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R.I.P. Talent Manager J.J. Harris

Motion picture and television talent agent/manager J.J. Harris died of what is believed to be natural causes on Friday afternoon and was found today in her Beverly Hills home by her staff. She was 62. Always classy and funny but never a pushover, she at one time was among the top women talent agents and sole practitioner managers in Hollywood, representing such notable clients over the course of her decades-long career including Kevin Costner, Charlize Theron, Dakota and Elle Fanning, Kate Bosworth, Drew Barrymore, and Scott Bakula. After starting her career at the old William Morris Agency and jumping to UTA as a partner, she started her own management company more than a decade ago. Harris ran One Talent Management until recently deciding to wind down her business. Until her death, she was spending almost all her time on the career of her longtime confidante and client Costner. It was because of him that her office became worried. “She wasn’t returning my calls or texts. Then Kevin called her,” her assistant and co-manager Sharon Vitro tells me. “It’s one thing for her to ignore me. But she doesn’t ignore Kevin ever.” Her staff went to her home and discovered her body. Through the years, Harris was an outspoken feminist who challenged mano-a-mano the Hollywood men’s club that long ruled actor representation. Bluffing her way into the William Morris accounting department as a secretary, Harris rose through the ranks to become a young but … Read More »

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Brian Bunnin To Station 3 As Head Of Talent

By | Thursday July 11, 2013 @ 11:42pm PDT

Brian Bunnin went from being an ICM talent agent to SVP of development and production at Streamline Television And Film a year ago. This month he joins bicoastal Station 3 Management & Production as SVP and Head of Talent.

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EXCLUSIVE: Ellen DeGeneres And Manager Eric Gold Part After She Tried To Cap Him

By | Sunday April 21, 2013 @ 8:25pm PDT

EXCLUSIVE: Eric Gold has been manager to the popular TV daytime talk show star Ellen DeGeneres since after her ABC sitcom was cancelled in 1998 and she was out of work. I’ve learned today they parted ways after the first of the year but kept the news quiet. But it leaked out through rival reps to me. There are two sides to every story like this, but I’m told Ellen tried to cap Gold – and he said no, so they no longer work together. (‘Capping’ is an agreement to put a maximum dollar or percentage number on a rep’s earnings from a client.) Over the last decade DeGeneres has earned a reported half a billion dollars from her hugely successful 10-year-old TelePictures syndicated daytime talk show Ellen, endorsements (JC Penney reportedly paid her $20M for the two-year campaign), and other activities. “After her sitcom ended and Ellen was out of work, Eric is credited with helping put together her comeback,” one source explains. “When she tried to cap him about four months ago, he wouldn’t accept what she wanted to do so they parted. America’s sweetheart ain’t such a sweetheart.” Others claim Gold “did nothing for her, didn’t deliver guests, didn’t make the show better, wasn’t on set, and didn’t create any showbiz opportunities outside the show for her.” Ellen remains with ICM Partners agent … Read More »

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Federal Judge Throws Out Lawsuit By Managers Challenging Talent Agencies Act

By | Wednesday March 6, 2013 @ 1:37pm PST

Personal managers took it on the chin Tuesday in U.S. District Court when Judge Dean Pregerson wouldn’t touch California’s Talent Agencies Act. Instead the judge threw out an outrageously broad lawsuit filed by the National Conference of Personal Managers seeking to overturn the state’s ban on managers “procuring” employment. That provision has effectively allowed clients  to void their management contracts and not pay commissions even if the managers obtained a job for them. (Managers are unlicensed whereas talent agents must be licensed by the state to procure employment.) Pregerson rejected the managers’ claim that California has created “involuntary servitude” for them. “Not being compensated for work performed does not inevitably make that work involuntary servitude,” the judge ruled. “Plaintiff’s members have choices.” He also rejected claims that the Talent Agencies Act violated the Commerce Clause, the Contracts Clause and the First Amendment.

