Martin Weiss, a Hollywood talent manager whose company reps child actors that have landed roles on such series as Nickelodeon’s iCarly and Disney’s Good Luck Charlie as well as on network shows and movies, was arrested this week on suspicion of molesting some of his clients. According to the Los Angeles Times, Weiss was taken into custody Tuesday for committing lewd acts upon a child under the age of 14. An alleged victim and former client told police in an affidavit that he was sexually assaulted by Weiss about 30-40 times over a three-year period when the boy was 11 or 12 years old. Police also searched his Santa Monica apartment, which also serves as his place of business. Bail was set at $300,000, triple the standard amount, because police suspect there could be more victims. Weiss’ company sent an email to its clients Tuesday saying the company was closing its doors, though its website remained up as of Thursday afternoon. “It is with a heavy heart and great sadness that I immediately dissolve Martin Weiss Management and release all actors from their contracts,” the email read. “Please do not try [to] contact me. I will let everyone know what is happening at the proper time. Thank you for being wonderful clients and friends.”
EXCLUSIVE: On the heels of Mad Men creator Matt Weiner closing a new $30 million deal for the show following one of the longest, most difficult showrunner renegotiations in recent TV history, Weiner is partying ways with his manager of 10 years, Industry Entertainment’s Keith Addis. Addis, along with CAA, which will continue to rep Weiner, was deeply involved in the recent talks with Mad Men producer Lionsgate TV and network AMC. “We had a great run — 10 years,” Addis said. “I was with him from the beginning and through the (Mad Men) negotiations. I think he is brilliant, and I’m proud to have been part of his career.” Both Weiner and Addis called the split amicable, and Weiner will not be taking in a new manager. “Keith has provided wonderful guidance throughout my career,” Weiner said. “While our business relationship is coming to an end, he is and will continue to be a close friend.”
Zach Braff has signed with Management 360. Braff, who continues to be repped by CAA, most recently rewrote to direct Swingles, the comedy that is produced by Brad Weston and Kevin Misher that seems poised to come out of Paramount. The comedy was set there years ago when the studio bought the spec script by Duncan Birmingham. Cameron Diaz, who was attached way back then, has come back around on the romantic comedy about a guy and girl who lose their respective “wingman and wingwoman” who helped each work the dating scene. The guy and girl (who don’t like each other) try to carry on by teaming up to meet singles. Braff had been managed by Industry Entertainment. While the former Scrubs star directed episodes of his series, he hasn’t helmed a feature since the his well regarded 2004 debut, Garden State, which he starred in alongside Natalie Portman. Braff is also booked to direct the original play All New People in New York this summer.
Jason Shapiro, a 10-year UTA veteran in the agency’s motion picture talent department, is moving to the management side of the representation business, joining The Collective. There he will work closely with partners Jeff Golenberg and Sam Maydew in the talent management group. At UTA, Shapiro worked with such clients as Emmanuelle Chriqui, Adrianne Palicki, Margarita Levieva, Elizabeth Reaser, DJ Cotrona, Jason Clarke and Mary Kate Olsen. It is unclear who will take him on as a manager. Shapiro is the latest staff addition to The Collective which, over the past couple of years has hired former WMA agent Ashley Franklin, Todd Diener and Melody Hammer (formerly of BEP), Leonard Torgan (Leverage), Lisa Blum, Max Burgos, Evan Weiss (Handprint), Steven Grossman (ICM) and Abbey Robertson (Generate).
Some of these numbers may change as the list is made more accurate today:
Circle of Confusion: 7
Management 360: 6
Industry Entertainment: 5
Anonymous Content: 4
Gotham Group: 4
Madhouse Entertainment: 4
Caliber Media: 2
Brucks Entertainment: 2
Film Engine: 1
EMC Entertainment: 1
Kapital Entertainment: 1
Heroes & Villians Entertainment: 1
Tom Sawyer Entertainment: 1
Energy Entertainment: 1
Fineman Entertainment: 1
Tantillo Entertainment: 1
The Collective: 1
Brillstein Entertainment Partners: 1
Alan Gasmer & Friends: 1
Smart Entertainment: 1
Media Talent Group: 1
Principato Young: 1
Exile Entertainment: 1
Alex Murray has ended his partnership with John MacDonald in MacDonald-Murray Management and has become a manager at Brillstein Entertainment Partners. Murray reps standup comics, personalities and comedy writers, and is bringing clients that include Jim Gaffigan, G4′s Web Soup host Chris Hardwick, Dan Finnerty and The Dan Band, NASCAR fixture-turned-comic Michael Waltrip and comedy writers/performers Brandon McMillan, Todd Glass, Jonah Ray, Daniel Kinno and David Feldman. Murray said that he has wanted to join BEP since leaving ICM in 2000. He hopes to build his comedy business in the model of Gaffigan, who’s also repped by CAA. Gaffigan has grown to become one of the top 5 touring comics in the country, and the millions he makes allows him to call the shots. He’s now branching into acting and next stars on Broadway in That Championship Season alongside Kiefer Sutherland, Jason Patric, Chris Noth and Brian Cox. Murray has helped Waltrip branch into hosting a comedy show, a reality series, and he’s writing a book on the Daytona 500. He’s also booking gigs for Finnerty and The Dan Band, best known for memorable appearances in Todd Phillips comedies like The Hangover, where Finnerty peppers his tunes with cuss words and overt sexual references.
