When I ran into Ben Affleck at the Golden Globes on Sunday he told me he thinks this wide open Oscar race won’t really come into focus until the Producers Guild names its choice for Best Picture on January 19th at the Beverly Hilton. Of course Affleck (with George Clooney and Grant Heslov) won at the PGA last year for Argo and it went on to take the Oscar for Best Picture as well. Now about to celebrate their 25th anniversary the PGA awards have become one of the most reliable bellwethers of eventual Oscar glory. In fact the last six films in a row that have taken the Darryl F. Zanuck Award for Outstanding Producer of Theatrical Motion Pictures has gone on to win the Academy’s Best Picture prize too, a list that in addition to Argo includes The Artist, The King’s Speech, The Hurt Locker, Slumdog Millionaire and No Country For Old Men. In fact it was the PGA that turned the race completely around for The Hurt Locker by unexpectedly choosing it over Avatar and picking King’s Speech over The Social Network, the favorite until that point. The PGA turned both races on a dime. In fact since handing out awards a quarter century ago the Guild has had a strong overall track record in matching Oscar’s sentiments. Perhaps one reason is they work very closely with the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences in vetting producers credits and determining which producers are eligible not only for the PGA award, but also the Oscar, although the final decision on the latter is up to the Academy’s producers branch.
Producers Guild Leaders On Their Banner Year, The p.g.a. Mark, Sunday’s Big 25th Anniversary Awards, And Why Scorsese And DiCaprio Didn’t Make The Cut
She may not be a 2016 Presidential candidate yet but the former Secretary of State will be packing in a lot of face time with Hollywood over the next couple of days. On Friday afternoon, Hillary Clinton will be speaking along with her daughter Chelsea at an event co-sponsored by the Producers Guild of America and the Clinton Foundation. The focus of the gathering is education and national service. PGA President Mark Gordonwill give opening remarks and act as emcee for the event, I’ve learned. Rob Reiner, a big backer of President Bill Clinton and Hillary, will be moderating the conversation between the two Clintons. Claiming security reasons, the PGA and the foundation are staying mum about the event’s location. Also, like many recent Clinton events and her visit to San Francisco later this weekend, media are blocked from gathering. (UPDATE, 2:38 PM: The organizers don’t want to give out the location but Hillary Clinton’s PGA event tomorrow will be held at the Paley Center in Beverly Hills, I’ve learned. It’s scheduled to run from approximately 1 PM to 3 PM on Friday.) The Clinton Foundation says that Scandal creator and recently named Kennedy Center board member Shonda Rhimes is scheduled to attend. CBS’ Nina Tassler, Shine America’s Rich Ross, Fox’s Kevin Reilly, Modern Family EP Steve Levitan, Parenthood EP Jason Katims and New Girl EP Liz Meriwether are also set to be there.
Did you miss some of Deadline’s top TV stories of the week? Check them out here:
CW In Talks For ‘Wizard Of Oz’ Drama By ‘Heroes” Creator Tim Kring
By Nellie Andreeva - EXCLUSIVE: The summer of Wizard Of Oz continues with another sale of a high-profile Oz-themed drama project.
Ryan Seacrest Booed By Broncos Fans During NBC’s NFL Pregame Show: Video
By Lisa De Moraes - NBC continues its Overexposing Ryan Seacrest campaign — this time the network had The Man Who Can’t Say No open NBC’s regular-season NFL football franchise kickoff last night, in which he got loudly booed by Broncos fans in Denver’s Sports Authority Stadium.
Were Consumers The Biggest Losers In The CBS-Time Warner Cable Dispute?
By David Lieberman - It sure looks that way. Millions of Time Warner Cable customers lost CBS-owned stations and channels for a month, and will still probably see their monthly rates rise to accommodate the deal that the companies made last night.
Fired ‘Storage Wars’ Star Scores A Win Over A&E In Lawsuit
By Dominic Patten – Dave Hester can move forward with the wrongful termination portion of his wide-ranging lawsuit against A&E and the producers of Storage Wars, a judge ruled today.
EXCLUSIVE: This would be considered a major loss for any agency as Mark Gordon is among the top nonwriting TV producers with several shows that have gone the distance, including ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy and Private Practice, CBS’ Criminal Minds and Lifetime’s Army Wives. Gordon had been with Chris Silbermann for more than a decade, first at BWCS and then at ICM, and Silbermann guided the producer as he built his Mark Gordon Co. from scratch into a several-hundred-million-dollar pod. The timing of Gordon’s departure is surprising. It comes on the heels of the breakout success of his latest series, Ray Donovan, which broke ratings records for Showtime this summer. It also comes at the height of selling season and in the midst of the Mark Gordon Co.’s big four-year deal at ABC Studios, which has two more years on it.
