An insider tells me that, at the most recent and always secret Academy Of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences‘ Board Of Governors meeting, president Hawk Koch ”went around the room asking if ‘anybody is friends with Nikki Finke?’ before beginning”. Gotta say, Hawk made my day.
Deadline’s Nikki Finke broke the story over the weekend that Bruce Rosenblum was leaving his post as head of Warner Bros Television. Warner Bros CEO Kevin Tsujihara confirmed Saturday night and made it official today with a release and a memo to staff from he and Warners chairman Barry Meyer. The restructuring (see below) at the TV division, as expected, includes expanded duties for Peter Roth who is now president and COO. Here’s the memo that went around:
In his 25 years at Warner Bros., as all of you know, Bruce helped build one of the world’s most successful global television production and distribution operations. With his great energy, skill, creativity and vision, Bruce – and the strong team he has built around him – was responsible for some of the most popular and successful television series of all time, including “Friends,” “ER,” “The West Wing,” “Two and a Half Men,” “Two Broke Girls,” “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” and “The Bachelor.”
Bruce has been a vital member of the Warner Bros. family and a good friend to so many of us, and he will be missed.
Please join us in congratulating Bruce for his remarkable tenure at the Studio and wishing him great success as he embarks on the next chapter of his career and life.
Here are the details of the restructuring from today’s release:
Jennifer Lopez To Perform On May 16 ‘Idol’ Finale As Fox Chases Her For Next Year; Mariah Carey Blames Network & Producers For “Perpetuating” Nicki Minaj Feud
UPDATE (new Jennifer Lopez details below): American Idol’s Mariah Carey is one unhappy diva because of the drama between her and fellow judge Nicki Minaj, according to Carey’s husband Nick Cannon. “She didn’t sign up for that,” he said today to LA’s KTLA-TV morning show host Sam Rubin (video below). On air, Cannon accused “someone behind the scenes perpetuating” the conflict. Once the camera was off, Cannon blamed Fox Alternative Entertainment chief Mike Darnell for bringing Minaj onto the show. “No one thought it was a good idea then and no one thinks it is a good idea now,” Cannon said. (See related Falling ‘Idol’ Fuels New Mariah-Minaj Feud.)
Meanwhile Deadline has learned new details about Idol and Jennifer Lopez. The singer will use Season 12′s May 16th finale to debut her new single Live It Up from her 8th album. It is being released through producer RedOne’s 2101 label that is distributed by Capitol Music which signed her to a big new record deal. Also Fox is desperate to bring back Jennifer Lopez to the show next year after its feeble attempt to replace Mariah with J-Lo on Idol didn’t go anywhere. An insider tells Deadline’s Nikki Finke about Lopez: ”Fox is chasing her. They want her back. She has not made her mind up about it. She is on the fence. They wanted her to replace Mariah. There was no way she was going to do that. They started talking to her hard about next year. She really liked doing it but big question if she should do it again.”
Cannon was doing publicity for his own show, America’s Got Talent, which he hosts again starting June 4th. Today he also raised doubts that Carey would be coming back to the once-dominant show next year if asked. “If they get it stable she might relook at it, but she doesn’t want to be a part of anything unstable,” he told KTLA’s Sam Rubin. This season has set record lows.
Here’s Cannon’s KTLA appearance:
Cannon today also said Carey predicted problems between Minaj and her before the two were even brought on board as new judges this season.
Deadline.com strengthens its leading digital sales team with the addition of showbiz sales veteran Stacey Farish who was formerly the Los Angeles Times Vice President of Media and Live Entertainment, and since November 2011 the Publisher of The Wrap. Effective immediately, she leaves and becomes Publisher of Deadline’s print magazine Awardsline as well as Vice President of PMC Entertainment. She will be working with Nic Paul, the Senior Vice President of PMC Entertainment ad sales. “Deadline.com remains one of our top priorities at PMC, and we think Stacey is exactly the right person to partner with Nic Paul, who has single-handedly built Deadline into the most successful digital trade business,” said PMC Founder and CEO Jay Penske. “Stacey has done so much in her career, and very few sellers can combine her insider trade knowledge with great consumer sales relationships. Hiring her demonstrates PMC’s commitment to the rapid growth of Deadline as one of the most dynamic companies to watch in the digital media arena.” Deadline.com first began in March 2006 as Deadline Hollywood Daily, the 24/7 Internet version of Nikki Finke’s long-running print column. Her site was purchased by Penske Media Corporation (PMC) in June 2009 and has expanded to include such showbiz editorial stars as Mike Fleming, Nellie Andreeva, Pete Hammond, David Lieberman, Nancy Tartaglione, and Dominic Patten. Sharon Waxman’s The Wrap continues to suffer a revolving door of ad and editorial personnel and executives.
