Catch up with the best of this week’s film stories on Deadline:
The Day JFK Was Shot: 50 Years Later, Hollywood Remembers
By Dominic Patten - In remembrance of the 35th president, I asked some of the industry’s most notable and insightful individuals — a few of whom had seen JFK just before his death — where they were when they heard the news of the shooting and what they experienced that day. Here’s what they told me…
AFM: Schlock Still Rocks In Santa Monica
By Dominic Patten – Allow me to butcher a Mark Twain quote and say that rumors of schlock’s demise have been greatly exaggerated…
Adam Sandler’s Happy Madison Partner Jack Giarraputo Plots Retirement
By Mike Fleming Jr. – EXCLUSIVE: This week, Jack Giarraputo has been telling associates at studios like Sony and Paramount that he will retire after he finishes producing the Warner Bros. comedy Blended, and after that the Chris Columbus-directed Pixels for Sony.
Facts Be Damned! How Traffic Trumped Factual Reporting On Tom Cruise-Mark Wahlberg Non-Story
By Mike Fleming Jr. – The digital age has made entertainment industry coverage more exciting, but the race to post and the hunger for eyeballs leads to increasingly shameful reporting of innuendo and flat-out falsehoods. Read More »
Dan Rather says he’d hoped CBS News would ask him to be part of its coverage of the 50th anniversary of President John F. Kennedy‘s assassination. As Deadline reported two weeks ago, CBS News announced plans for coverages of the historic event without mentioning Rather, who was the CBS News guy assigned to the region, and who reported on the assassination in Dallas. Rather who is one of few journalists who covered the event who’s still around and working in the biz, will be included in CBS News coverage, but only in archival material in the news division’s 48 Hours special, As it Happened: John F. Kennedy 50 Years, on November 16, at 9 PM. While real-time Rather will not be there for CBS, he will participate in NBC News’ plans — he’s appearing with Tom Brokaw on Today, on the actual anniversary of JFK’s death, November 22, that network announced last month. CBS News meanwhile, touted its next best thing in its coverage news: Bob Schieffer, who was a reporter at the Fort Worth Star-Telegram on the day of the assassination and conducted the first interview with Lee Harvey Oswald’s mother as he rode with her from Fort Worth to Dallas to see her son in custody. CBS News called Schieffer “the only current network news anchor who was in Dallas on the day of the shooting.”
“I held off doing anything for anybody else for a while, thinking I may be asked to do something (for CBS),” Rather told the Associated Press this week. “I can’t say I had any reason for that hope.” Susan Zirinsky, senior producer of CBS News’s planned 48 Hours special, told the AP that film of Rather on that day will be part of the Schieffer-anchored special, as will recollections from Rather that had been recorded for CBS when he worked there.
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TLC released its teaser for the upcoming film Letters To Jackie: Remembering President Kennedy, in advance of its November 17 premiere, commemorating JFK‘s assassination. The film is a tribute to the First Lady, who received more than 800,000 condolence letters in the weeks following the death of her husband though, unfortunately, the teaser doesn’t give us too much of that and instead goes the Kennedy-in-the-convertible route. Anyway, here’s the teaser: (Click over for the hefty list of Hollywood-ers the producers got to read the letters).
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Kathleen Kennedy Townsend stood for no phonusbolonus during a Summer TV Press Tour 2013 discussion about her uncle, President John F Kennedy. Earlier in the day, PBS announced details of a series of primetime programs airing November 11-13, commemorating the 50th anniversary of JFK’s assassination. Among them, American Experience franchise is airing a four-hour, two-part JFK biography, which takes a new look at the enigmatic president. During that program’s Q&A, historian Tim Natfali said JFK “was a very smart man who was not an ideologist. He was a problem solver” and that “given that our world today is so ideological, it’s refreshing to meet a self assured leader who didn’t have to pretend to be an ideologue.”
Townsend, appearing via Skype, objected in a pretty big way, saying Natfali’s description makes her uncle sound as though he didn’t have a view of the world in which he had “a moral vision.” “He had a real vision,” she insisted, ticking off his work and positions about building democracy in Latin America, the “moral issue” of civil rights, etc. Naftali wilted. “That’s a very good point to raise,” he said obsequiously, adding, “We ‘ve forgotten you can be a pragmatist with values. In my humble estimation, Kennedy was a pragmatist with values.” That seemed to settle Townsend down. But, a few minutes later, a TV critic in the room said he was taken aback by reports of Kennedy’s womanizing and asked the panel on stage, “Can you put any of that in perspective in terms of how common or uncommon that was, and what impact it did or did not have on his presidency?” Read More »