The Chicago way is coming to Jeff Zucker’s CNN in 2014. The cable news network has picked up Chicagoland, executive produced by Robert Redford with his Sundance Productions partner Laura Michalchyshyn and filmmakers Marc Levin and Mark Benjamin of BCTV. The eight-part unscripted series examines the challenges the Windy City faces as it tries to rebuild from the consequences of the recent economic crisis. Praising “tough, visionary” Windy City mayor (and brother of Redford’s WME agency chief Ari Emanuel) Rahm Emanuel, Redford said today in a statement that “Chicago has always had a rhythm all its own. It’s a city that wears its heart on its sleeve and I am honored to be a part of telling this story.” The series is set to debut on CNN early next year. “We’re very pleased to bring this unique long-form series to the network”, said Amy Entelis, CNN Worldwide’s SVP Talent and Content Development. “Chicagoland is a creative exploration of stories relevant to every city and every American”. Sundance Productions’ debut documentary All The President’s Men Revisited premiered on Discovery last month.
3RD UPDATE – FINAL: (See Conan and Obama videos here and here.) We warned you not to expect much from tonight’s White House Correspondents’ Dinner. And true to form it failed to deliver. Bland to a fault Conan O’Brien didn’t lay a glove on celebrity-in-chief Barack Obama. (Bring back Seth Meyers…) But the President got an easy laugh with a showbiz joke that couldn’t have made Comcast too happy. (He noted that, of 22 recent basketball shots, he had 2 hits and 20 misses. “The executives at NBC asked, ‘What’s your secret?’” POTUS said.) O’Brien’s best line of the night was comparing the relationship between Obama and Speaker of the House John Boehner to a blind date between Anderson Cooper and Rachel Maddow. (“In theory they understand each other’s positions. But deep down you know nothing’s ever going to happen.”) Obama got in the nastiest media dig. Noting that CNN has “taken some knocks” – because of errors during reporting on the Boston Marathon bombings - he said, “Fact is I admire their commitment to cover all sides of a story – just in case one of them happens to be accurate.” Obama even stabbed his liberal media cronies. He said saying seeing David Axelrod going to work for MSNBC was “a nice change of pace since MSNBC used to work for David Axelrod”.
Steven Spielberg – whom Obama called “my wonderful friend” - played a pivotal role in a video claiming the …
UPDATE: Ari Emanuel clearly doesn’t know when to leave well enough alone. NBC’s Rock Center With Brian Williams featured a mostly lighthearted profile of him and his two bros Friday night timed to the publication of Brothers Emanuel: A Memoir Of An American Family. Williams assembled Ari, the WME talent agency chief; Rahm, current mayor of Chicago and former Obama Chief of Staff; and Zeke, bioethicist doctor and the book’s author. But Ari followed up with a legal letter to the network complaining about “contentious” nature of Williams’ questioning. You be the judge if Ari needs to develop a thicker skin:
Anthony D’Alessandro is Managing Editor of AwardsLine. Paul Brownfield and David Mermelstein are AwardsLine contributors.
Auteurs wouldn’t be auteurs if they weren’t enigmatic, especially when it comes to deconstructing details of their oeuvre. “Let the film speak for itself” is often the motto, and for Amour director and screenwriter Michael Haneke, that’s not too far from his own credo. However, he’s not completely inaccessible when responding to the audience’s fervor for his work.
“It’s very difficult for me to say, it was so long ago, I can’t remember”, Haneke told AwardsLine when asked if there were one particularly challenging scene to write for Amour. “Generally, when it comes to screenwriting, I can say that if it’s flowing, you enjoy it. If not, it’s far less pleasant. But there’s always ambivalence—the struggle to put something there on a blank page when there was nothing there before. If it’s successful, you’re happy; if not, you’re depressed”.
In writing the story of 80-year-old husband Georges who contends with his dying wife Anne’s debilitated state, Haneke was spurred by a beloved aunt’s long and painful battle with a degenerative condition. For the director, the story of the elderly couple’s struggle was a universal tragedy versus a tragic drama “about a 40-year-old couple who is coping with a child dying of cancer”.