UPDATE: Variety debuts its new weekly magazine on Tuesday with a cover story on newly installed Warner Bros CEO Kevin Tsujihara after unveiling its new website earlier. By the way, various Deadline staffers including Nikki Finke and Mike Fleming Jr have been asked to write for the revamped publication. Inside the trade Josh Dickey is TMZ‘s Managing Editor after giving his notice at Variety where he was film editor. Variety’s NY business writer Jill Goldsmith was let go March 8th as was Variety’s creative director Paula Taylor more recently. Other editorial changes already announced include Scott Foundas joining Variety as film critic, Stuart Levine leaving Variety to become NBC Entertainment‘s VP of editorial and media relations, and small-fry film writer Jeff Sneider getting fired. Variety is owned by hedge fund Third Point as well as Jay Penske who also owns Deadline.
Related: Deadline And Variety Under One Roof In Westwood Building Deal
Related: Daily Variety Dead: Names 3 Editors-In-Chief And Turns Weekly
Related: Variety Editorial Firings To Come In March
Related: First Variety Staff Reductions Coming
Related: Deadline Parent Penske Media Corp Completes Variety Purchase
EXCLUSIVE: Just over a week after Adam Kanter left CAA for Jeff Berg’s Resolution, Bourne Identity director Doug Liman has joined his longtime motion picture agent at the new firm. Liman is staying with CAA for TV. The Mr. And Mrs. Smith director is currently helming All You Need Is Kill with Tom Cruise for Warner Bros. After that, he has Everest lined up at Sony Pictures with Tom Hardy attached to play climber George Mallory; Liman is also a producer along with his Hypnotic partner David Bartis and Jennifer Klein. On the TV side, Liman is one of the executive producers of USA Network’s legal drama Suits, which was renewed in October for a third season. Liman and Bartis are also exec producers on USA’s Covert Affairs, which was renewed for a fourth season in September. With all that going on, it makes sense Liman would stay with CAA for TV at least for the time being — Resolution isn’t set up for that yet.
The Academy leadership may have felt pretty good about the Oscars’ boost in ratings over the 2012 and 2011 ceremonies, but plenty of other folks weren’t too happy with Seth MacFarlane’s hosting. California Assemblywoman Bonnie Lowenthal and Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson, both Democrats who lead the Legislature’s women’s caucus, have written Academy President Hawk Koch and requested that the organization disavow MacFarlane’s behavior. “On Oscar night, when Hollywood seeks to honor its best, Seth MacFarlane’s monologue reduced our finest female actresses to caricatures and stereotypes, degrading women as a whole and the filmmaking industry itself,” the lawmakers wrote. “From topical jabs about domestic violence to singing about ‘boobs’ during a film’s rape scene, Seth MacFarlane crossed the line from humor to misogyny.” Author and award-winning creator of HBO’s Girls Lena Dunham wasn’t pleased either. In tweets she suggested that critics who claim Anne Hathaway hurt the feminist “cause” should save their “bad attitudes for the ones who aren’t advancing the cause” who “aren’t always, or mostly, women. Case in point: I saw your boobs“.
Related: Nikki Finke’s 2013 Oscars Live Snark
MacFarlane wasn’t the only source of complaints. The always closely watched “In Memorium” homage to people who have died over the past always leaves people out.
On Sunday you read Nikki Finke’s live-snark of the Oscars, which staked out a fairly clear position on how she felt about the show (sample: “How can everyone associated with tonight have such awful taste in material?”). Here’s an alternate view by Deadline Awards Columnist Pete Hammond (spoiler alert: he liked host Seth MacFarlane AND the musical numbers, though not so much the speeches) as he and ENTV host Brian Corsetti wrap up Sunday’s results and a very, very long awards season.
