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Dan Cox

Eisner To End His CNBC Show, Of His Own Accord

eisner2.jpgFormer Disney chieftain Michael Eisner has terminated his talk show on CNBC of his own volition, the New York Post’s Peter Lauria discloses.

The show only drew about 100,000 viewers (not great, by even CNBC standards).

But Eisner seems to be able to call the shots, even though he was deposed as Disney king years ago.

Clint For Best Actor: Do You Feel Lucky? Well, Do Ya, Punk?

clint3.jpgAs the Oscar ballots were just sent out to hungry voters for those pesky gold statuettes, the pressing question hovers around Dirty Harry and whether he’ll get the acting nod, the L.A. Times predicts.

The critics, well faux critics or columnists or whatever you want to call them, are in disarray as to whether Clint can cull an acting statue. Michael Musto of the Village Voice (who is not a critic), Anne Thompson of Variety (who also is not a critic) and blogger Jeff Wells of Hollywood-Elsewhere.com (who, surprise, is also not a critic) all like Clint for best actor. They seem to think he does feel lucky, punk.

But competition is pretty stiff this year. Frank Langella is likely to get nominated for “Frost/Nixon,” Sean Penn looks like lock for “Milk,” Brad Pitt for “Benjamin Button” and dark horse Mickey ‘They took my fuckin’ thumb’ Rourke for “The Wrestler.

Now remember, the noms haven’t even been announced yet, so these could all be false conjecture.

But Clint is definitely a special case. He’s won for directing and producing but acting has always been a non-starter. Not that Clint couldn’t pull off a decent “Hamlet,” if needed (or maybe “Lear”), but he’s worth voting for because he’s Clint.

And because we here at FBLA aren’t quite sure whether he shot five times or was it six and we don’t want to be the sixth.

Foreign Film Nominees Available Courtesy of HFPA

globepic.jpgThe five documentary nominees for the Hollywood Foreign Press Association will be available to schmooze and discuss their work the day before the Globes are given out.

Nominees include: “THE BAADER-MEINHOF COMPLEX” (DER BADDER- MEINHOF KOMPLEX); “EVERLASTING MOMENTS” (MARIA LARSSONS EVIGA ÖGONBLICK); “GOMORRAH” (GOMORRA); “I’VE LOVED YOU SO LONG” (IL Y A LONGTEMPS QUE JE T’AIME); and “WALTZ WITH BASHIR.”

Each director will be available at 1 p.m. on Jan. 10 at the Egyptian Theater. So if you like docs, especially foreign ones, it’s an open house. Here’s the invite.

Muckraker Ebner Kicking Salomon Scum Off His Boots

ebner.gifHollywood muckraker extraordinaire Mark Ebner is getting it on with subject/socialite/womanizer Rick “Scum” Salomon, the blogger tells FBLA.

salomon.jpgSalomon, who is best known for stripping down with Paris Hilton in a fun(?) porn romp that lit up downloading geeky computer screens around the world, wants to sue Ebner for some of his, shall we say, disclosures regarding a Las Vegas associate Darnell Riley (See, at right).

This is all in anticipation of Ebner’s upcoming book, “Six Degrees of Paris Hilton.”

Book, which comes out in early February will have the usual Ebner scoops that will no doubt piss off both Salomon and, of course, Paris.

Universal Wants To Be Universal On New Year’s Eve

unicitiwalk.jpgUniversal CitiWalk, calling itself “Southern California’s favorite New Year’s destination, is throwing its own local bash for the pending 2009 festivities.

The parties (at each end so of the CitiWalk) will include big-time fireworks explosions and a slew of local DJs spinning discs (what are those?).

Most interesting element is, bowing to NYC’s midnight ball-drop in Times Square, CitiWalk will start the bash at 9 p.m. complete with
outdoor big screens.

And they say they’re not the second city.

