Showbiz Sandbox 5: A Travesty Of American Idol Justice

May 25, 2009


Kris Allen and Adam Lambert On American Idol The week leading up to Memorial Day was chock full of juicy entertainment news.

The Cannes Film Festival wrapped up in France awarding Austrian filmmaker Michael Haneke it’s top prize, the Palme d’Or. Karen Woodward and J. Sperling Reich recap all the festival winners. In North America the Ben Stiller starrer “Night At The Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian” opened with $70 million against “Terminator: Salvation”. McG’s attempt to reboot the “Terminator” franchise came in second at the box office with $53.8 million. “Star Trek” continued to rake in the dough with an additional $29.4 million and a cumulative $191 million in North America.

Television ratings were also bolstered by the star studded finale of the Fox network’s musical reality show “American Idol”. Kris Allen beat out Adam Lambert during a telecast that an estimated 28.84 million Americans tuned into. That ties the record for least-watched finale in recent “American Idol” memory, though nmore than 100 million votes were cast, a new record for the show. While Karen believes the results were a travesty of justice, Lambert may not be walking away empty handed after all; Billboard reports the rock group Queen may be interested in the young singer to front the band. Musical pop star Pink wasn’t happy with “American Idol” either, though more because she says they butchered one of her songs.

Social networking sensation Twitter is working on a reality television series. The web hasn’t been as rewarding to “Britain’s Got Talent” whose viral video of Susan Boyle has generated more than 70 million views on YouTube, though the New York Times reports that producers can’t quite seem to capitalize on the surprise success.

“Gossip Girl” star Chace Crawford takes the place of Zac Effron in the remake of “Footloose”. Effron is mentioned in an fascinating Entertainment Weekly story about what happens to Disney’s teen sensations once they are all grown up and move out of the mouse house.

In New York this past week the major television networks held their “upfronts” with potential advertisers. Fox renewed “Bones” and “Dollhouse”, NBC renews “Chuck” after an online protest, CBS steals “Medium” away from NBC and Jimmy Kimmel bashes his own network during a presentation to advertisers. Blogger Nikki Finke has all the details.

Former Hollywood mogul Jon Peters has to scrap the idea of writing a tell all book once the proposal he sold to HarperCollins leaks. With tons of kiss-and-tell stories about former girlfriends including Barbara Striesand, Pamela Anderson and Catherine Zeta Jones, the once venerable producer sold his book “Studio Head” for $700,000 upfront. However, threatened by lawsuits from some of those mentioned in the book’s outline, Peters took it off the market.

Journalist Roger Friedman is back on the market. Friedman most recently made headlines after he was fired by Fox News for downloading and writing about the pirated version of “X-Men Origins: Wolverine”, released by sister company Twentieth Century Fox. The columnist was picked up by The Hollywood Reporter where his blog Showbiz411 will now be published.

Finally, the William Morris Agency laid off 100 agents and employees this week in preparation for the merger with Endeavor. In addition, uber-agent and WMA head Jim Wiatt is rumored to be on his way out.

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Queen Considering Idol’s Lambert As Frontman

Singer Pink Talks American Idol On Twitter

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Chace Crawford steps in for Zac Efron in Footloose

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Jimmy Kimmel Demolishes ABC’s Upfronts

Why Jon Peters’ Book Proposal Sets New Low

Roger Friedman Joins The Hollywood Reporter

A Bloodbath At William Morris

WMA Sent Cease-And-Desist Letters To Other Agencies

Jim Wiatt To Exit WME?



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