In researching the script, Haneke met extensively with medical specialists who work with stroke victims. …
David Mermelstein is an AwardsLine contributor
Leaving artistic issues aside, you could—at first glance—say that the competition for best original score isn’t a fair fight this year. Three of the nominees—Mychael Danna (Life Of Pi), Alexandre Desplat (Argo), and Thomas Newman (Skyfall)—have never won an Oscar, and one of them (Danna) is enjoying his first nomination. Dario Marianelli won once before, but his nom for Anna Karenina is only his third. So who’s the heavyweight in the ring? None other than John Williams (Lincoln), who has won five Oscars for original score, as well as one for adapted score.
Williams is basking in his 39th nomination for original score. His first was for The Reivers (1969), starring Steve McQueen. His closest competitor within this group is Newman, who is savoring his ninth nom since 1994, when he earned two—for Little Women and The Shawshank Redemption. Desplat is suiting up for his fifth round since 2006, when The Queen first brought him close to Oscar gold.
David Mermelstein is an AwardsLine contributor
Though his films might lead you to believe otherwise, Michael Haneke is surprisingly good-humored in conversation. His latest film, Amour, is nominated for five Oscars: best picture, foreign-language film, director, original screenplay, and actress. It soberly and precisely charts the decline of an aged French couple, played to a fare-thee-well by Jean-Louis Trintignant and Emmanuelle Riva. The film might be the writer-director’s most personal to date, for though it retains the intense focus and absence of sentimentality present in his other work, its plainly expressed—and inevitably touching—humanity was inspired by a chapter from Haneke’s own life. Until Amour, Haneke was best known in America for the Oscar-nominated The White Ribbon (2009), which chillingly depicts village life in pre-World War I Germany and hints at the foundations of Nazism, and Cache (2005), which plumbs issues of memory, guilt, and identity. Speaking from Madrid, during rehearsals for a production of Mozart’s Cosi fan Tutte, the filmmaker discussed with AwardsLine various issues connected with his recent film work.
AwardsLine: What compelled you to make Amour?
Michael Haneke: Nothing forced me [to make the film], but what motivated me was a case in my family. I was forced to look on as someone very close to me suffered—but not specifically as depicted in the film—someone for whom I cared for very much. And that led me to make …
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts And Sciences‘ Music Branch members will vote for no more than five of the 104 eligible movies announced today, with the five receiving the most votes becoming the nominations for final voting for the 85th Oscars. To be eligible, the original score must be a substantial body of music that serves as original dramatic underscoring, and must be written specifically for the motion picture by the submitting composer. Scores diluted by the use of tracked themes or other preexisting music, diminished in impact by the predominant use of songs, or assembled from the music of more than one composer shall not be eligible, the Academy said today. Here’s the long list in alphabetical order by title:
German Producers Plan Pope Benedict Biopic
The Odeon Film company said German producers Marcus Mende and Peter Weckert have acquired film rights to an upcoming biography of Pope Bendict XVI by journalist Peter Seewald. The bio is to be published in early 2014, Reuters reported. Seewald, who has signed on as a consultant for the film, previously authored three book-length interviews with Benedict – two as Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger and one as pope. Benedict’s predecessor Pope John Paul was the subject of a dozen documentary films around the world and two major television movies in the United States.
Looks like someone didn’t get the memo. WGN Chicago urgently reported this morning on a plane crash “in the middle of the road” on the south side of the city. What the TV station didn’t realize was that it was a scene being filmed for NBC‘s freshman drama Chicago Fire. “One wing was knocked off; I don’t know if this just happened,” anchor Robin Baumgarten said at around 8 AM local time as the station’s Skycam tried to show the scene at the intersection of 29th and Martin Luther King Drive. “It looks like a giant hole in the street,” said fellow anchor Larry Potash. What the anchors could not see (as this photo from the Chicago Tribune displays), was that the area was covered in signage indicating filming was in progress. “All the usual protocol for this type of filming was followed,” said a spokesman for Universal TV, which co-produces the series with Wolf Films.
