CONFIRMED! NBC Cancels Golden Globes Newscast Exclusivity; No WGA Picketing When Foreign Press Announce Winners

I'm told there may be even some A-list actors helping the Hollywood Foreign Press Association hold its 30-minute press conference now open to all media since the Writers Guild has agreed to back off its threat to picket since NBC won't be involved. So what I reported yesterday has come to pass: NBC has decided not to air an exclusive newscast of the HFPA announcing the Golden Globe winners. Sources tell me that NBC Universal boss Jeff Zucker was receiving "push back" from the network's news division over the blurring of the line between news and entertainment. "The news people were upset at being used to cover Zucker's mistakes," an insider explained to me. I just checked with the Writers Guild and received this exclusive statement: "We were pleased to give the HFPA assurances that we will not picket nor will we be opposed to a small number of talent helping to announce the winners. Because the HFPA has been honorable and respectful and honest with us, unlike many of the other parties involved in this situation."

The HFPA just issued this statement of confirmation:

Golden Globe Awards Press Conference Set for Sunday to Be Produced by Hollywood Foreign Press Association With No Media Restrictions: HOLLYWOOD, CA (January 11, 2008) -- After discussions with NBC, Hollywood Foreign Press Association President Jorge Camara today announced that the HFPA will have complete control of its 65th Annual Golden Globe Awards Announcement that is scheduled to take place Sunday, January 13 at 6:00 p.m. PST in the International Ballroom of The Beverly Hilton. Under the new arrangement, there will be no restrictions placed on media outlets covering the press conference.

And the WGA just issued this statement:

The Hollywood Foreign Press Association has announced that instead of the usual televised three-hour gala on NBC, the HFPA will take complete control of its 65th Annual Golden Globe Awards Announcement and host a press conference open to all media to announce the winners of the Golden Globes. In light of this change to the program, the WGA gave the HFPA our assurances that there would be no picket of their press conference on Sunday.

12 Comments »

  1. Zucker needs to be institutionalized with Britney,,,,,

    Comment by Mark — January 11, 2008 @ 12:16 pm

  2. AWWWW!!!!

    I had plans to watch!

    You want a scorched earth, AMPTP!
    You got it!

    Comment by e — January 11, 2008 @ 12:17 pm

  3. It is amazing how things have shifted in the WGA’s favor since the new year started.

    Harvery Weinstein, a man who to many is more of a mogul than any of the no-names like Bob Iger, is now making a deal with the WGA. Much more than UA, which is only set up to do a few movies a year, the Weinstein deal is leading to fear at the studios that the agencies are now funneling all the top screenwriters’ scripts to the Weinsteins — and they are.

    The Golden Globes, one of the few shows left on TV that can draw a mass audience of more than 20 millions viewers, was canceled. Make no mistake, this is NBC’s biggest show of the year — for them it was like having the Super Bowl get canceled.

    Tom Hanks, one of the biggest A-listers there is, came out publicly in support of the writers, prompting George Clooney to quickly do the same. More will follow in the next week as it becomes clear to everyone that the expiration of the SAG contract is rapidly approaching.

    Also, Hanks, a governor of the motion picture academy, made clear that while he wants the Oscars to take place, it is unlikely to take place if the AMPTP continues to pursue its current strategy. If you think there was hand-wringing at the Golden Globes’ demise, wait till they cancel the Oscars, which now seems likely.

    Speaking of the Oscars, Jon Stewart is being excoriated in the press and on fan sites for sucking without writers. There is also some criticism about the use of what seems like obviously scripted material, and talk about how his former head writer has gone back in to work, but most of the talk has been about how the show “sucks,” and how damage is being done personally to Stewart and his reputation as a smart and funny comic. Even the Los Angeles Times, certainly no friend to the WGA, carried a piece this week by its television critic talking about how awful both TDS and Colbert are without their writers.

    Ratings for all the non-Worldwide Pants talk shows have plummeted. Conan’s ratings are in a free fall, reportedly inducing infighting at NBC as major brand damage is inflicted on their hand-picked successor to the late-night billion dollar empire. Also, Letterman is beating Leno in the ratings for the first time in recent memory as Leno has been reduced to having no-name animal trainers as his lead guests. Further hurting Leno, his idea to be a guest on Kimmel’s show and vice-versa has led to public criticism by friends who are angry that he crossed the WGA picket line as a guest and that he flaunted the SAG boycott.

    Perhaps most importantly, it is now becoming clear that the DGA is not about to roll over, as some had unfairly portrayed it would do. DGA leaders are well aware that this will be their one and only chance to lock in coverage for the Internet and are refusing to move at the speed the AMPTP wishes. The lack of formal talks so far has also led to speculation that AMPTP will be forced to now reveal its hand as to whether its goal here is to break the unions, to ensure that Internet work will never be covered, or merely to drive the strongest bargain and get the best deal possible.

