Showbiz Sandbox 276: Agency Wars Have A Long History in Hollywood

April 13, 2015


Even in the best of times being a Hollywood talent agent has never been an easy job.  The dog eat dog nature of the agency business has never been more apparent than during the last few weeks when 11 agents suddenly defected from Creative Artists Agency, one of the industry’s leading agencies, to become partners at a rival firm, United Talent Agency. Following in the footsteps of their agents were A-list clients such as Will Ferrell, Zach Galifianiakis, Ed Helms, Melissa McCarthy and Chris Pratt.

This isn’t the first time big shot agents have deserted their agencies for greener pastures and taken their clients with them, nor will it be the last. In fact, CAA was founded in 1975 when Michael Ovitz along with Ron Meyer and several other agents, abruptly departed the William Morris Agency to form their own firm. The now legendary Ari Emanuel did the same thing 20 years later to start Endeavor.

Meanwhile, changes are also afoot in how television networks want advertisers to pay for commercial time. Two major conglomerates, Time Warner and Viacom, are moving away from Nielsen ratings and offering to let advertisers pay for the “impact” their ads have through metrics such as increased brand recognition, increased loyalty program registrations and consumer engagement on social media.

Of course, we also cover the week’s top entertainment news stories including Jay-Z makes a streaming media play with Tidal, filmmaker David Lynch backs out of “Twin Peaks” reboot, and NBC selects “The Wiz” as its next live televised musical.


Will ‘Furious 7’ Become Universal’s First Billion-Dollar Baby?

DreamWorks Animation Stock Rises as ‘Home’ Opening Exceeds Expectations

Time Warner, Viacom Back Away From Nielsen Guarantees For Ads

‘The Wiz’ Set as NBC’s Next Live Musical

Alabama Officials Find Harper Lee in Control of Decision to Publish Second Novel

Digital Audience Ratings: ‘Corden’ Hits Huge Debut;

Jay Z, Kanye, Rihanna Throw Support Behind Streaming Service Tidal

ABC’s ‘World News Tonight’ Snaps NBC’s ‘Nightly News’ 288-Week Winning Streak

Bob Schieffer Retiring From CBS News

Scientology Exposé ‘Going Clear’ Is HBO’s Biggest Doc Premiere in Almost a Decade

Play Reimagining ‘Three’s Company’ Wins Case

Richard Dreyfuss Sues Disney Over ‘What About Bob?’

Jillian Michaels Makes $10 Million Legal Claim Over Lionsgate’s YouTube Channel

David Lynch Says He’s Leaving ‘Twin Peaks’ Reboot: “Not Enough Money”

‘Twin Peaks’ Return in Doubt as Director Lynch Backs Out

‘New Girl’ Renewed for Fifth Season at Fox

“Mamma Mia!” to Close on Broadway This Fall; Movie Sequel in the Works?

“Honeymoon In Vegas” to Close on Broadway

Agency Shakeup: Mass Defection to UTA Is a Major Blow to CAA’s Dominance

A Phone Call, “Betrayal” and How the “Midnight Raid” at CAA Happened

CAA Sues UTA and Two Agents for a “Lawless Midnight Raid” (Exclusive)

Stan Freberg, Acclaimed Satirist, Dies at 88

Richard Dysart, the Patriarchal Senior Partner of ‘L.A. Law,’ Dies at 86

Günter Grass, Nobel-Winning German Novelist, Dies Aged 87

Manoel de Oliveira, Portugal director, Dead at 106

Julie Wilson, Sultry Cabaret Legend and Actress, Dies at 90

Julie Wilson singing Sondheim’s “I’m Still Here.”


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