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Posts Tagged ‘David Chase’

Does Sopranos Creator David Chase Ever Smile?



We missed Michael Douglas by a day. Oh well, there was enough going on with the usual suspects in the Michael’s dining room that we barely had time to eat. After making the rounds to check in with the regulars, I saw that Sopranos creator David Chase had slipped in practically unnoticed. What really caught my eye was the downright miserable expression on Chase’s face. Does this guy ever smile? Apparently not. One insider told me, “Chase is a guy that has a pretty dark view of life. How else could he have come up with Tony Soprano?” We’ve heard of method acting, but method living? Whatever works, I guess.

Here’s the rundown on today’s crowd:

1. The ‘Gang’ is all here: Dr. Gerald Imber, Jerry Della Femina, Jeff Greenfield, Andy Bergman and Michael Kramer.

2. Kris Fuchs and Joan Tisch

3. Gerry Byrne (who treated me to the latest pics of his new granddaughter on his iPhone) with The Ito Partnership’s president and CEO David Melancon and partner Joseph Sutherland.

4. Kathy Lacey — making the scene two days in a row!

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Lunch: Tim Gunn Talks ‘Age Appropriate Fashion’ with Grace Mirabella



If we’d come by on Monday, we would have run into Tyra Banks at breakfast and Harold Ford, Jr. at lunch. Oh, well. Michael’s was still brimming with plenty of the usual suspects today, and more than a few did a double take when Tim Gunn arrived with legendary editor Grace Mirabella on his arm.

When Project Runway‘s unflappable designer mentor sat down with the former Vogue editor, I wasn’t surprised to overhear their conversation turn immediately to fashion. Tim was all ears when asking Ms. Mirabella (whose namesake magazine remains one of my all-time favorites) about her thoughts on age-appropriate looks for everything from jeans to evening wear. Gathering intelligence for all those fledgling fashionistas, no doubt.

Here’s the rundown on today’s crowd:

1. Jack Myers of Jack Myers Media Advisory Group, presiding over a table of social media gurus: Huffington Post’s CEO Eric Hippeau, president Greg Coleman and senior vice president Phil Cara with Stephen Cannon of Mercedes Benz, Virgin Mobile’s Stacy Schwartz and Tom Cuniff of Combe Inc.

2. Peter Brown and John Reid

3. Producer John Hart (long time, no see!) with another distinguished looking white-haired gent

4. My good friend and publicist extraordinaire Catherine Saxton and Richard Smullen, co-founder and CEO of AdGenesis, beezag, and koppr. Catherine tells me she’s jetting off in a few days to Marabella to visit with “some Khashoggis.” Send us a postcard!

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Sopranos Finale: Killer Ratings

Tony Whacked The Tonys

As the heated debate among Sopranos fans over the final episode rages on (“David Chase is a genius!” “David Chase is an a**hole!”), HBO is enjoying its report from Nielsen this morning. Sunday’s Sopranos finale was watched by 11.9 million — only NBC’s America’s Got Talent fared better last week. The series finale beat Game 2 of the NBA Finals (8.6 million) and the Tony Awards (6.2 million) on Sunday night, according to Nielsen.

    The Top 10, June 4-10:

  • America’s Got Talent, NBC, 13 million
  • The Sopranos, HBO, 11.9 million
  • Two and a Half Men, CBS, 11.27 million
  • So You Think You Can Dance (Thursday), Fox, 11.07 million
  • So You Think You Can Dance (Wednesday), Fox, 10.35 million
  • Deal or No Deal (Tuesday), NBC, 10.11 million
  • CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, CBS, 10.04 million
  • CSI: Miami, CBS, 9.49 million
  • 60 Minutes, CBS, 9.46 million
  • NCIS, CBS, 9.36 million
  • Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader, Fox, 9.32 million

FishbowlNY’s Sopranos Coverage:

  • David Chase On Sopranos Finale: ‘No One Was Trying To Be Audacious’
  • The Sopranos Ending: The Poll Response
  • Sopranos Finale: Whackless Ending Leaves Post Metro Edition With Loaded Bullet
  • The Sopranos Ending: The Fans React
  • Will You Cancel HBO?
  • The Sopranos Didn’t End — It Stopped
  • David Chase On Sopranos Finale: ‘No One Was Trying To Be Audacious’


    The Newark Star-Ledger — a.k.a the paper Tony Soprano‘s retrieves at the bottom of his North Caldwell driveway in nearly every episode — nabbed an exclusive with Sopranos creator David Chase — arranged, mob-style, before the final season began. Chase defends the controversial ending, or non-ending, by — you guessed it — choosing to not defend it:

    “I have no interest in explaining, defending, reinterpreting, or adding to what is there. No one was trying to be audacious, honest to God. We did what we thought we had to do. No one was trying to blow people’s minds, or thinking, ‘Wow, this’ll (tick) them off.’ People get the impression that you’re trying to (mess) with them and it’s not true. You’re trying to entertain them.”

    Chase, of course, is speaking from France, where he fled to avoid “all the Monday morning quarterbacking.” Which, of course, would seem to debunk his “no one was trying to blow people’s minds” stance. Still, Chase offers some other details before “going into radio silence”:

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    The Sopranos–Wha’ Happened?


    David Chase might want to lay low for a while. Sopranos fans shut down the HBO server.

    That diner? Holsten’s in Bloomfield.

    TWOP loyalists go nuts–70 pages of comments.

    NY Times readers fell for the cable snafu.

    The House Next Door says we never saw it coming, which is as it should be–deep, profound, whatever.

    Ken Levine mixes his Tonys.

    Did you notice that all the bad things on THE SOPRANOS started happening AFTER they killed Tim Daly, the screenwriter? Bad mojo. This is the only power the WGA has.

    The Sopranos Didn’t End — It Stopped

    The final frame

    Well, you can forget the “Will Tony Survive?” question. David Chase and co. over at HBO decided to leave its fans and eight years of makeshift Italian Sunday dinners on the edge of an overwrought, overused classic rock cliché (Journey sang “Don’t Stop Believin’”) — an ending that you had to write. You are, after all, the person of the year. (Fitting, too, since — as the waiting room copy of Departures in the finale can attest — HBO’s writers love magazines.)

    And, of course, the non-ending ending left an opening for the long-rumored Sopranos movie.

    Selected Sopranos coverage:

    • Nikki Finke: This is why America hates Hollywood. The line to cancel HBO starts here.

    • Salon: We may try to hate Tony, but our love for the careworn killer wins out. It’s that moral perversity, in the age of Bush, that I’ll miss most about The Sopranos, writes Gary Kamina.
    • Variety: The final episode, no matter how you slice it, presented Tony Soprano as a winner, a decisive leader who refuses to tolerate indecision over all else.
    • LAT: It was an ending that, if nothing else, had millions on their feet.
    • Washington Post‘s Tom Shales: It may have been the greatest double-take — by the audience — in the history of American television.
    • NY Sun: Not many fans can be satisfied with the outcome of the series after eight years of emotional investment.
    • Daily News: Did they enjoy dinner together? Or were they wiped out in a hail of bullets? The answer is unclear.


  • Will Tony Survive?
  • Bada Bling: Sopranos Premiere @ Radio City


    The ramp-up of hype for the final eight episodes of the Sopranos officially began last night at Radio City, where the cast, crew, friends and family of HBO’s “mobrama” (that’s “mob” + “drama”) gathered to watch the first two episodes and drink-in the bingy, er, blingy after-party. Just how tough a ticket was it? Denise Borino, who plays “Ginny Sack,” was held up at security outside the red carpet until someone could I.D. her (and she’s not exactly hard to miss). The red carpet was so clogged with cast members — dead and non-dead — Hillary Swank had to enter through the press crew entrance, bypassing it completely. And Jason Kidd‘s allegedly abusive wife Joumana was denied entrance to the after-party.

