’s “Kathy Griffin: My Life on the ‘D’ List”
Showtime’s “This American Life”

PGA Producer of the Year Award in Live Entertainment and Competition Television
CBS’s “The Amazing Race”
Fox’s “American Idol”
Comedy Central’s “The Colbert Report”
Lifetime’s “Project Runway”
Bravo TV’s “Top Chef”

Nominations for PGA Awards in the Theatrical Motion Picture and Longform Television categories will be announced on January 5, 2010, along with the individual producers in all categories.

The winners in each category will be announced at the PGA Awards ceremony on Sunday, January 24, 2010 at the Hollywood Palladium.

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SPOOF: ‘DeGrassi: The Next Generation’

By | Monday November 30, 2009 @ 1:03pm PST

I’ve been meaning to post about YouTube star Shane Dawson. So now the Fine Brothers have brought some production value to his channel by co-writing and co-directing this weekend’s epic 11-minute send-up of the Canadian TV show DeGrassi: The Next Generation which is a U.S. cable staple. (Must be on its 4th generation by now.) The video, like every video Shane makes, was seen half a million times in less than a day on November 21st, and now has a total of over 2 million views. (Shane gets tens of millions of views a month, which is more than most shows on cable networks.) This spoof is funny in parts and sick in parts. But it’s a post-holiday Monday, right?

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Fox Searchlight Marketing EVP Leaving

By | Monday November 30, 2009 @ 12:04pm PST

I’ve learned that Stephanie Allen, EVP of marketing at Fox Searchlight Pictures, is leaving after a decade there promoting Slumdog Millionaire, Sideways, Juno, Little Miss Sunshine, Napoleon Dynamite, and other pics. “Stephanie has decided to take a break from the movie business. She is already enrolled in graduate school, pursuing a Masters in Fine Arts, and also wants to become a better surfer. We will miss her mightily,” an insider tells me. Fox Searchlight is in the process of finding her replacement.

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IWantMedia’s 2009 Media Person?

By | Monday November 30, 2009 @ 11:33am PST

Once again my pal Patrick Phillip at IWantMedia.com is asking you to vote for the top figure in media for 2009. Previous winners have been Arianna Huffington, writers on strike, Stephen Colbert, Anderson Cooper, Jon Stewart, Bonnie Fuller, and Martha Stewart. So who do you think was the leading personality in the media industry this past year? Who left a lasting imprint — for good or ill? You have 10 finalists from which to choose: AOL CEO Tim Armstrong, Oprah Winfrey, Jay Leno, Glenn Beck, Lou Dobbs, David Letterman, Rupert Murdoch, Si Newhouse, Redbox, and the Twitter guys. (I was a runner-up along with Brian Roberts and Diane Sawyer…) The voting is open until 12 midnight ET this Sunday, December 6th. Winner announced the following morning.

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WB ‘Hangover’ Exec Greg Silverman Upped

By | Monday November 30, 2009 @ 10:59am PST

(November 30, 2009 – Burbank, CA) Greg Silverman has been named to the newly created position of Executive Vice President, Creative Development and Production, Warner Bros. Pictures, it was announced today by Jeff Robinov, President, Warner Bros. Pictures Group.

In his new position, effective January 1, 2010, Silverman will report to Robinov and have full oversight of Warner Bros. Pictures’ development activities and budget. He will be charged with seeking new opportunities to further diversify and build upon the success Warner Bros. Pictures’ slate has consistently achieved.

“As his track record clearly indicates, Greg has an uncanny ability to tap into cultural trends as well as his extensive relationships in the creative community to deliver what audiences want,” said Robinov. “He has a deep understanding of the development process, and I am very pleased that he will expand his role and focus while continuing to bring his superb taste and many talents to our efforts.”

Prior to his current post, Silverman served as Executive Vice President, Production, Warner Bros. Pictures, where he shepherded the enormously successful and critically acclaimed “300,” “The Dark Knight,” and most recently, the summer breakout smash “The Hangover.” He is overseeing such upcoming films as “Jonah Hex,” “Inception,” “Sucker Punch” and “Green Lantern.”

Silverman initially joined Warner Bros. in 1999 as a junior production executive, where he worked on such films as “The Matrix,” “A Perfect Murder” and “Cats & Dogs.” Silverman then joined Revolution Studios as Senior Vice President, Production, overseeing “America’s Sweethearts,” “The One” and “The New

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UPDATE: UTA’s David Guillod Not Leaving Agency Biz After All; Jumped To Paradigm

By | Monday November 30, 2009 @ 10:30am PST

MONDAY AM: It looks like this was not a resignation, but a defection. That’s right — UTA partner and co-head of the motion picture talent department David Guillod told the tenpercentery he was leaving the agency biz to supposedly join a content company. United TalentHe said he was going into business with Eric Gitter, his client who’s a partner in the comic book company Oni Press. On Saturday, Guillod sent UTA head Jim Berkus a request for modification of his exit payment so he could get more money upfront to help him start his content business. The agency said no. One, two, three, and presto — he’s starting today at Paradigm! I suspect there’ll be a tug-of-war for Guillod’s clients. And UTA is now saying they didn’t want him to stick around anyway and actually relieved him of his duties as co-head of the motion picture department six weeks ago in anticipation of his exit. So why didn’t they tell me? An insider explained to me just now, “We were trying to be good guys so he could experience a soft landing in the marketplace.” (This is why I love the agency biz!)

