The sun finally came back to a windy and rainy Cannes but the weather clearly couldn’t slow the nonstop parties, premieres, deals and hype for which this festival is famous. And despite the rain on Saturday the turnout for Lionsgate’s big Catching Fire bash was wall-to-wall at Baoli Beach, with everyone including star Jennifer Lawrence crowded into the large tent. One exec there actually was happy with the monsoon-like conditions. “The rain probably kept 30% of our RSVPs away which is probably good because i don’t know how we could have squeezed them in,” he said.
With everyone drying out Sunday there seemed to be even more party-hopping than usual. At the crowded Participant Films party at the Carlton, Focus Features CEO James Schamus was accepting congratulations on his re-upping at the company. I have rarely heard him wax more eloquently about a film than Focus’ recent pickup of The Dallas Buyers Club, the movie where Matthew McConaughey lost about 50 pounds to play an early AIDS victim. It’s not dated yet according to Schamus but is planned for fall sometime. “It’s just a bloodbath trying to pick the right date in that period but this movie is extraordinary. I just so admire what Matthew has been doing with his career in the last couple of years between Magic Mike, Killer Joe, The Paperboy, Mud and now this. You know me, I don’t rave like this a lot, but he really knocks this one out of the park. It is the performance of a lifetime,” he says of the actor in a film that is sure to be a main focus of Focus’ awards-season plans. READ MORE »
David Letterman is well known for shunning public events like CBS’ upfront. But in the midst of big late-night changes at NBC and ABC, the veteran late-night host showed up at the CBS presentation for the first time in 15 years. CBS Corp. CEO Les Moonves broached the subject. “What’s going on out there in late-night? All of a sudden, everybody’s got a Jimmy: they have a Jimmy, they have a Jimmy,” referring to NBC’s and ABC’s new 11:30 PM hosts Jimmy Fallon and Jimmy Kimmel, respectively. “We thought we don’t have a Jimmy. Jimmy Buffet is too tropical, Jimmy Carter too political, Jimmy Hoffa not available. There are a lot of Jimmys out there but there is only one Dave, David Letterman.” Letterman walked out to a thunderous applause and engaged in a looong hug with Moonves. “I’m honored to be here for your pledge drive,” Letterman quipped, proceeding to make fun of CBS head of sales Joanne Ross’ projection dress. “Everyone here is very excited to see me, they think I’m Bob Schieffer. When Leslie invited me here, I thought I was being fired.”
Six more names were formally inducted into the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences‘ distinguished Hall Of Fame on Monday night in front of a packed audience at the Beverly Hilton. Joining the 140-plus TV legends who are already members were Les Moonves, Ron Howard, Al Michaels, Bob Schieffer, Dick Wolf and, at long last, a posthumous recognition of TV inventor Philo T. Farnsworth. Among those on the selection committee this year were Marcy Carsey, Bonnie Hammer, Rick Rosen, Fred Silverman and Nina Tassler.
Easily the highest honor the Academy can bestow (Full disclosure: I am a member of the Board Of Governors repping the Writers Branch), these new inductees can count on seeing their busts enshrined in front of the Academy’s North Hollywood headquarters, immortalized forever. But last night’s (ironically) non-televised event was a loose and lively affair that had a warm feeling and might be called the TV Acad’s version of the Motion Picture Academy’s Governors Awards. It was a heartfelt shout-out to some of TV’s most accomplished names, and the move to the larger Beverly Hilton International Ballroom this year confirmed its growning importance to the community. Tickets were higher priced and more industryites showed than in recent years. For instance, even though they weren’t there as part of the show, Mark Harmon, James Burrows, Chuck Lorre, Michael Eisner and George Lucas in addition to many others were among the audience members cheering on the new inductees. Read More »
NoHo Arts District, Calif. – The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Hall of Fame Committee has selected a distinguished group of television innovators and icons to be inducted into the 22nd Hall of Fame. Additionally, for the first time ever, this year’s Hall of Fame ceremony will benefit the Television Academy Foundation’s Archive of American Television.
This year’s honorees include Emmy®-winning actor/director/producer Ron Howard, legendary sportscaster Al Michaels, iconic network executive Leslie Moonves, acclaimed journalist Bob Schieffer and prolific writer-producer Dick Wolf. Additionally, Philo T. Farnsworth, credited with inventing all-electronic television transmission, will be inducted posthumously. The inductees will be honored during a gala ceremony at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on March 11, 2013, which is sponsored by Audi®. The Hall of Fame gala will be executive produced by noted television producer Phil Gurin (Oh Sit!, Shark Tank, The Singing Bee).
Leslie Moonves will be at the helm of CBS Corp for at least five more years. As had been speculated, the company announced today that Moonves has signed a new agreement to continue as president and CEO through June 30, 2017. Moonves’ existing contract was to expire in February 2015 and gave him an option to segue into a role as an executive adviser or CBS-based producer at the end of his term. That contract has now been ripped up and replaced by the new one, which also provides an option for Moonves to become a CBS executive adviser for four years and launch a CBS-funded production company when it’s up. The new contract will bring Moonves’ tenure at CBS to 22 years — he joined the broadcast network in 1995 as president of entertainment. “Leslie’s record as a CEO is not only among the best in media, it’s among the best in all of business,” said Sumner Redstone, CBS Corp’s executive chairman and founder. “This agreement secures the Company even further into the future, and it also further aligns and strengthens the interests of the chief executive with those of our shareholders.”
