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.

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Showbiz Sandbox 195: Hollywood Exploits 9/11 Imagery For Its Implosive Blockbusters

June 19, 2013

As “Man of Steel” sets the worldwide box office aflame, the latest Superman reboot also serves as yet another example of a Hollywood blockbuster exploiting the imagery of 9/11 for apocalyptic purposes. Kyle Buchanan, the Movies Editor at New York Magazine, would like to see filmmakers stop relying on meaningless urban destruction.  He joins us to discuss his recent article calling for an end to the “orgy of gratuitous building-battering” in big budget movies.

Steven Spielberg and George Lucas are two filmmakers quite familiar with blockbuster movies.  Now, the directors who helped launch the modern day tentpole release are predicting an “implosion” for Hollywood, along with a handful of other pessimistic prognostications.  We’ll tell you what they had to say in a recent panel discussion.

Last week also saw Apple finally get into the music streaming business with the announcement of iTunes Radio.  Only time will tell whether Apple will be able to compete with Pandora, Spotify and all of the other existing players in the space, though we’re not overly impressed.

Of course we also cover the week’s top entertainment news including a legal victory for Hollywood interns, Arnold Schwarzenegger returns to “The Terminator” and The Muppets head to Broadway.

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Showbiz Sandbox 169: How TV Networks Learned To Stop Worrying And Love The DVR

October 29, 2012

Major networks used to bemoan the use of DVRs out of fear that audiences would use them to skip over commercials. However, with DVRs in almost half of all US homes, they have begun touting the big audience increases some of their shows get after factoring in time shifted viewing. Scott Collins, a television reporter with the Los Angeles Times, discusses modern-day TV ratings and how the industry is coping as viewing habits change.

And if you thought television networks were in trouble, they’ve got nothing on the film industry. If you were to believe folks like film critic David Denby and a recent New York Times article, movies may not even be relevant anymore.

Talent agencies aren’t immune from all the changes affecting the industry. Last week the longtime head of ICM Partners, one of the world’s largest ten percenteries, announced he’d be leaving to start a new agency.

Of course, we also cover the week’s top entertainment news including how a child sex abuse scandal at the BBC, the merger of publishing giants Penguin and Random House, and an Amy Winehouse musical.

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Showbiz Sandbox 15: Ferris Bueller Is A Jerk!

August 10, 2009

Korbi Ghosh of Zap2it’s Korbi TV blog joins us again to discuss Paula Adbul leaving “American Idol,” Jeanine Mason winning “So You Think You Can Dance,” and this past week’s Television Critics Association press tour. But we begin with Box Office News:  “G.I Joe” won the weekend with over $56 million, although bad word of mouth will probably result in a steep drop by next weekend. Co-host Michael Giltz watched the movie in a packed theater and gives his review of both the movie and actors Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Channing Tatum.

“G.I. Joe” was not screened for critics (never a good sign) but that didn’t stop Joe Morgenstern of the Wall Street Journal from reviewing it based on the trailer alone.  Morgenstern writes, “At first I felt shut out, but then I realized I was missing the point of a double blessing. Paramount has spared me the pain of sitting through another military-toy epic (the recent “Transformers” sequel having been a near-death experience), Read more

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Showbiz Sandbox 6: Down With ‘Up’ And Other Contrarian Opinions

June 1, 2009

We are excited to be joined by journalist Anne Thompson of Thompson On Hollywood who recently returned to the United States after covering the Cannes Film Festival. You may remember Anne as the West Coast Editor for Premiere Magazine and Film Comment, not to mention her stint as the Deputy Film Editor at The Hollywood Reporter. She’s also written for a plethora of media outlets including, The New York Times, Washington Post, Wired and LA Weekly. Anne fills us in on who scored big at this past year’s festival and who wound up spinning their wheels.