Here is Paradigm’s internal announcement from owner Sam Gores: “We are very pleased to announce today that David Guillod will join us at Paradigm. David has spent the last 8 years at UTA where he was a partner and the Head of the Motion Picture Talent department … Read More »

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RECORD-BREAKER THANKSGIVING $278M: ‘New Moon’ $42.5M Weekend/$66M Holiday; ‘Blind Side’ $40.1M/$57.5M

By | Sunday November 29, 2009 @ 9:16am PST


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SUNDAY AM: Official numbers coming in now… Analysis on its way…

1. NEW MOON (Summit Entertainment) Week 2 [4,042 Theaters)
Wed $14.3M, Thurs $9.2M, Fri $17.7M, Sat $16.5M
3-Day Total: $42.5M  (includes Sunday estimate) (-70% over last weekend)
5-Day Total: $66M  (includes Sunday estimate)
Domestic Cume: $230.7M  (includes Sunday estimate)
International Cume: $243M
Worldwide Cume: $473.7M

2. THE BLIND SIDE (Alcon/Warner Bros) Week 2 [3,140 Theaters]
Wed $7.9M, Thurs $9.4M, Fri $16.2M, Sat $15.9M (+18% over last weekend)
3-Day Total: $40.1M
5-Day Total: $57.5M
Domestic Cume: $100.2M

3. 2012 (Sony Pictures) Week 3 [3,444 Theaters]
Wed $3.6M, Thurs $4.0M, Fri: $7.0M, Sat
3-Day Total: $18M
5-Day Total: $25.6M
Domestic Cume: $138.7M
International Cume: $455.8M
Worldwide Cume: $594.5M

4. OLD DOGS (Disney) NEW [3,425 Theaters]
Wed $3.1M, Thurs $4.1M, Fri: $6.9M, Sat
3-Day Total: $16.8M
5-Day Total: $24.0

5. A CHRISTMAS CAROL (Disney) Week 4 [3,013 Theaters]
Wed $2.7M, Thurs $3.7M, Fri $6.6M, Sat
3-Day Total: $16.0M
5-Day Total: $22.5M
Domestic Cume: $105.3M

6. NINJA ASSASSIN (Warner Bros) NEW [2,503 Theaters]
Wed $3.3M, Thurs $4.5M, Fri $5.6M, Sat $4.9M
3-Day Total: $13.1M
5-Day Total: $21.0M

7. PLANET 51 (Ilion Animation/Sony) Week 2 [3,035 Theaters]
Wed $2.1M, Thurs $1.5M, Fri $4.0M, Sat
3-Day Total: $10.2M
5-Day Total: $13.9M
Domestic Cume: $28.4M

8. FANTASTIC MR. FOX (Fox) Week 3 [2,033 Theaters]
Wed $1.1M, Thurs $1.3M, Fri $2.9M, Sat $2.5M
3-Day Total: $7.0M
5-Day Total: $9.5M
Domestic Cume: $10.1M

9. PRECIOUS (Lionsgate) Week 4 [663 Theaters]
Wed $1.0M, Thurs $1.3M, Fri $2.7M, Sat $2.8M
3-Day Total: $7.0M
5-Day Total: $9.4M
Domestic Cume: $32.4M

10. THE MEN WHO STARE AT GOATS (Overture) Week 4 [1,119 Theaters]
Wed $285K, Thurs … Read More »

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Actors Will Do Anything To Land A Role…

By | Thursday November 26, 2009 @ 12:44pm PST

TJ Miller, an LA-based comedian (Cloverfield, Carpoolers) shot this video after two unsuccessful auditions for the Warner Bros’ Yogi Bear movie. Studio boss Alan Horn and producer Donald De Line saw this footage and offered him a major part in the film. He’s already in New Zealand shooting:

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Oscar Screeners Sent Out So Far…

By | Wednesday November 25, 2009 @ 1:39pm PST

Among Academy Awards screeners which Oscar voters should have by now:

9
(500) DAYS OF SUMMER
ANVIL
AN EDUCATION
A SERIOUS MAN
AWAY WE GO
BRIGHT STAR
CAPITALISM: A Love Story
COCO BEFORE CHANEL
CORALINE
DISTRICT 9
JULIE & JULIA
PIRATE RADIO
TAKING WOODSTOCK
THE BLIND SIDE
THE DAMNED UNITED
The INFORMANT
THE MESSENGER
THE PRIVATE LIVES OF PIPPA LEE
THE PROPOSAL
THE STONING OF SORAYA M
THE YOUNG VICTORIA
TRUCKER
WHATEVER WORKS
WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE

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Photos: Hollywood At Obama State Dinner

By | Wednesday November 25, 2009 @ 12:39pm PST


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Official List Of Hollywood Attendees At Obama’s 1st White House State Dinner

By | Tuesday November 24, 2009 @ 5:45pm PST

5:45PM: Hollywood VIP David Geffen was seated at President Obama’s table.