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Keanu Reeves And Longtime Manager Erwin Stoff Hit Bumpy Road: Actor Almost Left 3 Arts But Instead Others There Repping Him

By | Thursday October 25, 2012 @ 10:43am PDT

Keanu Reeves Erwin Stoff ManagerEXCLUSIVE: This is a cautionary tale for every Hollywood manager who’s spending a lot of time producing. Such is the case with Erwin Stoff. The 3 Arts Entertainment president has repped Keanu Reeves for something like 32 years (ever since the actor was 16 years old). The Stoff-Reeves relationship has long been considered one of Hollywood’s most enduring. Until recently. I’ve learned it’s now very much on the rocks. ”Keanu Reeves very quietly left 3 Arts. Then he was recently convinced to stay at 3 Arts but with different reps,” says one of my sources. “Handling him now are Tom Lasally, Nick Frenkel, and David Miner. It’s an attempt to save the client.” I’ve confirmed this with several other insiders, too, even though Stoff denied any rift to me. I am told independently that ”there’s no rancor”.

Stoff of course has been a producer or executive producer on many of Reeves’ films dating back to 1991 — including Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey, Feeling Minnesota, The Devil’s Advocate, The Matrix, The Replacements, Sweet November, Constantine, A Scanner Darkly, The Lake House, Street Kings, The Day The Earth Stood Still, and most recently as exec producer of Universal’s troubled 47 Ronin. That Keanu starrer from first-time feature director Carl Rinsch has been plagued by a swelling budget, a reshoot, two release date delays, and bad publicity — prompting the studio to work side by side with Rinsch in the editing room which is highly unusual these days.

Related: Despite Reports, Carl Rinsch Is Still Working On ’47 Ronin’

But increasingly Stoff is producing a lot of films not starring Reeves – credits and paychecks Stoff probably never would have enjoyed without Keanu as leverage over the years. Right now, for instance, he’s in London producing All You Need Is Kill and that’s where I reached the manager. I’m told that Reeves’ principal problem stemmed from Stoff’s producing time commitments. “Keanu for 20 years was so used to talking to Erwin all the time. But Erwin is very busy producing now,” one insider explains. But another source also tells me, “Keanu has been frustrated with Erwin for a while, with the massive 47 Ronin problems and lack of material for him. Also Reeves’ sister is now in the actor’s life in a big way, and she did not like Stoff.”

The result is that, according to one insider, Read More »

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The Black List 2011: By Managers

By | Monday December 12, 2011 @ 11:10am PST

The Black List 2011: Screenplay Roster
The Black List 2011: By Agencies

MANAGERS – by number of scripts
Management 360 5
Mosaic 4
Kaplan/Perrone 4
Benderspink 3
H2F 3
Circle of Confusion 3
The Gotham Group 3
The Safran Company 2
Energy Entertainment 2
Four Floor Productions 2
Oasis Media Group 2
Caliber Media 2
Industry Entertainment 2
3 Arts Entertainment 1
Infinity Management International 1
Brillstein Entertainment Partners 1
Madhouse Entertainment 1
Magnet Management 1
Anonymous Content 1
Hopscotch Pictures 1
New School Media 1
New Wave 1
Caliber Media 1
Prolific 1
Silent R Management 1
Tariq Merhab Management 1
Gotham Group 1
Generate 1
The Schiff Company 1
Tom Sawyer 1
Underground Films and Management 1
Zero Gravity Management 1

MANAGERS – by number of votes
The Safran Company 143
Tariq Merhab Management 84
Management 360 68
Industry Entertainment 66
The Gotham Group 59
Anonymous Content 53
Circle of Confusion 46
Silent R Management 43
Kaplan/Perrone 43
Four Floor Productions 38
H2F 30
Benderspink 28
Energy Entertainment 26
Magnet Management 23
Oasis Media Group 22
Caliber Media 22
3 Arts Entertainment 17
Brillstein Entertainment Partners 17
Mosaic 14
Infinity Management International 14
Zero Gravity Management 13
New School Media 10
Caliber Media 10
Prolific 8
Hopscotch Pictures 8
Generate 7
Underground Films and Management 7
The Schiff Company 7
New Wave 6
Tom Sawyer 6
Madhouse Entertainment 6