BREAKING: Rosalie Swedlin has left an 11-year run at Industry Entertainment to join Anonymous Content as manager and producer. Current clients making the move with Swedlin include David Frankel, Richard Shepard, Lynn Shelton, Nigel Cole, Kirsten Sheridan, Gary Winick, Michael Engler, Tommy Schlamme, Jane Anderson and John Riggi. Swedlin will also bring several of her film and TV projects with her. Swedlin left ICM to join Industry in 1999, and produced Clockers, Red Corner and the HBO film Live from Baghdad. Swedlin started at CAA.
EXCUSIVE: Denis Leary and Jim Serpico’s Apostle is branching out into management. The duo’s New York-based film and TV production company is launching Apostle Management, whose main focus will be shaping up the careers of stand-up comedians who aspire to perform, write and direct their own material. “In this digital era, we will lend both our creative and production experience to help our clients achieve their potential,” Serpico said, adding that he and Leary are looking to tap into the “many resources and talented people” of New York City. To do that, Apostle has brought in veteran New York-based comedy representative Conan Smith. “I just like the idea of having a guy named Conan in my office,” Leary quipped. “We actually had hired Conan O’Brien but then TBS made him a slightly better offer so – mark my words – one day when you hear the name Conan you will think of Conan Smith.”
Smith spent 15 years with William Morris and was involved in the creation of the agency’s comedy department in New York, which he ultimately ended up heading. The department’s clients have included Ray Romano, Jon Stewart, Kevin James, Robert Klein, Colin Quinn and Tom Papa. Smith also spent two years at Endeavor before segueing into producing in 2007. Leary and Serpico launched Apostle in 1994. The company, which just inked a two-year overall deal with Fox TV Studios …
Bill Butler, a longtime fixture at Gersh’s New York headquarters before leaving to become manager, has landed at Industry Entertainment as a partner. He’ll continue to be Gotham-based, and starts off with the following clients, most long timers from Gersh: Chris Meloni, Melina Kanakaredes, Jane Krakowski, Calista Flockhart, Victor Garber, Cindi Lauper, Mario Cantone, Dagmar Dominczyk, Elena Rogers, Lee Tergesen and Dean Winters, the latter of whom he’ll manage with Industry’s Sandra Chang.
UPDATE: Bill Butler is leaving Gersh to manage his client Melina Kanakaredes, who is moving to WME for agency representation. Also, Karen Forman — a talent agent at Metropolitan, APA and most recently Domain – is partnering with Danielle Del and Didi Rea at D2 Management.
EXCLUSIVE: Management/production companies 3 Arts and Untitled Entertainment are in merger talks. I’m not certain they are going to join forces, but they are exploring it seriously. The potential mix of assets of the two companies is intriguing. 3 Arts — run by Erwin Stoff, Michael Rotenberg, Howard Klein, David Miner and Dave Becky – is particularly strong in the producing department. On the TV side, that includes 30 Rock, The Office, Parks and Recreation, It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia, HBO’s Bored to Death, and the FX comedy Louie. Among the features is I Am Legend, Street Kings, and All You Need Is Kill, the latter a priority project at Warner Bros that just got Doug Liman aboard to direct.
Untitled, which is run by Jason Weinberg, Stephanie Simon, Guy Oseary, Gene Parseghian and Johnnie Planco, has a strong talent list that include Daniel Day-Lewis, Hilary Swank, Alex Rodriguez, Madonna, Naomi Watts, David Caruso, Penelope Cruz, Ashton Kutcher, Jeremy Renner, Jennifer Love Hewitt, Chris O’Donnell, Taylor Kitsch, Demi Moore, Blake Lively and Simon Baker.
The 3 Arts talent list includes Keanu Reeves, Tina Fey, director Francis Lawrence, Robert Pattinson, Chris Evans, Steve Coogan, Mike Judge, Greg Daniels, Jeff Garlin, Howie Mandel, Tracy Morgan, Amy Poehler, Jason Bateman and Cuba Gooding Jr.
I’m told the principals continue talking, mindful of the challenge in meshing cultures and forging a new power structure. Word about the possible union has begun to spread around Hollywood and I’m told that if a trip to the altar is going to …
Jairo Alvarado, who stepped right out UCLA and stepped into a job as a Warner Bros creative exec 18 months ago, is leaving next month to become a manager at 3 Arts. The 24-year old Alvarado said he wasn’t thinking of a career change before a general meeting with 3 Arts’ Tom Lassally, another Warner Bros exec who made the career transition after he exited the studio. “We discussed all the short films I advocated and spread around to agents, and it turned into a three-hour conversation with Tom saying, `You’ve got to meet Erwin,” Alvarado said. He spent another two hours with 3 Arts chief Erwin Stoff, and walked out with a job offer.
