A former senior producer at Jennifer Lopez‘s Nuyorican Productions is taking the company to court for breach of contract. In a five-claim complaint filed today in LA Superior Court, Brian Schornak is alleging that he was removed from the company’s shows like The Fosters and South Beach Tow and eventually forced out. And Schornak is very specific about who is to blame for that: former manager and producer Elaine Goldsmith-Thomas who was brought on board Nuyoricann in March but is not a defendant in the lawsuit, however. The complaint (read it here) claims she accused him of stealing from Nuyorican and relentlessly tried to get rid of him. ”Elaine demoted Plaintiff and attempted to push Plaintiff out, or get him to quit,” the complaint claims. Schornak says he was “compelled” to resign from Nuyorican earlier this year. In addition to breach of contract, the complaints claims breach of implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing, as well as violations of the California labor code. Schornak is seeking unspecified compensatory, general and special damages in a 3-day jury trial. He is represented by Stephen Kernan of Santa Monica’s Kernan Law Firm.
EXCLUSIVE: Elaine Goldsmith-Thomas is joining 3 Arts as a manager/producer, returning to the rep business after 11 years. Once a high-powered dealmaker at ICM best known for guiding Julia Roberts from unknown to $20 million a picture as the world’s biggest female star, Goldsmith-Thomas left ICM in 2000 to run Revolution Studios East for Joe Roth and supervise films under Roberts’ production deal there. She has been a full-time producer since Revolution folded. An agent for more than 15 years at WMA and ICM, Goldsmith-Thomas also repped Tim Robbins, Susan Sarandon, Jennifer Lopez, Jennifer Connelly, Madonna and Darren Star.
The obvious question is whether she will be rejoined by Roberts, who went to CAA not long after Goldsmith-Thomas left. Goldsmith-Thomas said she comes to 3 Arts without any clients. While producing, she continued to give career advice when asked, but referred talent to agencies and management companies for years even as people asked why she wasn’t building a client list. She decided months ago to explore a return but was reticent to resurface as an agent. It would be hard returning to a job she left behind, and she never liked the poaching part of that game. She also didn’t want to give up producing, which agents can’t do. After meeting with 3 Arts’ Erwin Stoff, Goldsmith-Thomas felt she’d found the right fit. She will operate out of the management/production company’s New York base, where Richard Abate manages authors and runs the book department and Avi Gilbert manages stand-up comics.
“I’ve always loved the architecture of careers, and I missed working with colleagues in breaking down walls that have gotten thicker,” Goldsmith-Thomas told me. “I think it’s a mistake when people try to re-create the same career they had. I love what I’m doing now, and I see this as a complement.”
EXCLUSIVE: Less than a week after new CW president Mark Pedowitz indicated that the network will be open to comedies this development season, the CW has made its first half-hour buy, Todd Graff’s summer camp comedy Acting Out, executive …
Showtime Takes On 1970s Record Industry With Drama Project From Jason Smilovic, Elaine Goldsmith-Thomas & Barry Levinson
EXCLUSIVE: Showtime is getting groovy with a drama project about the 1970s music industry. The pay cable network has bought Vinyl, a spec script written by Jason Smilovic and Todd Katzberg, with Elaine Goldsmith-Thomas on board to executive produce and Barry Levinson attached to direct, subject to availability. Smilovic will also executive produce, with Barry Grieff, Andy Meyer and Katzberg co-executive producing. The idea for the project originated with Grieff and Meyer, who were A&M Records executives in the 1970s. They took it to Smilovic, who brought in frequent collaborator (and former mentee) Katzberg. Set in 1970s Los Angeles, Vinyl explores every aspect of the music business through multiple vantage points — from the record executives and rock stars to the drug pushers and the prostitutes, from the stage to the boardroom to the DJ booth.
Writer Jason Smilovic has set up a drama project at Fox. The project, titled The Detail, landed a script commitment with penalty after interest from multiple networks. It is executive produced by Elaine Goldsmith-Thomas, with Michael Dinner on board to direct. Produced by Sony TV, it is described as Ocean’s Eleven meets Revenge of the Nerds. It centers on a private detective, who, after being released from jail for a crime he didn’t commit, assembles a group of rejects, each with a unique talent, to form a detective agency and bring down his old business partner who framed him.