The reviews were a bit less than mixed for Seth MacFarlane‘s turn as Oscar host Sunday, with our own Nikki Finke saying during her live-snark “He really is The Worst Oscar Host Ever”. If his answer to a fan on Twitter today is any indication, he isn’t planning a do-over: @SethMacFarlane Would you host the #Oscars again if asked? // No way. Lotta fun to have done it, though. Here’s a better question: If the Academy pulls a Golden Globes and invites MacFarlane back anyway — a la Ricky Gervais — should he say yes?
Even as tonight’s Governor’s Ball was winding down, Ben Affleck was still off in a corner of the room celebrating his Argo‘s most unlikely Best Picture victory in becoming only the second film in 80 years to win the top prize without even a nomination for its director. Affleck’s roller coaster ride has been remarkable this season and as he told me earlier this weekend, and tonight after the Best Pic triumph, it has been filled with hills and valleys, but it all came together at the Dolby Theatre when First Lady Michelle Obama (from the White House) opened the envelope and announced his film as the winner.
Related: Nikki Finke’s Oscar Live-Snark
When he was left off the list of Directing nominees on January 10th he said he was really depressed, but that same night he won the Critics Choice Movie Award as Director and Best Picture, then the Golden Globe three days later, then the PGA, SAG, DGA, WGA and BAFTA honors to name a few. Suddenly Argo was the one to beat and it never wavered. Affleck’s emotional acceptance was heartfelt and perfectly described the personal journey of this actor turned first-rate director. And his acknowledgement of Steven Spielberg from the stage was a nice touch. He won, with Matt Damon, for Best Original Screenplay in 1997 for Good Will Hunting, but this was different as Affleck told me and he was going to savor this moment as long as he could before moving on into the night. It was the same for Argo’s winning screenwriter Chris Terrio who also was hanging late at the Govs Ball even though he had to catch a flight back to his New York home where he is currently writing a new script based on the Greengrass story. As he was just exiting the Ball at the Hollywood and Highland Grand Ballroom, he told me someone gave him advice that he should just try to enjoy this moment first. He seemed to have a hard time soaking it in, but he was going to give it at least this one night before getting back to work.
Argo, after vitually a clean sweep of awards season since the directing snub (which in retrospect could not have hurt), won a respectable three Oscars (also for Editing and Adapted Screenplay), tying Les Misérables for that number of Oscars. But the big winner of the night (if you can call it that) was 20th’s risky box office success Life Of Pi which nabbed four statuettes including a biggie, Best Director for Ang Lee. Had Affleck been nominated, he likely would have won since Best Picture and Director usually go hand in hand, but for whatever reason in a year with an embarrassment of riches it somehow seems totally appropiate that there was a split and Lee was given this award. If anything, Life Of Pi was a directorial achievement like no other and this Oscar was acknowledgement of that. In fact, right after Affleck was snubbed, I predicted Lee would take it, and in the last couple of weeks it was apparent a tide was building for him among Academy voters. It became one of the easiest calls of the night despite the fact that many pundits were calling it for Lincoln‘s Steven Spielberg. At the Govs Ball, Lee, who has won two previous Oscars (for Best Foreign Language Film for Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and Director for Brokeback Mountain), told me this one means as much or probably more because of the extreme challenges Pi provided. He was clearly thrilled with it and I told him he becomes the first director since George Stevens in the 50s with A Place In The Sun (1951) and Giant (1956) to win two Best Director Oscars for two films that did not win Best Picture, a rare occurence.
Where were Andy Griffith, Larry Hagman, and other important Hollywood figures snubbed from this year’s Oscars ‘In Memoriam’ reel tonight? The annual segment paid tribute to dozens of the stars and filmmakers who passed away in the last year, including Ernest Borgnine, Michael Clarke Duncan, Best Costume Oscar nominee Eiko Ishioka, Ray Bradbury, Richard D. Zanuck, and even Beastie Boy/Oscilloscope exec Adam Yauch. But they couldn’t squeeze in everyone. So the Academy posted a supplementary online gallery to cover its bases with a slideshow honoring those who didn’t make the telecast. Over 100 departed talents who passed away in the last year including Hagman, Griffith, Harry Carey Jr, Ann Rutherford, David R. Ellis, Nagisa Oshima, Donna Summer, Susan Tyrrell, Alex Karras, director Mel Stuart and Gore Vidal earned non-broadcast mentions. Yet there were even more snubs: Actress Phyllis Diller, Native American icon Russell Means, actress Lupe Ontiveros, actor Robin Sachs, actor Sherman Hemsley, puppeteer Jerry Nelson and actor Conrad Bain didn’t warrant mentions in the Academy’s online gallery. Who else missed the cut?