    Also, there is open dissension within the DGA about Gil Cates’ conflict of interest due to his dual role as DGA leader and Oscars producer. There is fear that he will take a quick, substandard deal for his members –and thus the WGA, too — in time to save his Oscars show. This dual role of his, and its sustainability, is being questioned as never before.

    Time is also on the WGA’s side as television production has all but shut down and more than half of film production has ground to a halt due to location picketing by the WGA and more importantly, script problems that are not solvable without the still resolute A-list writers.

    Add to that the stock prices of the major entertainment companies, which are now falling much more rapidly than the stock market as a whole, and it is becoming clear to Wall Street and others that the AMPTP is pursuing a failed strategy. In fact, specualtion on Wall Street is that it isn’t so much a strategy at all, but rather an integral failure in the AMPTP structure, where each mogul has veto power over any possible action. The feeling is that this so-called “one man, one veto” has made it practically impossible for any forward progress to be made by the AMPTP, and that the org is failing in its first major test since its founding in the 1980’s.

    Media analysts had predicted that the strike would not begin to inflict economic pain on the studios until ‘08 and that has proven to be true, but now the strike has reached the point on the curve where the brunt of the damage has shifted. Within the next two months almost all remaning film production will come to a halt as no studio will begin principal shooting knowing the actors will walk out in June. More importantly for their bottom line, the next month will see the loss of pilot season. Studio spokesmen and consultants are tripping over themselves to say how this doesn’t worry them and how it provides a long-desired opportunity to move to a year-round development schedule. But unlinke restaurant dining, when you advertise on television you pay first, or “up front.” That means come May, most of the studios will lose that huge injection of cash that Wall Street counts on for the congloms to make their 2nd quarter numbers. Even more harmful for the studios, most of that advertising money will not be deposited in a CD to earn 3 percent until the strike ends — it will be spent in other media, mostly Internet.

    Despite all this, there is no reason for writers to rejoice. Although studios are starting to squirm, this strike will change TV forever and it will be years before that money is recouped through Internet, even with a “fair” deal. So while this all may seem to be good news, it only is up to a point.

    Comment by boutiquer — January 11, 2008 @ 12:22 pm

  4. just so everyone is clear, anyone in the tv/film industry could not be more upset with the WGA and their asinine reasoning for this strike. when you come back, give your coffee a double-sniff before you drink.

    Comment by Mark L. — January 11, 2008 @ 12:38 pm

  5. Good, the more pressure put on the greedy networks/producers, the faster they might be willing to negotiate!

    Comment by BC — January 11, 2008 @ 1:27 pm

  6. Fuck the writers. i’m so sick of this shit. THey’re holding the entire industry hostage. All studios should refuse to work with the WGA and hire new, non-union writers. They’re all pigs!

    Comment by Escrivee — January 11, 2008 @ 1:34 pm

  7. lmfao Another strike (no pun intended) against NBC. Good! Couldn’t happen to more deserving crappy Network. ;-) That’ll teach *THEM* for renewing old middling (ratings) “Scrubs” year-after-painful-year. And doing a “Who Wants To Be A Millionaire” redux w/ “Deal Or No Deal”? Show’s you they’ve learned NOTHING!!!!

    Comment by Tristan Unsworth — January 11, 2008 @ 1:39 pm

  8. Fuck the writers. i’m so sick of this shit. THey’re holding the entire industry hostage. All studios should refuse to work with the WGA and hire new, non-union writers. They’re all pigs!

    Comment by Escrivee

    LOL!
    Really, Nick, just take your xanax and have your masters sign a deal!

    Comment by e — January 11, 2008 @ 2:07 pm

  9. Dear Mark L.,

    I hope you go bankrupt and that your cardboard box is foreclosed.

    Sincerely,
    A Writer

    P.S. — I know you’re really a shill; I’m just playin along.

    Comment by WGA member — January 11, 2008 @ 2:59 pm

  10. Dear Escrivee,

    See my previous response to Mark L.

    Sincerely,
    A Writer

    Comment by WGA member — January 11, 2008 @ 3:02 pm

  11. Boutiquer - great post!

    I would add that the studios and networks will feel some major blowback for their intransigence and pettiness over the next couple of years as creative types - and not just writers - see the writing on the virtual wall and gravitate towards aligning with Internet startups (funnyordie.com and Youtube not even the Model T of this shift) and taking a far more entrepreneurial approach to the monetizing of their craft.

    IOW, the next Ron Howard/Brian Grazer hookup will be to skip over the entire Old Media distribution model and put their stuff over that series of tubes.

    Comment by mheister — January 11, 2008 @ 3:07 pm

  12. “The news people were upset at being used to cover Zucker’s mistakes,” an insider explained.

    I think many people are finally learning that this has been Zucker’s way of doing things for his entire career. He has always used other people to cover up his own mistakes. The problem with that though is eventually you run out of people to blame. And you make so many mistakes that they catch up to you. Right Jeff? Right!

    Comment by Anonymous — January 11, 2008 @ 9:42 pm

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