EXCLUSIVE: Catfish host Nev Schulman has signed with Grand Central Publishing for his first book In Real Life, which the Hachette imprint will publish in fall, 2014. Schulman will write about his continuing exploration of relationships in the digital age, which started with the indie documentary Catfish. It broadened to the MTV spinoff show in which he helps one partner in a digital relationship meet the other, a collision that usually leads to the discovery the other person isn’t who they said they are, and sometimes not even the gender they claimed to be.
I had the opportunity to see Catfish in its premiere screening at Sundance several years ago. Some claimed later that events were exaggerated and that Schulman wasn’t that hoodwinked when he went cross country with a camera to commit to a relationship with a model beauty that turned out to be a lonely middle-aged housewife. But you could see by the audience reaction to that screening that Schulman and his cohorts had tapped into something in the zeitgeist, and did it in a most entertaining way. I didn’t foresee Schulman turning all this into a career, but kids (mine included) sure do love that show. The book will also convey lessons he learned personally and from the show on how not to get sucked into an emotional attachment through Facebook or other social media with a person who puts up a phony … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Screenwriter Charlie Kaufman is putting that cosmic mind of his toward his first book. Kaufman, whose scripts include Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Adaptation, Confessions of a Dangerous Mind, Human Nature and Being John Malkovich, has just closed a deal for his first novel for Grand Central Publishing, I’m told. The subject of the novel is being kept under wraps, which is probably just as well since it is pretty close to impossible to log line any of his original script creations anyway, even if you try after seeing his wonderfully imaginative movies. Kaufman takes this on even as he continues to develop to direct his script Frank or Francis, a Hollywood satire set to music where a film director feuds with a blogger and…oh, never mind, what the hell does that mean anyway? Nic Cage, Steve Carell, Elizabeth Banks, Catherine Keener, Jack Black, Kevin Kline and Paul Reubens are all circling that one. Kaufman is repped by WME.
EXCLUSIVE: In competitive bidding, Colin Quinn has signed with Grand Central Publishing’s Ben Greenberg for Yesterday’s News. Quinn’s first book went for mid-six figures and is a humorous look at humanity and pop culture, in which the former Weekend Update anchor will imagine what daily newspapers from each era of civilization would be filled with, from headlines and op-eds to obits and classifieds. For Quinn, this follows his one-man show Colin Quinn Long Story Short, which Jerry Seinfeld directed for its Broadway run and an Emmy-nominated HBO special. Quinn will bring that performance to Canada this weekend, where he’ll headline the Montreal Comedy Festival. Quinn, whose deal was made by Brillstein Entertainment Partners’ Brian Stern and attorney Jonathan Ehrlich, recently wrapped I Hate You Dad, opposite Adam Sandler and Andy Samberg.
EXCLUSIVE: After cranking out three bestsellers, E! Entertainment Chelsea Lately host Chelsea Handler has taken the next step forward. She has been given her own imprint by her publisher, the Hachette Book Group USA division Grand Central Publishing. The imprint, called Borderline Amazing/A Chelsea Handler Book, will kick off with Lies that Chelsea Handler Told Me, a book that will be published May 2011. The imprint starts with a three-book deal. The second will ostensibly written under the byline of her long-suffering dog, Chunk (the pooch has a co-writer, who has been helping with a Twitter feed that apparently has a rabid following). Borderline Amazing Productions, the shingle she runs with Tom Brunelle, will oversee the publishing venture.
Handler, who has become increasingly entrepreneurial since her E! show premiered in 2007, said the imprint gives her the opportunity to hatch books from some of the talent that appears on her show. Handler is also embracing the inevitable: once up and comers get established, the public wants to see them taken down a few pegs. Why shouldn’t the latter process be handled by loved ones who can profit from it?
Said Handler: “I’ve written three books now, and while they throw money at you after awhile, I completed the Chelsea Chelsea Bang Bang book tour, went out every weekend and signed all those books, and I don’t know if I can do it … Read More »
In a deal that is in the vicinity of $2 million against $5 million, Ryan Kavanaugh’s Relativity Media won the auction for the Nicholas Sparks novel Safe Haven. Temple Hill partners Marty Bowen and Wyck Godfrey will produce with Kavanaugh and Sparks, and Tucker Tooley exec producing. All of them teamed on the adaptation of the Sparks novel Dear John, the Relativity-financed pic that grossed $110 million worldwide with Channing Tatum and Amanda Seyfried starring. Sparks has become the closest thing the movie business has to a slam dunk, and that allowed UTA to make a rather sensational ask in a sluggish book-to-movie marketplace. What is most intriguing is the quick trigger on the deal, whose heft turned off some potential bidders. Buyers got a 9-month window to develop a script. If that date passes and a script isn’t ready, the rights return to Sparks and he keeps the $2 million, sources tell me. Read More »
Bedbugs have run rampant in New York City offices this summer (Bedbugs In CBS’ NY Offices), and Grand Central Publishing is the latest haunt to catch the bug. The publisher, whose Park Avenue offices near Grand Central Station are home to such bestselling authors as James Patterson, David Baldacci , Nelson DeMille and Nicholas Sparks, let staff know about the problem yesterday, and gave staffers the option of working from home today. There’s a corporate outing tomorrow that will keep the troops out of the office, and nobody works hard in the publishing industry on Fridays during the summer, anyway. The plan is to eradicate the critters and have the place back to normal Monday morning. A spokesperson said there is no infestation, but the decision was made to treat the problem chemically on Thursday, before it becomes a real problem. The bedbugs have found their way to hotels, agencies, and such places as satellite offices at CBS. These are nasty little critters that feed on human blood, and while vampire books continue to be the rage in publishing, this is taking things too far.