Related: Nikki Finke’s Oscar Live-Snark
UPDATED: The Golden Globes got Bill Clinton but the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences got First Lady Michelle Obama tonight at the Oscars – in part thanks to Harvey Weinstein. Before the ceremony, the White House was very “hush-hush” about the surprise appearance, according to pool reports Sunday. At tonight’s Oscars, Obama appeared via satellite to help Jack Nicholson introduce the Best Picture category and announce Argo as the winner. Afterward, the Obama staff put out a statement on how it came together: “The Academy Awards approached the First Lady about being a part of the ceremony. As a movie lover, she was honored to present the award and celebrate the artists who inspire us all — especially our young people — with their passion, skill and imagination.”
The idea of getting the First Lady on the show first came from Lily Weinstein, who mentioned it to her big Obama contributor dad Harvey, who suggested it to the Oscar producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron and Academy president Hawk Koch. The group flew to DC a week and a half ago to put the logistics together with the White House. The Oscar producers told Deadline’s Pete Hammond earlier this week that they “were being like the CIA” about a couple of surprises on the show, keeping things top secret. In towns like Hollywood and DC where people love to talk, they pulled it off. There was no indication on the show’s rundown and most of the people on the Oscars had no idea who the secret guest would be. “I knew we could do it and we did it,” Koch told Deadline tonight about keeping Obama’s name under wraps.
The First Lady was actually handed the envelope with the winner’s name in it by the head of PricewaterhouseCoopers at the White House, where she and President Obama hosted a dinner for the nation’s Governors tonight. Nicholson had a back-up envelope just in case. Check out the First Lady’s Oscar segment here:
Related: Nikki Finke’s Oscar Live Snark
Nikki Finke’s Oscar Live-Snark: Four Hours Of Unfunny Seth MacFarlane; Unnecessary Michelle Obama; ‘Argo’ Wins Best Picture
I’m live-snarking the 85th Oscars for the outstanding film achievements of 2012 starting at 5:30 PM PT tonight. Comments will open when the show starts inside the Dolby Theatre. Come for the cynicism. Stay for the subversion. Add your opinion. WARNING: Not for the easily offended or ridiculously naive.
To understand the Academy Awards is to understand that Tinseltown is fueled by the green-eyed monster. Envy and spite will determine the winners. Because best productions or performances have nothing to do with the 24 categories awarded tonight. The negatives, not positives, will decide this year’s Oscars. That’s par for the course in Hollywood, where nastiness rules and niceness gets rolled. How else to explain why the horrible Harvey Weinstein is trying for his 3rd straight Best Picture?
Everything in Hollywood is agenda driven. That’s why I always say, when it comes to its biggest awards, what’s important are the scars, not the Oscars. Here’s how to handicap them: just look for whomever is envied most by members of the Academy Of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences and bet those names probably won’t get called onstage tonight. That’s why few think Steven Spielberg has any real shot at Best Director or his Lincoln at Best Picture. Of course he thinks he deserves both. But when you’ve been moviedom’s legend for seemingly forever, the Academy voters can’t wait to knock you off your pedestal. OK, I’ll say it; Hollywood actually hates …
Oscars 2013 Winners List: ‘Argo’, Daniel Day-Lewis, Jennifer Lawrence, Ang Lee For ‘Life Of Pi’, ‘Django Unchained’ For Original Screenplay, ‘Argo’ For Adapted Screenplay, ‘Skyfall’ For Best Song, Anne Hathaway, ‘Amour’, ‘Searching For Sugar Man’, ‘Brave’, ‘Paperman’, Christoph Waltz
ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE
Christoph Waltz, Django Unchained
ANIMATED SHORT FILM
Mark Andrews and Brenda Chapman
Claudio Miranda, Life Of Pi
Life Of Pi
Bill Westenhofer, Guillaume Rocheron, Erik-Jan De Boer and Donald R. Elliott
Jacqueline Durran, Anna Karenina
MAKEUP & HAIRSTYLING
Lisa Westcott and Julie Dartnell
LIVE ACTION SHORT FILM
DOCUMENTARY SHORT SUBJECT
Sean Fine and Andrea Nix Fine
Searching For Sugar Man
Malik Bendjelloul and Simon Chinn
FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM
Michael Haneke, director; Margaret Menegoz, Stefan Arndt, Veit Heiduschka and Michael Katz, Producers
Andy Nelson, Mark Paterson and Simon Hayes
Zero Dark Thirty
Paul N.J. Ottosson
Backstage At The Oscars: Ben Affleck On ‘Argo’, Daniel Day-Lewis, Jennifer Lawrence, Anne Hathaway, Christoph Waltz, Quentin Tarantino & More
Diane Haithman, Ray Richmond and Anthony D’Alessandro are contributing to Deadline’s Oscar coverage.