More info below:

Read more

Hollywood Goes To The Dogs; But They Like It There

marley2.jpgHollywood did indeed go to the dogs with a $51.8 million four-day performance for Warner Bros.’ “Marley and Me,” which also put WB over $1.74 billion, eclipsing Sony’s $1.6 billion 2006 revenue, FBLA’s box office guru Steve Mason reports.

Brad Pitt‘s starring film “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” followed at $39.1 million and Adam Sandler‘s comic turn for kiddies “Bedtime Stories” collected some $38.6 million to close out this post-Xmas stellar weekend.

Everyone complains about the Internet and its effect on the movie biz, but last weekend says movies are as big as ever. Maybe video will be the one that will suffer.

Cruise’s ‘Valkyrie’ Has Good Opening, But Not In Los Feliz

valkyrie4.jpgTom Cruise‘s attempt at an independent film had a good opening nationwide on Christmas day, but in Los Feliz at the local theater the small crowd that paid was only disappointed.

The film broke and the Los Feliz theater technicians couldn’t fix it. So a few went home with a free ticket for two to a new release.

FBLA hopes it’s not a sign of things to come for the film.

‘Marley and Me’ Wins X-mas; Beating Up On Pitt, Cruise And Sandler

marleyandme.jpg“Marley and Me,” starring a very-much-alive Owen Wilson, proved that the movie business, to renew an awful pun, is truly going to the dogs, box office analyst Steve Mason confirmed to FBLA.

The film, which took in $14.5 million on Christmas day, beat out Paramount’s “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” Sony’s Tom Cruise affair “Valkyrie” and Disney’s Adam Sandler film, “Bedtime Stories,” to capture the Christmas crown.

The performance was a bit of an X-mas present for Fox, which grabbed the second-highest Christmas day performance, more than $5 million behind the Ben Stiller hit “Meet the Fockers.”

My guess is that “Marley and Me” needed to cast Barbra Streisand, or at least use a song of hers.

USA Network Retains Crown: Most Watched Cable Network

monk.jpgUSA Network, bolstered by the success of Tony Shalhoub‘s detective series “Monk” and other shows like “Burn Notice” and “Psych,” has claimed the most-watched cable programming crown again, averaging about 2.8 million viewers in prime-time, the Hollywood Reporter said.

This had to be good news for NBC Universal, which has not had a stellar year at the box office.

NBC executives were jazzed that USA’s average was 463,000 viewers than the Disney Channel. But it also knocked Fox News, ESPN and CNN for a loop.

Hooray for Hollywood, indeed!

Pair Inventors/Investors Will Create Media Website

ryanraffi7.jpgA pair of 30-something foreign inventors and media investors will pump millions of dollars into an L.A.-based media venture that conduct and post filmed interviews on the Internet with major celebrities, including movie stars, TV personalities, corporate executives, politicians, statesmen, foreign dignitaries, sports stars and other newsworthy figures.

British Guyana-born Ryan Ramnarine and Lebanese-born Raffi Khetchikian are looking to carve out this new approach at enhancing news coverage with one-on-one interviews with people in the news, whether they’re promoting a film, starting a new media company or buying a ball club. They don’t care; they just want the news. The pair also will assemble a team of journos, including producers, reporters and editors to create and enhance the as yet un-named project.

“We are all very excited by it,” Ramnarine said. “We will be able to give news broadcasts footage on celebrities, movie stars, criminals, politicians and any newsworthy types.”

The pair are also investors in ViewPartners Corp., which created a set-top box to allow home televisions and computers to receive and broadcast an HD signal.

ViewPartners will also create a number of HD channels, which they’ll use to broadcast films and TV as well as sell merchandise. Ramnarine said that one of those channels might be used to bolster the interview network.

Ramnarine, who came to the U.S. from Guyana at age 13, has been involved in the fitness industry with his TimeLabs Corp. He invented a mechanism that helps to hydrate the body.

Khetchikian, after observing traffic for several years, came up with a safety device that will be incorporated into any new cars after 2009.

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