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Posts Tagged ‘Chris Albrecht’

Mitch Glazer and Kelly Lynch on Magic City‘s Second Season

1003_mockup.gifIt’s been a sizzling spring season at Michael’s with plenty of celebs (Isabella Rossellini, Naomi Campbell and Tony Goldwyn to name a few) breaking bread with us over lunch, but today’s dine and dish session was one for the books. Joining me for an exclusive chat were screenwriter/director Mitch Glazer and actress (Drugstore Cowboy, The L Word) Kelly Lynch, in town from Los Angeles to promote the second season of  Magic City, the STARZ hit series which Mitch created and Kelly co-stars in as the cool, aristocratic Meg Bannock. Fresh off ringing the NASDAQ bell and an earlier red carpet appearance at a swanky fashion show in Times Square featuring looks curated by Magic City costume designer Carol Ramsey, the Hollywood power couple arrived shortly before noon (extra points for being early!) and were game for talking about pretty much anything.

Together 23 years and married for 20 which, in Tinseltown time is the equivalent of forever (“I was getting cranky waiting for him to ask me,” says Kelly), Mitch and Kelly have seemingly found the perfect project in which to work together in Magic City. Born and raised in Miami Beach, Mitch, who once toiled as a writer for Rolling Stone and Vanity Fair, tells me that the series is the most personal of projects as it allows him to recreate the Miami of his childhood by shooting on location and constructing a massive sound stage populated with full scale models of the iconic hotels (not to mention all those great cars) of this bygone era. ”Sometimes I look around and think, ‘This is like a Twlight Zone episode,’” he told me.

Kelly Lynch, Diane Clehane and Mitch Glazer

Before he began shooting the very first episode and after the final touches were put in place on Miramar Playa Hotel, the property owned by the show’s brooding, sexy Ike Evans (Jeffrey Dean Morgan), Mitch brought his 91-year-old father, Leonard Glazer, who worked as an electrical engineer on the strip during the fifties, to the set. Mitch found the very same chandelier his father had installed all those years ago at The Eden Roc in a box at a Miami salvage store and gave it its rightful place of honor in the lobby of the fictional Miramar Playa. “My father took one look and said, ‘You built a hotel!” recalled Mitch, smiling at the memory. “There are so few things in life that you know better than anyone else,” he told me. “This world happens to be that for me, so I was very fortunate and it gave me a lot of confidence.”

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Spartacus Star Andy Whitfield Loses Battle to Lymphoma Cancer

Andy Whitfield, who played the lead role in the Starz original series Spartacus: Blood and Sand, has passed away from non-Hodgkin Lymphoma at the age of 39. Whitfield was only able to do one season of the show before the disease forced him to resign his role. He battled the disease for 18 months according to his wife.

Starz released a statement on Whitfield’s death.

“We are deeply saddened by the loss of our dear friend and colleague, Andy Whitfield,” said Starz President and CEO Chris Albrecht.  “We were fortunate to have worked with Andy in ‘Spartacus’ and came to know that the man who played a champion on-screen was also a champion in his own life.  Andy was an inspiration to all of us as he faced this very personal battle with courage, strength and grace.  Our thoughts and prayers are with his family during this difficult time.  He will live on in the hearts of his family, friends and fans.”

RIP.

Former HBO Exec Chris Albrecth Recalls What Really Happened in Vegas

In the November GQ Magazine profile piece “Violence, Nudity, Adult Content”, Amy Wallace suggests that former HBO chairman and CEO Chris Albrecht, now the CEO of Starz, “understands storytelling better than perhaps any other Hollywood executive.” That’s quite a claim.

So how strange it is to read that after Albrecht was arrested and briefly jailed in Las Vegas on May 6, 2007 for choking his then-girlfriend in a hotel parking lot, he chose not to put those considerable storytelling skills to use. Rather, in speaking for the first time publicly about the events that led to his HBO demise, he tells Wallace that he allowed colleague Jeff Bewkes and a team of crisis PR specialists to concoct a yarn about him having fallen off the wagon.

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Callender Leaves HBO For Good

Colin Callender, former president of HBO and overseer of some 80 Emmys and two dozen Golden Globes, will officially leave HBO by the end of 2008 to start his own production company after 21 years with the pay cable outlet, according to several news reports.colin2.jpg

While the entire industry has been gossiping for months about Callender’s departure, no one was quite sure who was responsible.

Callender told Men’s Vogue Magazine: “I’ll stay here at HBO as long as they’ll have me.” And he also told the New York Times yesterday that the decision “was entirely of my own making” and not related to any HBO house-cleaning dictum.

Two executives who have worked with Callender in overseeing the production of films and mini-series at HBO will now divvy up his duties. Kary Antholis will become president of HBO Miniseries and Len Amato will become president of HBO Films. They will report to programming group/West Coast operations president Michael Lombardo.