The station showed the scene for several minutes before Potash got word on air that what they were seeing was part of a TV production. “They might want to tell the news folks,” said an visibly annoyed Baumgarten. “Are you kidding me? 29th and King Drive, it’s OK. It’s all for a TV show, even though you see that plane in the road,” she added. The Chicago Fire Department admitted later that info about the filming was not widely distributed, says the Chicago …
‘Breaking Dawn Part 2′ Opens To Behemoth $340.9M Global Weekend ($141.3M Dom + $199.6M Intl): Twilight Saga Record Abroad; Holdover ‘Skyfall’ #2 & ‘Lincoln’ #3 Strong
SUNDAY 9 AM, 13TH UPDATE: If you went to your local multiplex this weekend, you know how crowded it was: overall moviegoing was an impressive $245M, or +14% from last year. The main reason is that it’s the Twilight Saga’s swan song (until the inevitable reboot). But the franchise’s $2.5 billion box office may even climb to $3B all in judging by this weekend’s big bite of global theatrical grosses. The frontloaded worldwide total for Summit Entertainment’s Breaking Dawn Part 2 is already $340.9M through through Sunday - or $141.3M domestic + $199.6M international. That’s a new Twilight Saga record for an overseas opening. Lionsgate as a studio also has achieved a first-ever milestone at the North American box office with help from Summit – crossing the $1 billion mark ($1.09B). This is the 1st time ever that a studio has opened two films – Breaking Dawn Part 2 and The Hunger Games – to over $125M in the same year. And it certainly explains why Lionsgate was so eager to acquire Summit.
Summit’s official numbers are $71.9M Friday (including $30.4M from Thursday 10 PM/Friday midnight shows), $41.8M Saturday, and an estimated $27.6M Sunday from 4,070 theaters in the U.S. and Canada. Friday’s take was the 6th highest opening day in history right behind the Twilight Saga’s Breaking Dawn Part One‘s $71.6M, and New Moon‘s $72.7M. Breaking Dawn Part 2 had the 8th largest weekend opening overall and the 2nd best opening weekend for the franchise, beating the $138.1M set by Part 1 in 2011. But not New Moon‘s franchise first-weekend record of $142.8M set in 2009. Summit reported that Breaking Dawn Part 2 opened in North America to long lines and sold-out screenings with $30.4M from Thursday 10 PM and Friday midnight late shows in over 3,000 theaters. This was a Twilight Saga best, earning slightly more than Breaking Dawn Part 1‘s $30.25M. (Eclipse made $30M, and New Moon $26.27M.) Needless to say, the Twi-Hards gave this final franchise installment an ‘A’ CinemaScore which may mean more fans go see it multiple times. This was the highst rated and recommended of all the Twilight Saga films with both genders and all ages. Exit polling showed that 50% of the audience was under age 25 and 50% over 25, while 79% were female and 21% male. That’s the highest percentage of males of any Twilight Saga franchise.
Overseas, Summit announced that, from the 37 international territories that opened as of Thursday, the overseas cumulative gross for Breaking Dawn Part 2 was a very impressive $38.8 million (not including the U.S. and Canada). I don’t expect an international update until Sunday AM. On Friday, 24 additional territories opened, bringing the total to 61 territories along with the U.S. and Canada. Nearly every market has opened at or above the Part 1.
In all, Summit made 5 films beginning in 2008 based on Stephenie Meyer’s series of 4 bestselling vampire romance novels with Melissa Rosenberg penning all the screenplays and Wyck Godfrey & Karen Rosenfelt producing all the films. Catherine Hardwicke directed the first Twilight, followed by Chris Weitz (2009′s New Moon), David Slade (2010′s Eclipse), and Bill Condon (both 2011′s Breaking Dawn Part 1 and 2012′s Part 2). Going into this weekend, the previous 4 films in the Twilight Saga have accounted for $2.5 billion in worldwide box office grosses – which is why Lionsgate purchased Summit. Of course, the lead roles in all the films were played by Kristen Stewart (Bella), Rob Pattinson (Edward), and Taylor Lautner (Jacob). Like the movies or not, there’s no arguing with the fact that this franchise’s phenomenal box office and fan base have been fantastic for the film business.