There was plenty to talk about this week with Pixar’s tenth animated film “Up” winning praise from both critics and audiences. The film earned $68.2 million during it’s opening weekend in North America, but not a dime from Karen Woodward who’s not a fan of animated films (or as she calls them. . . cartoons). “Up” may just give “The Hangover” a run for its money when it opens next week. The comedy flick from director Todd Philips has been receiving a lot of buzz as a potential sleeper hit. Another animated film trying to capture people’s attention is Robert Zemeckis’ take on “A Christmas Carol”. Though it’s not due out until November of this year, Disney has launched a promotional tour which will have clips of the film visiting 40 cities over the next six months by train.  Actor Jim Carrey tells us why another version of the classic tale is being made. Read more

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Showbiz Sandbox 3: Award Season Redux

May 11, 2009

Star Trek

“Star Trek” cleans up at the box office earning $76 million in North America over the weekend while “Wolverine” pulled in another $27 million. Fox sets release dates for its blockbusters in Mexico, though actors may not start kissing on telenovelas for a while. “Billy Elliot” heads up the Tony Award nominations. Bono and the Edge are headed to Broadway with a Spider-Man musical, but Andrew Lloyd Weber is falling behind on his sequel to “Phantom of the Opera”.

“Slumdog Millionaire” and “Twilight” lead the MTV Movie Award nominations, but does anyone care. Big media and celebrities top the Webby awards. NBC announces its primetime schedule and there are rumors about a few CW shows. Looks like the “Gossip Girl” spinoff is a no-go. As scripted television looks to shrink their writing staffs, CBS debates whether they should bring back such game shows as “The Dating Game” and “Let’s Make A Deal”. A computer bug delayed nearly three days of Nielsen television ratings, however advertisers may want to start using more effective “engagement” ratings anyway.

Disney CEO Bob Iger discusses Hulu and informs everyone that new media is here to stay. The MPAA teaches everyone how to pirate DVD’s using a camcorder, in fact they prefer the method over the ripping of content off DVD’s. Revenue at Warner Music plumets as do satellite radio subscribers at Sirius XM. Looks like Roman Polanski isn’t going to return to see if a court will drop his 30-year-old rape charges. Finally, now that the William Morris/Endeavor merger has been announced, clients have started jumping ship in all directions.

“Star Trek” Draws $72.5 Million
http://www.variety.com/article/VR1118003414.html?categoryid=19&cs=1

Swine Flu Curbs Telenovela Kissing
http://www.variety.com/article/VR1118003390.html?categoryid=14&cs=1

Billy Elliot Leads Tony Nominations
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/06/theater/theaterspecial/06tony.html

Bono, The Edge Team Up For “Spider-Man” Musicalhttp://www.spin.com/articles/bono-edge-team-spider-man-musical

“Phantom” Sequel Delayed Until 2010
http://www.variety.com/article/VR1118003402.html?categoryid=15&cs=1

“Twilight”, “Slumdog” Lead MTV Kudos
http://www.variety.com/article/VR1118003151.html?categoryid=16&cs=1

MTV Movie Awards Ballot
http://www.mtv.com/ontv/movieawards/2009/

Celebrities Win Madeup Webbys, Big Media Wins Some Real Ones
http://weblogs.variety.com/technotainment/2009/05/celebrities-win-madeup-webbys-big-media-wins-some-real-ones.html

NBC Announces 2009/2010 Primetime Schedule
http://www.deadlinehollywooddaily.com/nbc-announces-20092010-primetime-sked/

Fox Orders Second Season of Fringe
http://www.variety.com/article/VR1118003158.html?categoryId=14&cs=1

Nikki Finke On CW Upfront Rumors
http://www.deadlinehollywooddaily.com/that-gossip-girl-spinoff-dead-at-cw/

Shows To Scrimp On Scribes
http://www.variety.com/article/VR1118003411.html?categoryid=14&cs=1

Networks Fume Over Nielsen Delay

http://www.variety.com/article/VR1118003280.html?categoryid=14&cs=1

TV Ads That Measure Viewer Engagement
http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/09_20/b4131056581434.htm

Disney’s Bob Iger On YouTube Hulu: “New Media Isn’t Going Away” Planning Movie Subscription Service
http://www.paidcontent.org/entry/419-disneys-iger-on-hulu-youtube-deals-new-media-isnt-going-away/

MPAA To Teachers: Don’t Rip DVDs, Just Record Your Television With A Camcorder
http://www.boingboing.net/2009/05/07/mpaa-to-teachers-don.html

Warner Music Hits Online Slump
http://www.variety.com/article/VR1118003337.html?categoryid=16&cs=1

Sirius XM’s Subscriber Drain
http://www.businessweek.com/technology/content/may2009/tc2009057_956955.htm?chan=top+news_top+news+index+-+temp_technology