3PM: Below is a list of expected entertainment industry attendees at tonight’s first White House State Dinner hosted by President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama for guest of honor Dr. Manmohan Singh, the Prime Minister of India, & Ms. Gursharan Kaur: Ari Emanuel, David Geffen, Jeffrey Katzenberg, Jeff Immelt, Michael Lynton and wife Jamie, Gayle King, M. Night Shyamalan, Steven Spielberg, Alfre Woodard, Blair E Underwood. For background on why these Hollywood insiders invited, read my previous: Obama Thanks Hollywood With Invites To First White House State Dinner.

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LA Times To Make Staff Cuts In Calendar? Washington Post Closing Its L.A. Bureau

By | Tuesday November 24, 2009 @ 3:48pm PST

WEDNESDAY AM UPDATE: Los Angeles management told editors at a meeting this morning that, yes, more layoffs are planned. But management is claiming the 40 number is too high, and no film writers are involved. If anyone’s job has been saved because of adverse publicity, then great. (I’ve added a question mark about the Calendar staff cuts. But two prominent film writers were targeted, trust me.) Now I’m told there will be a big push LA Times-wide in coming months to turn staff writers into freelance writers.

TUESDAY: More bad news for newspapers: I’ve learned that the Los Angeles Times expects to make as many as 40 layoffs before the end of this year, and it’s likely that two senior film writers with well known bylines will be cut. (Yet the newspaper just hired a Hollywood Reporter film hack on the cheap. It’s all about dollars and cents there these days, not quality.) Meanwhile, The Washington Post just announced it will close its Los Angeles Bureau by December 31st. Looks like Hollywood will be covered entirely out of the paper’s headquarters now.

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FIRST LOOK! ‘Avatar’ Interactive Trailer

By | Tuesday November 24, 2009 @ 12:30pm PST

20thCenturyFoxTwentieth Century Fox is calling this is a first-of-its-kind “next generation” trailer because its a dynamic interactive experience allowing viewers to access special additional content embedded in the piece. The trailer also will keep audiences up to date on AVATAR events by providing real-time feeds of film-related conversations on Twitter, real-time updates on official video content on YouTube, and images on Flickr. Updates on ticketing information will also be provided. The trailer is a first-of-its-kind application built on Adobe® AIR® software with technology existing outside of a web browser. AVATAR opens December 18th.

Click on image to access trailer and click "Install Now".

Click on image to access trailer and click "Install Now".

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Obamas’ White House State Dinner Entertainment: Jennifer Hudson, AR Rahman, Kurt Elling, Marvin Hamlisch, Bay Area Empire Bhangra

By | Tuesday November 24, 2009 @ 12:29pm PST


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From Michelle Obama’s remarks today: ”There’s also more to the dinner than just the food, even though that’s going to be exciting.  Dinners like these also need great entertainment.  So who do we have tonight?  We’ve got someone you guys probably know a lot about:  Oscar winner Jennifer Hudson is going to sing tonight — yay!  But also have A.R. Rahman.  He’s also an Oscar winner and he helped create some of the music for the film “Slumdog Millionaire.”  I don’t know if you guys got to see that movie — incredible movie.  We’re also going to have Grammy-nominated jazz vocalist Kurt Elling, who’s a Chicago hometown guy and we’re pleased to have him.  And we’re also going to have the National Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Marvin Hamlisch, who’s one of the greatest composers in this country.” Mistakenly left off the list was the Bay Area Empire Bhangra dance group.

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SHOCKER! Carolina Lightcap Named President Of Disney Channels Worldwide; Heir Apparent Gary Marsh Passed Over

By | Tuesday November 24, 2009 @ 9:15am PST

disney channels logoUPDATE: Hollywood is buzzing this morning as Disney made another unexpected in-house management move. It had been assumed that Disney Channels Worldwide entertainment president Gary Marsh would take over from his boss Rich Ross to head the whole she-bang. After all, Marsh has spearheaded Disney’s lucrative franchises including Hannah Montana and High School Musical among other successes and has been considered a golden boy within Disney. But nooooooooooooo. Instead, Latin American VP and chief marketing officer Carolina Lightcap was leapfrogged over him. Heck, she was working out of Buenos Aires, not even Burbank. As a sop, Marsh gets an extra title, Chief Creative Officer, which is relatively meaningless since he still has to report to Lightcap:

Burbank, Tuesday, November 24, 2009 — Carolina Lightcap has been promoted to President, Disney Channels Worldwide, it was announced today by Anne Sweeney, Co-chair, Disney Media Networks and President, Disney/ABC Television Group, to whom she will report. A highly-regarded executive with more than 20 years in the media/entertainment industry, Ms. Lightcap joined The Walt Disney Company in 2000 and most recently served in the dual roles of senior Vice President, Programming and Creative Affairs, Disney Channels Latin America, and Chief Marketing Officer, The Walt Disney Company, Latin America. She will assume her new position within the Disney/ABC Television Group effective immediately and will relocate from Buenos Aires to Burbank.

A versatile and well-regarded executive who, during her career, has been based in

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