Geez, remember the good old days when Les Moonves used to bitchslap his competition? Now he sounds like he’s running for Mayor Of Broadcastville… Just look at how he’s defending NBC‘s tape-delayed London Olympics coverage. (Which … Read More »
CBS chief Les Moonves diverted from the pack in this year’s upfront presentations by talking up the ad value of conventional television over digital media. “Everyone is still talking about the first screen, the TV … Read More »
CBS today brought back its traditional opening taped comedy video that spills onto the stage of Carnegie Hall. This time it was built around the network’s freshman hit2 Broke Girls, whose leads Max (Kat Dennings) and Caroline (Beth Behrs) read about ad buyers with a lot of money coming to Carnegie Hall for CBS’ upfront and decide to go there to try and sell the rich “men in suits” some cupcakes. After a cameo by David Letterman and Regis Philbin as customers at the diner, the two girls, boxes of cupcakes in hand, dash to Carnegie and walk up the stage where they are greeted by CBS’ head of sales Jo Ann Ross in a glitzy version of the duo’s waitress uniforms.
Next off, a hip-hopera duet between soprano Danielle de Niese singing the toast from La Traviata and LL Cool J rapping about CBS’ ratings success. LL Cool J goes on to introduce CBS Corp CEO Les Moonves as “the mack daddy behind the CBS phenomenon.” Replied Moonves, “Mad respect to my main man, LL Cool J.”
As usual, Moonves talked up CBS’ ratings strength. “CBS has been the most-watched network for 23 years. Mark Zuckerberg was 5.”
CBS has the Super Bowl next year, so the network brought out the star of the this year’s, Eli Manning, trophy in hand, who stayed in the tone of his Saturday Night Live hosting gig, cracking jokes.
The two stars of another CBS Monday comedy series, Mike & Molly‘s Melissa McCarthy and Billy Gardell, come out to talk about their show, on which their characters just got married. “We are hopeful there will be a lot of kids and years of years of syndication,” McCarthy quipped.
CBS spelled out in an SEC filing the terms of the four-year production arrangement available to company chief Leslie Moonves if he — or, presumably, chairman Sumner Redstone — decide it’s time for him to give up the CEO gig when his contract expires in February 2015. The agreement, reached Wednesday, will enable Moonves to produce television, film and digital media properties — and CBS will invest up to $3M a year to provide staff and infrastructure. ”These amounts represent business expenses and not compensation to Mr. Moonves,” the filing says. Moonves would get $1.5M a year to be executive producer of TV productions, offset by fees he’d get if CBS orders any of his shows. The rates CBS would pay would be “generally consistent with those paid to other top producers with Mr. Moonves’ skill, experience and record of success.” He’d be required to submit “a minimum number of projects per season” — but CBS would also be required to order at least three series over the four years. License fees for each series would be “on the most favorable terms of any other deals between the Company’s CBS Studios unit and its profit participants during the term.” If CBS doesn’t like even three of his productions, then he could collect “penalty payments” at the end of the deal. Read More »
Freelance journalist Dominic Patten is covering the trial for Deadline.
Judge A. Howard Matz this morning accepted a recommendation from lawyers on both sides that means CBS Corp chief Les Moonves will not have to testify in person in the ongoing Golden Globes TV rights trial. Instead, the court will hear testimony from Moonves’ August 2011 taped deposition in the case, which was brought by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association against Dick Clark Prods over who controls rights to the HFPA-run Golden Globe Awards telecast. The ruling means the court will see a videotape of Moonves’ deposition either later today or tomorrow, depending on how quickly HFPA lawyers can churn through their witness list. A deal, which was expected, was hammered out over the weekend by both parties, who prepared the recommendation to Matz arguing that anything Moonves would say live he already said in the deposition. Moonves’ testimony is of interest to the HFPA to determine whether CBS was interested in bidding against current rightsholder NBC for rights to air the awards show. Read More »
For those in attendance at the Hollywood Radio & Television Society’s network chiefs panel earlier this month, this is not new news. But for those who weren’t there: HRTS will present “A Conversation With … Leslie Moonves” on Thursday, … Read More »
LOS ANGELES, CA (October 11, 2011) – The Producers Guild of America (PGA) announced today that President and CEO of CBS Corporation Leslie Moonves will be honored with the 2012 Milestone Award. The award will be presented to Moonves
UPDATE: Les Moonves has just released a statement on the exit of Amy Baer from CBS Films: “We thank Amy for her important role in building CBS Films. Going forward, we remain fully committed to the division’s focus on a targeted slate of smart acquisitions and quality homegrown productions in all genres. CBS Films is small in the overall size and scope of our company, but continues to fit nicely with the Corporation’s premium content strategy. We’re excited about its future and to start its next chapter.”
EXCLUSIVE, 2:57 PM: Amy Baer will transition out of the post of president and CEO of CBS Films, ending her four-year tenure at the start-up production/distribution company in late October. Baer will immediately join Laurence Mark as producer of the Jon Turteltaub-directed Last Vegas, CBS Films’ Dan Fogelman-scripted comedy that revolves around four best friends in their late 60s who decide to escape retirement and throw a Las Vegas bachelor party for the only one of them who stayed single. Read More »
With Fox done with its upfront selling, attention shifted to CBS, which finished No. 1 to Fox in the 18-49 demo and No. 1 in viewers last season. The network had been the most aggressive this upfront season, … Read More »
CBS executives tried to have it all in their upfront presentation today, telling advertisers that the network effectively reaches a mass audience, young adults and fans of digital media. CEO Les Moonves said that “the economy continues to rebound” and … Read More »