Related: Nikki Finke’s Oscar Live-Snark
Ben Affleck was asked at what point he realized that Argo was gaining enough momentum to win the Best Picture Oscar. “When they gave us the trophies, I was confident that we would win,” joked Affleck, flanked by producers George Clooney and Grant Heslov. He added that throughout awards season he has not been into “Oscarology” and trying to predict the future. Affleck also joked that now that Argo has won Best Picture, “no more humility.” He followed this, of course, with humility. He acknowledged disappointment when he was not nominated for Best Director but said he was honored to “sit on the bench” with the likes of Quentin Tarantino, Kathryn Bigelow and Paul Thomas Anderson. “You are not entitled to anything,” he said to applause. “I’m honored to be here, honored to be among these extraordinary movies and honored to have won an Academy Award.” Affleck added that he was “sort of hallucinating” already when the audience was surprised by Michelle Obama announcing the award, so he wouldn’t have been surprised by anything: “Oh look, a purple elephant!” But he added that, once he realized what was happening, it was “very cool.” “And I’m a big fan of the bangs,” Heslov joked. Affleck also responded to a question about recent criticism that elements of Argo diverge from reality. “You walk a fine line,” he said, in honoring the basic truth and trying also to honor the three-act structure of a feature film. He praised screenwriter Chris Terrio for achieving that balance.
Related: Oscars 2013 Winners List
As the first actor to win three Oscars in the lead actor category, Daniel Day-Lewis wasn’t nearly as deadpan and jokey backstage as he was onstage while receiving his honor for Lincoln. The biggest challenge in the role, he admitted, was the fear that if he screwed up playing an iconic American President he “might never be able to show my face in this country again…It certainly had a paralyzing quality.” One reporter wanted to know if it was annoying having to “wear that beard,” apparently unaware that the beard was Day-Lewis’ own and not a fake. “Do you wear your hair?” he asked. “It was a little bit scratchy now and then, but that was all.” He has no plans at present to play any other legendary historical figures, and in fact, he stressed that he was pretty exhausted after playing the role and enduring awards season. “I want to have a lie-down for a couple of years. It’s really hard to imagine doing anything after this.”
Join Nikki Finke at 5:30 PM PT for her annual Oscar Live-Snarking!
EXCLUSIVE: What is maybe the most anticipated Academy Awards in recent memory is also mutating into what could be one of the longest Oscars in Hollywood history. I can feel a yawnfest coming on already. Sources tells me that last week the show clocked in at 3 hours and 40 minutes. Then it was shortened. But now the telecast doesn’t even commence presenting the Best Picture Oscar until after 3 hours and 23 minutes. And that’s only if everything goes according to schedule – which it never does. The telecast’s opening number lasts a full 15 minutes in what is the prelude to the most music-filled Academy Awards ever. So this could easily become an Oscar ceremony lasting 4-plus hours. (The longest on record is 4 hours, 23 minutes in 2002.) That’s not good news for longtime Academy Awards broadcaster ABC whose research demonstrates that, after 11 PM East Coast Time, the network loses 100,000 people per minute. That could hurt ratings for Sunday’s show which contains more suspense than in recent years. At around $1.7 million to $1.8 million for a 30-second spot, the Disney-owned ABC has sold out its ad inventory at prices higher than the network has charged since 2008 when the economy started to tank.
I’m usually in the habit of proclaiming doom and gloom every time these marquee Hollywood awards celebrate the movie season. But not this time around. Because I don’t anticipate a snorefest. Rarely have so many of the 24 categories including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actress, Best Screenplays, and more been up for grabs. Is it Jennifer Lawrence or Jessica Chastain or the 85-year-old French star Emmanuelle Riva of Amour? Is it Steven Spielberg or Ang Lee or dark horse David O Russell? Is it Argo or Lincoln or shocker Silver Linings Playbook? Nobody knows for sure.