Showbiz Sandbox 183: Going Inside This Year’s Oscars With Anne Thompson

As one of the hosts of the Oscar Talk podcast and the editor of Indiewire’s Thompson on Hollywood blog, it’s no wonder Anne Thompson beat out most other award season experts by correctly predicting 19 out of 24 winners at this year’s Academy Awards. Thompson attended the Oscar ceremony in-person and confirms that Seth MacFarlane was no better live than on television.

Less than 24-hours after “Argo” won Best Picture and shortly after returning from the Governor’s Ball, Thompson recaps a whirlwind weekend that had her hobnobbing at the Spirit Awards awards on Saturday then walking the red carpet at Sunday’s Oscars. Rough life, to be sure.

In television news, it turns out most the of the hour-long network dramas premiering at mid-season have failed to find an audience. Maybe now that Nielsen is including online streaming in their ratings viewership will rise for some of these shows, but we wouldn’t count on it.

Of course we also cover the week’s top entertainment headlines including Billboard revamping music charts to include YouTube views, Shia LaBeouf drops out of his Broadway debut and Google’s plans for music streaming.

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Showbiz Sandbox 138: Lessons Learned At This Year’s Oscars

Predicting who will win Academy Awards each year isn’t as easy as it looks. Just ask IndieWire’s Anne Thompson. She managed to pick 19 out of 24 winner’s at this past weekend’s Oscar ceremony, but there were a few categories which had everyone guessing. Thompson takes us backstage on Oscar night and explains how easy it is for someone covering the awards season, like herself, to over think how Academy voters will respond when ballots are cast.

Meanwhile, Google filed applications last week to become a cable television provider in Kansas City. What remains to be seen is whether the tech giant can obtain enough programming to attract customers.

Maybe Hollywood will welcome Google with open arms as they have with the glut of streaming video providers all vying to license premium content. Ironically, the industry seems to be ahead of the curve on a new technology they hope will make up for falling DVD sales.

We also cover the week’s top entertainment headlines including a new book from J.K. Rowling, Barbara Streisand’s new record deal and how advertising at movie theaters is being taken more seriously.

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Showbiz Sandbox 118: Mr. Television Rates This Year’s New Shows

There’s a good reason Marc Berman is known as Mr. Television. As the man behind MediaWeek’s daily television newsletter The Programming Insider his commentary on the medium reached more than 50,000 readers per day. Berman recently launched TV Media Insights, a new online destination for television and media with its own newsletter, forum and podcast. Berman handicaps this year’s Emmy Awards and also tells us which new shows are worth watching in the upcoming season.

We also continue our discussion on the publishing industry, which due to the dramatic changes in how they do business, is becoming one of the more fascinating parts of the entertainment industry. As e-book sales increase, popular authors are beginning to announce plans to release new work directly to readers and Amazon plans on creating a Netflix fof books.

Meanwhile, a The Hollywood Reporter served a cease and desist order on Deadline.com which sparked a war of words between the two trade outlets. Is the Reporter in financial trouble, and if so, should Deadline staff be spreading the word to potential advertisers?

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Showbiz Sandbox 61: Andrew Garfield Fills Spider-Man’s Reboots

That “Twilight Saga: Eclipse: wound up at the top of the box office over the Fourth of July holiday weekend with $280 million worldwide was not a big shock, however the casting of Andrew Garfield to play Spider-Man in the next installment of the franchise came as a surprise. Entertainment journalist Michael Giltz has been following the 26-year-old actor for several years, but the selection of the unknown had most industry insiders searching for his resume.

In all likelihood the next “Spider-Man” film will be shot in 3D though the format is not a guarantee of box office gold. Just ask M. Night Shyamalan whose “Last Airbender” had a disappointing opening despite being converted to 3D in post-production. Film critic Roger Ebert was not alone in trashing the film.

This week also saw Larry King announce his retirement from the nightly talk show he’s hosted on CNN for 25 years. King’s program has been slipping in ratings recently, as have late night talkers hosted by Jay Leno and David Letterman. But viewership continues to grow on cable television, not to mention on Hulu which will begin offering monthly subscriptions for expanded content offerings.

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Showbiz Sandbox 42: Tom Cruise Takes A Pay Cut, And Other Indignities

We only talk about “Avatar” for a couple of seconds in this week’s podcast, thank goodness. Instead, we focus on actors campaigning for their Oscars (and a few who aren’t). We also discuss what we call “the 3D movie brouhaha” which has made Jeffrey Katzenberg irate.

In TV news, co-hosts Karen Woodward and Michael Giltz are passionate about the Olympics and the absurdity of “Lost” (even recaps are confusing!) And, after 28 years, MTV is changing its logo to reflect that the channel is no longer just about “music television”. They may be about 10 years too late.

Co-host J. Sperling Reich jumps into one of his favorite topics – new media – and reminds us that this guy named Steve Jobs sits on the board of Disney and is one of the top shareholders. No wonder Disney CEO Robert Igor called the underwhelming iPad “a really compelling device” that could be a game changer. We’ll hold off our thoughts on the new Apple product until we see if it really will change the way entertainment is distributed.  Continue reading Showbiz Sandbox 42: Tom Cruise Takes A Pay Cut, And Other Indignities

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Showbiz Sandbox 29: Camped Out For “Twilight: New Moon”

There was a debate over titling this week’s episode “The Profanity Podcast “due to some various disagreements and the name of a new sitcom. Intrigued? Read on.

Harry Medved from Fandango.com joins us briefly to talk about next week’s number one movie at the box office, “The Twilight Saga: New Moon.” (Did we get the name right? Can’t we just call it “New Moon” or “Twilight 2”?) Yes, that’s right, we’re prognosticating next week’s number one movie in North America. Hey, when women of all ages are lining up just to catch a glimpse of Robert Pattinson and/or Taylor Lautner at the premiere, you know you might have a hit on your hands.

Speaking of hits, is Twentieth Century Fox taking a huge risk by bankrolling a film based on an unfamiliar story with no Hollywood superstars and a budget approaching $500 million? We’re talking about “Avatar,” and particularly Michael Cieply’s article in the New York Times’ on the film directed by James Cameron. (So, is Cameron himself not a superstar?) John Horn and Claudia Eller from the Los Angeles Times write that the movie’s price tag continues to climbe and that its global marketing campaign could cost as much as $150 million, “Avatar” won’t have to do “Titanic” business to make money, but it will have to fill auditoriums around the world for weeks to become profitable. Continue reading Showbiz Sandbox 29: Camped Out For “Twilight: New Moon”

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Showbiz Sandbox 20: Judging Ellen DeGeneres and 3D TV

Getting everyone’s schedules in sync was a challenge this week given that all of our hosts were in different cities. It certainly didn’t help the audio quality either. Michael Giltz reports in from Toronto where he is covering the Toronto Film Festival.

If you’re following Michael on Twitter then you already know what movies he’s seen and what he thought of them (he loved “Up In The Air” and “A Serious Man” and wasn’t so keen on “Men Who Stare At Goats”). Michael tells us all about the Coen Brothers latest movie and the start of George Clooney’s run for another Oscar.

On the other side of the world in J. Sperling Reich was in Amsterdam, Holland speaking at the International Broadcaster’s Convention. The big news from the trade show is all the buzz about 3D content in the home. Karen Woodward and Michael agree, the world isn’t ready for 3D television. . . or is it? Continue reading Showbiz Sandbox 20: Judging Ellen DeGeneres and 3D TV

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