Ray Richmond contributes to Deadline’s conference coverage.
The 5th Annual Produced By Conference, sponsored by the PGA, kicked off this morning on the 20th Century Fox lot with a panel discussion entitled “The Real Deal: Producers Who Direct? or Directors Who Produce?”. Producer Mark Gordon of Grey’s Anatomy fame moderated the discussion in the packed Zanuck Theater, peppering panelists Jon Favreau (Iron Man 1, 2 and 3) and Roland Emmerich (White House Down, Independence Day) with questions about how producers can effectively navigate the directorial waters and vice-versa. Of course, working with filmmakers at the level of Favreau and Emmerich who have abundant experience is rarely a problem, Gordon repeatedly acknowledged.
“There is a comfort level with directors who have a body of work,” said Gordon, who doesn’t direct. “It’s more difficult now because everybody specializes. In the old days of the Hollywood studio system, guys like John Ford and Billy Wilder did it all. They directed comedies. They directed dramas. They directed musicals. Today, you hear, ‘This guy is an action director, this guy directs comedy.’ I don’t believe in that. If you direct, you should be able to direct everything.” But Favreau pointed out that inexperienced directors are becoming less of a dice roll for producers and studios, what with the cost of admission to the club dropping to relative pennies. “There are tremendous filmmakers doing strong pieces of content online,” he said. “Those content walls are coming down. It’s becoming less and less of a guess. It isn’t like picking the new Dalai Lama. You can see what’s being done and say, ‘This kid’s got some vision’.”
Diane Haithman is contributing to Deadline’s TCA coverage.
Producer Mark Gordon had a little surprise for his audience at today’s TCA panel on his new Showtime drama series …
EXCLUSIVE: Six years after the debut of Ugly Betty, two of the key auspices behind the successful dramedy are reuniting for another light drama at ABC and ABC Studios about a Latino family. In a last-minute buy, the network has put in development Bastards, from Ugly Betty executive producer Salma Hayek and the show’s creator/executive producer Silvio Horta. Completing the A-list team behind the show is producer Mark Gordon, who will also executive produce. Written by Horta, Bastards centers on a colorful Cuban-American family who have their lives turned upside down when it’s revealed that the family patriarch had a child with the family maid over 25 years ago. Now his wife will do anything to protect her children’s inheritance and prevent her family’s deep dark secrets from ever seeing the light of day.
Bastards originated with an idea by Hayek. She and Jose Tamez, her producing partner at their ABC-Studios based Ventanarosa, had been trying to tackle the premise for awhile and had teamed with Gordon’s Mark Gordon Prods., which also is under a deal at ABC Studios. Horta, who is of Cuban- American descent, recently received a call from Tamez and Mark Gordon Prods.’ drama executive Nicholas Pepper who was once Horta’s ABC executive on Ugly Betty. “I immediately sparked to the concept — it was fun and juicy and had the opportunity for both a lot of salacious situations and humor as well as a lot of heart and emotions, hitting that sweet spot I like to write,” Horta said. After some very fast deal-making, the team sold the project at ABC. Back in 2005, others had taken a stab at adapting the popular telenovela Ugly Betty for American audiences before Horta, but his version stuck. “I hope history will repeat itself,” he quipped. Horta, Hayek, Tamez, Gordon and Pepper are executive producing.
EXCLUSIVE: Producers Mark Gordon, who is behind ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy and CBS’ Criminal Minds, and Jason Blum, who is fresh off two hot movie openers with Sinister and Paranormal Activity 4, have teamed to executive produce half-hour comedy My Korean Deli for ABC. The project, produced by ABC Studios, studio-based Mark Gordon Co. and Blum’s Blumhouse, is based on the Ben Ryder Howe’s book. Geoff Moore and David Posamentier will write the adaptation, which tells the story of an American man who buys a deli for his wife’s Korean parents and now has to try to find the balance between his new job, his wife, and his overbearing in-laws. Mark Gordon Co.’s Gordon and Andrea Shay executive produce with Blum. Gerard Bacaccio oversees Blumhouse’s TV division.
EXCLUSIVE: Former Desperate Housewives executive producer/ showrunner Bob Daily is staying in the ABC/ABC Studios fold, teaming with the executive producer of another hit ABC drama that started as a Desperate Housewives companion, Grey’s Anatomy‘s Mark Gordon.
The untitled hourlong drama, from ABC Studios and studio-based Mark Gordon Co., revolves around three diverse families whose lives get gloriously messy when they discover that they share a biological father, a successful bachelor in his 40s who’s completely unprepared to embrace the family he never knew he wanted. Daily will co-write the script with feature writer Pierce Gardner (Dan In Real Life). Daily, Gordon and Nicholas Pepper are the executive producers.