In 2nd place domestically, Eon Productions/MGM/Sony Pictures’ James Bond #23 actioner Skyfall looks down 53% from its big opening a week ago for a $41.5M second weekend. It took a bigger hit (-60%) on Friday than the studios
anticipated but bounced back Saturday to bring its North American cume to about $161.3M in just its first 10 days of release. Sony Pictures today announced its biggest movie year ever at the global box office, passing $4 billion for the first time in the studio’s history thanks in large part to Skyfall‘s worldwide cume of $669.2M. That’s bigger than the $599.2M worldwide total taken in by Casino Royale in 2006. This weekendm, Skyfall made $49.6M abroad for an overseas cume of $507.9M. All in worldwide, MGM/Sony expect the Sam Mendes-directed, John Logan-scripted, Daniel Craig-starring pic to make $800M as the biggest 007 movie ever (not adjusted for inflation or higher ticket prices or IMAX premiums). Skyfall enjoyed an amazing hold on IMAX: $6M for the weekend, which is a -45% drop, and IMAX global cume to day of $39M. Studio execs felt that the reason for Skyfall‘s success (preventing the Bond franchise from jumping the shark after the dreadfall Quantum Of Solace) was because the characters were richer, deeper, and more flawed. Plus, the addition of Javier Bardem - who received a star on the Hollywood Walk Of Fame timed to the film – made Skyfall less white bread so it was a better reflection of today’s world. After 4 years on hiatus, the studios had to win back hardcore 007 fans while expanding the franchise’s appeal to younger moviegoers through MTV, Comedy Central, and ABC Family and ethnic audiences through BET, Telemundo and Univision. The marketing campaign started early with big events, like the high profile Bond integration during the opening ceremonies of the London Olympics featuring Daniel Craig and the Queen. Most of all, the studios promoted Skyfall through the fact that 2012 marks the 50th anniversary of 007 on film – including a TV blitz of ads that aired in early October on the anniversary of the premiere of Dr. No. Global James Bond Day was marked with the launch of Adele’s Skyfall theme song, which execs felt was a major draw – “massive and moody and sexy and perfect”. There also was a Bond-themed charity auction at Christie’s in London, a retrospective of all 22 previous Bond movies at The Museum of Modern Art in New York, a Music Of Bond night at the Academy Of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences in Los Angeles, a 50 Years Of Bond Style exhibit at the Toronto International Film Festival, and the premiere of the documentary Everything or Nothing: The Untold Story Of 007. On TV, Daniel Craig hosted SNL while the film was promoted on 60 Minutes. Overseas, the cast toured Moscow, London, Paris, Zurich, Madrid, Berlin, Rome, Stockholm, Amsterdam, Istanbul, Sydney, and Johannesburg, which produced big grosses overseas.
In 3rd place and also very strong is Steven Spielberg’s Oscar-buzzed Lincoln from DreamWorks Studios in association with Participant Media. Biopic expanded its run from 11 to 1,775 venues this second weekend in release. With an ‘A’ CinemaScore from audiences and 92% postive reviews on Rotten Tomatoes which will help word of mouth, it earned $21M this weekend for a $22.4M cume. The pic is distributed by Fox internationally and by Disney domestically but had to pay off Paramount first so the film’s budget is said to be $65M. Like most movies from Spielberg, who produced with Kathleen Kennedy, this one is receiving a ton of media attention. The bulk was weighted to this weekend’s expansion including Daniel Day-Lewis as Lincoln on the cover of Time including a 9-page spread featuring interviews with Day-Lewis, Spielberg, Sally Field, screenwriter Tony Kushner (after John Logan and Paul Webb turned in scripts), and Doris Kearns Goodwin whose non-fiction book Team of Rivals provided the basis for the film. The trailer launched September 13th during Google+ Hangout featuring Spielberg and Joseph Gordon-Levitt and broadcast on the ABC SuperSign in Times Square. Special conversations with Spielberg and Day-Lewis streamed live on Yahoo! Movies and were simulcast via satellite to theaters in 9 other cities. There also was a huge marketing presence throughout 2012′s election coverage starting with 2-minute exclusive trailer airing immediately after the first presidential debate on ABC, CNN, and CBS. Also let’s not forget the surprise screening at the New York Film Festival last month or the official premiere November 8th on closing night of AFI Fest. Spielberg and the cast are Oscar-touted, as are longtime Spielberg collaborators Janusz Kaminski and John Williams.