Alvarado traveled a charmed path to get to Warner Bros. He’s a local kid who was recruited in high school by the studio, which provided a scholarship that included summer industry internships. After graduation, he met with former production president Kevin McCormick, and got the job offer for a CE position. While there isn’t much glamour in those entry level executive posts, Alvarado said he said he’s helped about a dozen young directors get signed during his 18 month Warner Bros stint. He was an early advocate of Fede Alvarez’s short Panic Attack, which was acquired by Sam Raimi’s Ghost House Pictures, and Ricardo De Montreuil’s The Raven, which is also in deal talks. “I’ve discovered I like finding new talent the town responds to,” he said. Stoff said the management company has made it a …
CAA has lost Mark Ruffalo after he only arrived there in March. I hear he’s parking himself at management company Brillstein Entertainment Partners.
John Cusack has left WME to go to CAA. (UPDATE: A website no one in Hollywood reads reported this already. Not even the agencies saw it.)
ICM has lost Paul Giamatti. No word on where he’s heading.
Alex O’Loughlin left ICM for UTA. (Chris Hart was on his team, and the agent just jumped from ICM to UTA.)
And, while I’m at it, I hear Thruline Entertainment has lost Jessica Alba and Eva Longoria as management clients. This follows April’s news that Bradley Cooper departed.
EXCLUSIVE: Since exiting William Morris almost a year ago, Aaron Kaplan has kept a relatively low profile after his high profile departure. But behind the scenes, the former worldwide head of scripted television at WMA who didn’t make the WMA-Endeavor merger, has been ramping up his new management/production company’s Kapital Entertainment slate with scripted and reality pro
jects. He has already sold some 21 projects, including three that have gone to production: straight-to-series midseason Fox drama Terra Nova, on which
he serves as an executive producer, and two pilots, ABC’s Funny In Farsi, which he also exec produces, and the Matthew Perry starrer Mr. Sunshine, on which he has a financial interest.
Kaplan has a first-look deal at HBO where he has optioned Clint McCown’s novel The Member-Guest, about the quietly dysfunctional, middle-American folks involved in a small-town country club’s annual member-guest golf tournament. Also involved in the project is New York-based producer Tom Mangan. Additionally, Kaplan is attached to a dysfunctional comedy project at HBO by Sex and the City creator Darren Star. they also have an autoracing project set up at the BBC.
At FX, Kaplan is executive producing Reconstruction, a period Western from “St. Elsewhere” co-creator Joshua Brand and director-producer Peter Horton. At TV Land, Kaplan is executive producing two comedy projects. The first one, from Generate, is being written by Funny In Farsi creators Nastaran Dibai and Jeffrey Hodes and centers on young empty nesters. The second, a mother-daughter domestic comedy, …
ROAR management has just bought Abstract Entertainment, the literary management & production company run by Mike Goldberg and Josh Adler who’ll start ROAR’s lit department. Abstract will add clients including Chris Baldi, Ashley Bradley, and Chris Bullett.
Gersh talent agent Sarah Shyn is switching to management and joining 3 Arts later this week. I’m told Shyn’s departure from Gersh, where she worked for the past 3.5 years, was amicable. At Gersh, she represented mostly up-and-comers, including Dianna Agron (Glee), Jessica Stroup (90210), Olivia Thirlby (Bored To Death), Kyle Gallner (CSI:NY), Elijah Kelley (Hairspray), Jamie Chung (Samurai Girl), Aaron Yoo (Friday the 13th), Marshall Allman (True Blood), Ryan Hansen (Friday the 13th), Scout Taylor-Compton (Halloween II), Tyler Posey (Lincoln Heights) , Tony Oller (Gigantic). At least some of her agency clients are expected to follow her to 3 Arts. Shyn started off as a CAA trainee. She became an agent at Osbrink where she spent 4 years before moving to Gersh.
How many times have we heard this story? Bradley Cooper, who, after a long career is poised on the brink of real stardom, has just dropped longtime manager Susan Calogerakis at Thruline Entertainment. She had been with him all through a career that began with films like Wet Hot American Summer and Carnival Knowledge, before Cooper graduated to headlining solid studio fare like The Hangover, the upcoming The A-Team, and a Hangover sequel that will pay him in the vicinity of $5 million against 4% of box office gross. So it’s a heartbreak to lose an actor who’d grown to become Thurline’s most prominent client. I’d heard he asked his manager to cut commissions and she refused. Neither Cooper nor Calogerakis cared to address the reasons for his departure.
Brillstein Entertainment Partners has hired former New York-based William Morris agent Brian Stern to become a manager in the company’s Gotham headquarters in Tribeca. BEP opened its New York outpost last fall, setting veteran manager Stacy O’Neil to head it. Stern’s clients include The Daily Show’s Samantha Bee, Saturday Night Live writer Bryan Tucker, playwright Bob Martin (The Drowsy Chaperone), Amy Landecker (A Serious Man) and Dan Milano, creator of the MTV series Warren the Ape.
“Bryan has worked closely with many of our colleagues in Los Angeles and has proven himself to be incredible effective,” O’Neil said.