    Inside Radio City, HBO CEO Chris Albrecht called it “our finest hour.” Producer Brad Grey called it “the greatest adult television series of all-time.” (This would be classic Hollywood producer delusion if it weren’t true.) Series creator David Chase nervously fumbled through pages of a semi-prepared speech, thanked the 1,200 actors that have appeared on the show — seemingly all 1,200 of which showed up for the screening — and recounted the moment when he knew the show had reached critical mass: “‘Pussy’ disappeared. We didn’t know where he went — we just knew we put a script to bed and were that much closer to vacation,” Chase said. “When we came back two months later, America said, ‘Where’s Pussy?’ [Our reaction was] ‘Holy shit.’ We had to figure it out.”

    Chase then brought out “Pussy” and dozens of cast members to take a final bow. James Gandolfini thanked Chase for bringing a “blue-collar work ethic” to the show, adding that a recent Vanity Fair article “made him look a little dour.”

    Following the two-hour screening, partygoers were herded to the after-party at Rock Center’s Sea Grill, while four uniformed NYC cops escorted Gandolfini across the plaza.


  • 2,500 Expected At Sopranos After-Party
  • Sopranos Spinoff? Fugheddaboutit
  • Sopranos Spinoff? Fugheddaboutit

    vanity_fair_sopranos.jpgSeries creator David Chase, via this week’s New York magazine:

    It’s doubtful that there would be a spinoff. Actually, one time we talked about it—and I didn’t know if it was serious—I thought there could be a good sitcom of Janice and Bobby Bacala. What’s also occurred to me is a prequel with Tony. But the problem is that Jim Gandolfini is such a genius, frankly, that it would be a real challenge to find someone who would be believable as a young Tony.”


  • Leibovitz Shoots Sopranos For April Vanity Fair Cover
  • Leibovitz Shoots Sopranos For April Vanity Fair Cover

    vanity_fair_sopranos.jpgIt’s gonna be hard for Bono to follow Tony.

    The April cover of Vanity Fair is a cool one: Sopranos‘ star James Gandolfini, creator David Chase and a red-heeled “friend” shot by — naturally — Annie Leibovitz at Industria Superstudio in New York.

    Leibovitz has shot the Sopranos cast for HBO marketing materials and DVD covers the past few years.


  • Graydon Carter, Vanity Fair Enable Bono’s ‘Editor’ Addiction
  • Lunch at Michael’s: Joan Rivers Keeps An Eye On The Door

    lunch_at_michaels_logo.jpgIt was a typically atypical lunch crowd today at Michael’s — Tom Brokaw here, Joan Rivers there, Cobb salads everywhere — making the Diet Cokes and Pellegrinos go down like fine wine. A quartet of Rubensteins — Howard, Richard, Steve and Atoosa &#151 dined at four separate tables, while the Michael of Michael’s, Michael McCarty, explained to us the finer points of Michael’s New York vs. Michael’s Santa Monica. “Fridays and Saturdays are big in L.A.,” he told us. “In New York, it’s Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday.”

    See, New York is so badass, we need the weekend to recover from the week. Suck it, Hollywood!

    The table-by-table breakdown:

    1: Tom Brokaw, looking very Tom Brokaw-like, with George Stevens.

    2: David Patrick Columbia with Jen Goodkind and Jayne Chase of “‘The Fashionable Life,’ WGCH in Greenwich, 1490 on your AM dial.”

    3: Mayor of Michael’s Joe Armstrong and Men’s Health‘s Dave Zinczenko, who were in an uncharacteristically serious-looking discussion, pausing often to meet and greet passersby.

    4: Arthur Schlesinger, Jr.

    5: Allen & Co. fortune heir Terry Kramer and her son-in-law.

    6: Lunch at Michael’s regulars Peter Rogers (happy birthday!), Alex Hitz, Bill Rondina, Tom Fallon and Brooke Hayward Duchin.

    7: Joan Rivers, long-time agent Billy Sammeth and always-affable VH1 Best Week Ever producer Fred Graver.

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