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Penny Marshall Back In Biz With New Reps

By | Thursday July 21, 2011 @ 6:51pm PDT

EXCLUSIVE: Director and actress and producer Penny Marshall has signed with Shelter Entertainment Group President Alan Iezman for management, and with APA for agency representation in all area.  The helmer of such classics as Big, Awakenings (an Oscar Best Picture contender), and A League Of Their Own was the first female director to gross in excess of $100 million at the U.S. box office. Marshall also starred as the iconic LaVerne DeFazio on ABC’s hit show Laverne and Shirley from 1976-1983. We all need a little more Penny right now.

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Management 360 Hires Scott Lambert

By | Thursday July 21, 2011 @ 3:59pm PDT

LOS ANGELES, CA – July 21, 2011 – Management 360 today announced the addition of Scott Lambert as a manager and producer, effective immediately. With more than twenty years of entertainment industry experience, Lambert has held influential posts at the William Morris Agency and Relativity Media. “Having worked closely with Scott as both an agent and an executive, we are thrilled to bring him to Management 360 where he can put his broad skill set to work on our increasingly diverse endeavors,” said the Management 360 partners. In addition to his management and production efforts, Lambert will also contribute his expertise to developing new business opportunities for Management 360.

Most recently, Lambert served as Chairman of SPL Media, a media consulting firm involved with Wall Street and international financing in the media space. The company was also involved in the development of several film and television projects as well as a number of Broadway productions. Prior to that, Lambert served as President of the Business Group and EVP of Production at Relativity Media, a worldwide financier, distributor and producer of motion pictures and television shows. At Relativity, he was involved in over twenty films, including the critical and box office hits, The Fighter and Limitless. Lambert worked as EVP of the William Morris Agency from 1994 to 2008 where he represented many major television and film stars including Scarlett Johansson, Kevin Spacey, Kiefer Sutherland and Sylvester Stallone. He also served

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Management 360 Hires Benderspink Exec

By | Friday May 27, 2011 @ 10:21am PDT

EXCLUSIVE: Jill McElroy is joining Management 360 as a literary manager from Benderspink where she was a manager and producer for over a decade. Joining her are writing clients including John Hlavin, Karl Gajdusek, Andrea Berloff, Kyle Ward, Stacey Harman, Marc Haimes, Tom Smuts, among others. Many of her clients had worked with Management 360, and I hear that’s how the relationship started.

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Mosaic Manager Ann Blanchard Joining CAA

EXCLUSIVE (UPDATED BELOW): There’s been no announcement yet. But Ann Blanchard is already being accused of breaking Hollywood protocol by not first informing those agents repping her Mosaic Media Group’s TV management clients of her change of employment. Instead, she’s calling those clients today and trying to take them with her to CAA. As a result, agencies who gave her clients to manage are calling me spitting mad. For instance, UTA reps Mosaic’s TV biz and yet Blanchard today was phoning UTA clients to come with her to CAA. Before moving to Jimmy Miller’s Mosaic where she’s been producing several projects, Blanchard had been a TV lit agent and SVP at the old William Morris Agency and is now calling her former clients from there, too. Blanchard, who wasn’t supposed to start at CAA for another 3 weeks, already has 10 high level clients at the tenpercentery including Amy Brenneman, Ed Redlich, Alexa Junge, Doug Petrie, and TV director Michael Dinner. I’ve been hearing that CAA wants to widen its writers / creators / showrunners list after what is well known to be several ”off” years packaging pilots and down this year as well. Remember that movies are the glitz of the agency biz but TV is the cash cow.

UPDATE: Ann Blanchard just told me: “I feel terrible about this reaction and of course want to make clear that I truly value my relationships with all the agencies. I’m in the process of calling all the high-level agents I’ve worked with over the course of this weekend. … Read More »

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