In other Oscar-touted openings this weekend, The Weinstein Company platformed producer/director David O. Russell’s Silver Linings Playbook. The romantic comedy earned $120K Friday and $181K Saturday from just 16 theaters in 10 cities for a $458K weekend and per screen average of $26,652. Hollywood expressed surprise to me that the Bradley Cooper-Jennifer Lawrence starrer’s PSA wasn’t higher given its awards buzz. My understanding is that this Matthew Quick adaptation of his novel (which was 6 years in the making from the time the book was acquired to the film’s release) will expand into 55 markets for 400 runs this pre-Thanksgiving Wednesday. The hope is that it’ll hang on and get up to 600 plays by Xmas. The plan is to bump it up to 2,000 theaters in January once the various movie awards nominations begin and TWC starts spending on its Academy Award campaign. That wasn’t the release plan first drawn up. TWC intended to go wider with the pic right away, but I’ve learned that Harvey Weinstein felt the need to change course and go slower “because he thinks it’ll be taken more seriously by the Academy if it does more of a traditional roll out,” a source tells me. We’ll see how much gravitas this much lauded laugher can muster.
Related: Anna Karenina‘s Risky New Version
Focus Features also started its Oscar-buzzed Anna Karenina in 16 theaters earning just $88K Friday and $130K Saturday for a $314K weekend and $19,577 per screen average. This lush reteaming of Pride And Prejudice director Joe Wright with star Keira Knightley for Tolstoy’s iconic adultress did not adhere strictly to Academy Award winning screenwriter Tom Stoppard’s rather literal script. That’s causing some blowback among film critics even though the intent was to distinguish this adaptation from the dozen or so previous films. (The pic is so female-centric that Jude Law is barely shown or even recognizable in the TV ads…) Before Thanksgiving Day, Focus expands it into 27 markets and then windens still further November 30th.
You’ll notice that in 9th place is the Indian romance Jab Tak Hai Jaan directed by Yash Chopra who died on October 21st after 50 years of working in Bollywood. It’s written and produced by Aditya Chopra under their production banner Yash Raj Films. The film features Shahrukh Khan, Katrina Kaif and Anushka Sharma in lead roles. The background score and soundtrack is by AR Rahman (Slumdog Millionaire). The film released in India during the 6-day Diwali weekend November 13th. It’s extremely rare for Bollywood to make it into North America’s top films – so rare I can’t recall when it last happened.