Polanski won’t appear in U.S Court
http://www.variety.com/article/VR1118003182.html?categoryId=22&cs=1

Endeavor Spins Recent Client Exodus
http://www.deadlinehollywooddaily.com/endeavor-spins-recent-client-exodus/

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Showbiz Sandbox 1: The Replicability Podcast

April 27, 2009

SAG President Alan Rosenberg

Talks to merge the William Morris and Endeavor talent agencies continue, while the Screen Actors Guild and the Association of Motion Picture and Television Producers may have finally reached an agreement on a new contract.  Critically acclaimed movies tank at the box office.  Fox closes Atomic, reshuffles release dates and hires Angelina Jolie for a biopic.  David Slade is selected for the third “Twilight” film.

MPAA visits Washington D.C., script doctors are kept busy writing for Tom Cruise.  Cannes unveils it’s festival lineup and Francis Ford Coppola is not in it (though he is down the street at the Fortnight).  Jay Leno visits the hospital and Rod Blagojevich visits Hollywood (but not Costa Rica like he wanted).

A classic Pedro Almodovar film gets remade for the small screen, PBS goes online with its content and Oprah learns Twitter etiquette.

WMA Finds Devil In The Details
http://www.variety.com/article/VR1118002694.html?categoryid=29&cs=1

SAG National Board of Directors Approves Tentative Television and Motion Picture Contacts
http://www.sag.org/press-releases/april-19-2009/sag-national-board-of-directors-approves-tentative-television-and-motio

Flush times for theatrical movies? Don’t tell A.O. Scott
http://www.riskybusinessblog.com/2009/04/good-movies-struggle-at-box-office.html

Down Economy = Dumbed Down Movies/TV? Stop the Inanity!
http://www.ew.com/ew/article/0,,20269754,00.html

Fox Folding Atomic Label
http://www.variety.com/article/VR1118002584.html?categoryid=13&cs=1

http://www.deadlinehollywooddaily.com/exclusive-fox-atomic-shutting-down/

Fox Shuffles Film Schedule
http://www.variety.com/article/VR1118002645.html?categoryid=13&cs=1

Angelina Jolie Teams With Fox 2000
http://www.variety.com/article/VR1118002704.html?categoryid=1238&cs=1

Slade Slated For Third Twilight
http://www.variety.com/article/VR1118002751

MPAA Reaches Out To Lawmakers
http://www.variety.com/article/VR1118002688.html?categoryid=18&cs=1

Script Doctor’s In For Tom Cruise
http://www.variety.com/article/VR1118002702.html?categoryid=1236&cs=1

Digital Governator Set For Termininator
http://www.variety.com/article/VR1118002743.html?categoryid=13&cs=1

Robert Rodriguez Wields “Machete”
http://www.variety.com/article/VR1118002792.html?categoryid=1237&cs=1

Cannes Unveils Lineup
http://www.variety.com/index.asp?layout=festivals&jump=story&id=1061&articleid=VR1118002762&cs=1

Coppola’s Thinking Outside The Cannes
http://www.riskybusinessblog.com/2009/04/by-steven-zeitchik-we-remember-interviewing-francis-ford-coppola-last-year-upon-the-release-of-his-slightly-lugubrious-you.html

Coppola’s “Tetro” To Open Fortnight
http://www.variety.com/index.asp?layout=festivals&jump=story&id=1061&articleid=VR1118002806&cs=1

Leno Misses First Tonight Show in 17 Years
http://www.reuters.com/article/newsOne/idUSTRE53N0BE20090424

Blagojevich Says Still Wants Piece Of Reality Show
http://weblogs.redeyechicago.com/showpatrol/2009/04/blago-to-be-part-of-im-a-celebrity-.html

Pedro Almodovar On “Verge” Of TV Series
http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/hr/content_display/news/e3i360cdd62fc9ca5a8db5e24f4b2b51779?imw=Y

ABC Announces Several Renewals
http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/hr/content_display/television/news/e3i202b681b4f137513e078e67f0d29aa46

Watch PBS Online? You Can If You Visit Its New Video Portal
http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/news/tv/la-fi-ct-pbs22-2009apr22,0,56403.story

Oprah Gets Pwned By Shaq On Twitter
http://news.cnet.com/oprah-gets-pwned-by-shaq-on-twitter/?part=rss

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