Callender was one of several longtime HBO executives whose names arose as potential replacements for Chris Albrecht, who left his post as chief executive of HBO in mid-2007.

But that job was split among four executives, sparking the rumors in Hollywood that Callender, among others, might leave HBO.

Callender also told the Times, “I’ve had this growing feeling over the last year or so that there are growing opportunities in the marketplace.”

Tina Brown Gets HBO Deal

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Things have really changed at HBO. Without Chris Albrecht, the cable giant is looking to Tina Brown for fresh ideas, according to Liz Smith. Smith writes:

The amazing Tina Brown is in a newly struck, first-look deal to bring projects and story ideas to HBO,TV network that also seems to understand “buzz” and great storytelling versus the hackneyed stuff that is on the networks.

Smith is quite the expert on hackneyed. Does this mean the comeback of Topic A?

Chris Albrecht to IMG

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Chris Albrecht joins IMG as head of its global media practice.

IMG, which is owned by Ted Forstmann, started as a sports agency. Today it’s media and entertainment operations include content production subsidiaries Darlow Smithson Prods., Tiger Aspect Prods. and Tigress. IMG produces and distributes more than 11,000 hours of sports, documentary, drama, comedy, entertainment, popular factual and children’s content annually.

Albrecht was forced resign from HBO after in May after he was arrested in Las Vegas and charged with assaulting his girlfriend.

Friends Blog To HBO Chief’s Defense, Slam Press

albrecht_mug_shot.jpgAri Emanuel on the press “who dug up a 16 year old incident, dusted off the cobwebs covering it, and suddenly created ‘a pattern’ of behavior that required the delivery of Chris’ head on a platter” and how Albrecht’s track record should speak for itself:

Chris Albrecht, like the rest of us, is not a perfect person. But he is a brilliant executive who helped turn HBO from a place to watch movies, stand-up comedy, and boxing into the home for some of the most creative and challenging original programming in the history of television. He has an amazing eye for talent, the ability to nurture that talent, and the patience to let outside-the-box shows find their audience. Without him, we wouldn’t have had The Sopranos, Sex and the City, Six Feet Under, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Entourage, or Everyone Loves Raymond (which HBO produced).

We probably would’ve left that last one off. As far as HBO being an “old boys” club, Emanuel testifies it is not: “Just ask Carolyn Strauss, Sheila Nevins, or any of the other high-powered female executives who work there.”

EARLIER:

  • HBO’s Chief Gets Whacked
  • HBO Chief Takes Leave After Alleged Beating Of Girlfriend In Vegas: Memo
  • HBO’s Chief Gets Whacked

    albrecht_mug_shot.jpgThat didn’t take long. A day after Chris Albrecht took a leave of absence from his post following a weekend in which he was arrested for allegedly beating his girlfriend, Time Warner has whacked the HBO chief executive. Nikki Finke reports that because of “Albrecht’s past behavior with women at the cable pay channel” he “is being told to quit or be fired.”

    UPDATE: Time Warner confirms the whacking:

    Time Warner Inc. today announced that the Company and Chris Albrecht have agreed that he will no longer serve as chairman and CEO of Home Box Office, effective immediately. Mr. Albrecht said: ‘With great regret, at the request of Time Warner, I have agreed to step down as chairman and CEO of Home Box Office. I take this step for the benefit of my Home Box Office colleagues, recognizing that I cannot allow my personal circumstances to distract them from the business. I’m very proud of what we have achieved together at Home Box Office, and I wish everybody there many more successes in the future.’ Time Warner Chairman and CEO Richard D. Parsons said: ‘Jeff Bewkes and I believe that this is the right decision for the Company. We thank Chris for all of his contributions to Home Box Office over the years.’”

    EARLIER:

  • HBO Chief Takes Leave After Alleged Beating Of Girlfriend In Vegas: Memo
  • HBO Chief Takes Leave After Alleged Beating Of Girlfriend In Vegas: Memo

    Chris Albrecht‘s memo to HBO employees:

    My colleagues and friends:

    I am deeply sorry for what occured in Las Vegas this weekend and for any embarrasment it caused my family, the company I love, and myself.

    While I am not at liberty to discuss the incident as the district attorney and my lawyer are still determining the facts, it is my hope to do so in the near future.

    This weekend was a wake up call to me of a weakness I thought I had overcome long ago. I had been a sober member of Alcoholics Anonymous for thirteen years. Two years ago, I decided that I could handle drinking again. Clearly, I was wrong. Given that truth, I have committed myself to sobriety. I intend to take a temporary leave of absence from HBO effective today, in order to go back to working with AA.

    Leading this company is a great privilege and I pray that I can continue to do so in a manner that brings honor and pride to this remarkable organization and its remarkable people. Thank you for your understanding during these difficult hours, I will not let you down again.

    COO Bill Nelson assumes Albrecht’s post temporarily.

    According to the LAT, this kind of thing has happened to Albrecht before: In 1991, Albrecht was charged with battering a subordinate he dated.