Here’s the Top 10 based on weekend estimates:
1. Breaking Dawn Part 2 (Summit/Lionsgate) NEW [Runs 4,070] PG13
Friday $71.9M, Saturday $41.8M, Est Sunday $27.6M, Weekend $141.3M
International $199.6M, Worldwide $340.9M
2. Skyfall (Eon/MGM/Sony) Week 2 [Runs 3,505] PG13
Friday $12.3M, Saturday $17.7M, Weekend $41.5M (-53%), Cume $161.3M
3. Lincoln (DreamWorks/Fox/Disney) Week 2 [Runs 1,775] PG13
Friday $6.3M, Saturday $8.5M, Weekend $21.0M, Cume $22.4M
4. Wreck-It Ralph (Disney) Week 3 [Runs 3,622] PG
Friday $4.4M, Saturday $8.5M, Weekend $18.3M, Cume $121.4M
5. Flight (Paramount) Week 3 [Runs 2,612] R
Friday $2.5M, Saturday $3.9M, Weekend $8.6M, Cume $61.3M
6. Argo (Warner Bros) Week 6 [Runs 2,210] R
Friday $1.1M, Saturday $1.9M, Weekend $4.0M, Cume $92.0M
7. Taken 2 (Fox) Week 7 [Runs 2,063] PG13
Friday $650K, Saturday $955K, Weekend $2.1M, Cume $134.6M
8. Pitch Perfect (Universal) Week 8 [Runs 1,122] PG13
Friday $398K, Saturday $567K, Weekend $1.3M, Cume $61.6M
9. Jab Tak Hai Jaan (Yash Raj Films) NEW [Runs 161] NR
Friday $373K, Saturday $536K, Weekend $1.2M
10. Here Comes The Boom (Sony) Week 6 [Runs 1,350] PG
Friday $338K, Saturday $535K, Weekend $1.1M, Cume $41.0M
Hollywood has been one of Barack Obama’s biggest supporters during this Presidential campaign, and with less than 24 hours until polls open, the town is out today knocking on doors, hitting the stage and picking up the phone for the incumbent. Mad Men’s Jon Hamm, longtime supporter Eva Longoria, Parks And Recreation‘s Rashida Jones and Natalie Portman are just a few of the 181 surrogates on the trail today, according to a list released by the Obama campaign (see the full list below). Mitt Romney has star support on the final day of the campaign too: American Bible Challenge host and comedian Jeff Foxworthy, Fight Club’s Meat Loaf, Kid Rock and the Oak Ridge Boys will be performing at Republican rallies today.
Back to hit the streets and shops of Beverly Hills, the second season of Bravo‘s Shahs Of Sunset will debut December 2. The new season will see the group of Persian-American friends facing life crises, potentially finding true love and dealing with money problems. Regulars Reza Farahan, Mercedes Javid, Mike Shouhed, Asa Soltan Rahmati, Golnesa Gharachedaghi will also be joined by new addition Lilly Ghalichi. The show is produced by Ryan Seacrest Productions; the American Idol host serves as executive producer along with Adam Sher and Kris Curry. Eric Gardneris a co-executive producer.
The Croods - March 22, 2013
Turbo – July 19, 2013
Mr. Peabody & Sherman - November 1, 2013
Me And My Shadow – March 14, 2014
How To Train Your Dragon 2 – June 20, 2014
Happy Smekday! – November 26, 2014
The Penguins Of Madagascar – March 27, 2015
Trolls (working title) – June 5, 2015
B.O.O.: Bureau of Otherworldly Operations – November 6, 2015
Mumbai Musical (working title) – December 19, 2015
Kung Fu Panda 3 – March 18, 2016
How To Train Your Dragon 3 – June 18, 2016
UPDATE, 6:42 PM: “I’ve worked on a lot of fun movies but my favorite job was having a boss who gave the order to take out Bin Laden and is cool with all of us getting gay married,” Kal Penn told the delegates at the Democratic Convention tonight. “So thank you invisible man in the chair for that,” added Penn taking a dig at Clint Eastwood’s mock Obama interview at the Republican Convention last week.
David Geffen is notoriously press and camera shy. (Unless it’s with Maureen Dowd or Barbara Walters.) But he appeared at TCA today for the upcoming PBS American Masters: Inventing David Geffen documentary billed as an “unflinching” portrait of his life. He was brief with his answers to reporters and critics, emphasizing repeatedly this afternoon that he has little to do with showbiz anymore except for the 3 million-4 million stock shares which his foundation owns in publicly traded DreamWorks Animation run by Jeffrey Katzenberg. (He pointed out that he hasn’t even seen Steven Spielberg’s upcoming Lincoln yet “but I’ve heard it is very good” from DreamWorks 2.0.) Geffen said today it would be “impossible” to raise the $2 billion financing that formed the original DreamWorks which he co-founded back in 1994 with Spielberg and Katzenberg as the first new Hollywood studio in 50 years. “I don’t think it can be done today for a start-up. I don’t think anyone can raise $2 billion, I couldn’t do it today.” Geffen repeatedly spoke about the differences in showbiz between when he was coming up in the biz – and now. One of the most dramatic changes? “The demise of the DVD has a huge impact on the finances of the business,” he said. “The business model has changed. The industry will exist in very different ways than we experience it today. It’ll still be here. But I think there will be industries that will be far more profitable.”
Specifically about the film biz, Geffen said, “The biggest movies in the world have no stars in them today. Avatar has no stars. Avengers, with the exception of the small role that Robert Downey Jr had in it, had no stars. Today it is the story not the stars,” the mogul said. (He bluntly said Rock of Ages bombed because “it was a bad movie.”) Geffen did say what’s still the same is how hard it is to get into showbiz. “It was very hard then, and it is now. A very hard bullseye to hit.” His own early years as a working class Brooklyn boy in the William Morris Agency mailroom in 1964 spanned into the music industry and his early success
HBO Not Proceeding With Fox News’ Roger Ailes TV Movie Produced By MSNBC Rivals: “CNN Affiliation” Cited As The Reason
EXCLUSIVE UPDATE: I scooped yesterday that HBO had done a secret deal for an Untitled Roger Ailes Project being executive produced by Fox News rivals from MSNBC. Today I’ve received this email from HBO Films President Len Amato: “We recently decided not to pursue the Ailes project. It had become clear to us before even receiving a script that due to our company’s CNN affiliation the film could never be seen as objective.” Interesting, because today I’ve confirmed that none of the dealmakers have yet been informed by HBO that the project isn’t going forward. “HBO was trying hard to keep the project under wraps,” one of the dealmakers tells me. My reporting blew that.
The HBO movie would have been based on the upcoming manuscript by media writer Gabriel Sherman who has written two cover stories for New York magazine on Ailes and Fox News, including his mammoth article “The Elephant In The Green Room” which prompted complaints from the Fox News CEO. Last year, Sherman signed a book contract with Random House which at one point was tentatively titled The Loudest Voice In The Room: An Inside Account Of The Rise Of Fox News but isn’t formally titled now. NYC-based Hotchkiss and Associates made the HBO deal for the film rights to Sherman’s book tentatively titled The Loudest Voice In The Room on behalf of …
EXCLUSIVE: HBO appears obsessed by GOP Conservatives. There have been movies about the 2000 Bush vs Gore election standoff and Sarah Palin and most recently a TV series featuring George W Bush’s severed head. Now HBO has done a secret deal for an Untitled Roger Ailes Project. It’s based on the upcoming manuscript by media writer Gabriel Sherman who has written two cover stories for New York magazine on Ailes and Fox News, including his mammoth article “The Elephant In The Green Room” which came out a little more than a year ago and prompted complaints from the Fox News CEO. Last year, Sherman signed a book contract with Random House tentatively titled “The Loudest Voice in the Room: An Inside Account of the Rise of Fox News”. I’ve also learned that executive producing this latest HBO project are two of Ailes’ competitors: Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski, the co-hosts of MSNBC‘s Morning Joe. NYC-based Hotchkiss and Associates made the HBO deal for the film rights to Sherman’s book on behalf of the Ross Yoon Agency. Scarborough’s and Brzezinski’s producing deal was negotiated by WME Entertainment, the Hollywood agency run by Ari Emanuel who is a Democratic activist (and the brother of Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, the former Obama White House chief of staff).
None of this has been announced …
PBS announced today that David Geffen will be the topic of its documentary series American Masters on November 20, and that Geffen will take part in the pubcaster’s TCA panel next month. The L.A. billionaire media mogul isn’t one for the media spotlight, so participating in a TV doc is a notable piece of news — not to mention that he is taking the stage in front of a roomful of media to promote it. But PBS says it’s true: Geffen will appear alongside American Masters creator/executive producer Susan Lacy on Sunday, July 22 during the TCA summer tour at the Beverly Hilton. As for his two-hour episode American Masters Inventing David Geffen, it will take a look at the “groundbreaking media mogul who helped shape American popular culture for the past four decades as an agent, manager, record industry titan, Hollywood and Broadway producer, and billionaire philanthropist.” Yoko Ono, Cher, Stephen Spielberg, Barry Diller and Rahm Emanuel are interviewed for the piece among others.
(Photo: Getty Images)