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Posts Tagged ‘Jennifer Lee’

Shondaland’s Betsy Beers Inspires During Marie Claire’s New Guard Lunch

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From left: Marie Claire editor-in-chief Anne Fulenwider, Jennifer Lee, Rashida Jones, Cindy Holland and Marie Claire publisher Nancy Cardone; Photo: Robin Marchant/Getty

On Thursday, Marie Claire held its second annual New Guard luncheon at the Hearst Tower, honoring 50 “badass innovators, mogulistas and shot callers.” This year’s theme was “Flipping the Script,” a nod to female writers and producers breaking through Hollywood’s glass ceiling. The afternoon began with a keynote speech from Betsy Beers, executive producer of ABC’s #TGIT lineup (Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal and How to Get Away With Murder). Words so inspiring — and refreshingly blunt — that even one of the male wait staff in the room could be overheard saying, “Wow, just wow.”

Beers explained that she has worked with executive producer and head writer Shonda Rhimes since 2002, when the duo pitched a salacious hospital drama to a roomful of male network execs. After one of those men insisted viewers would never relate to the lead character, a female medical intern who could get drunk and have a one-night stand the night before her first day on the job, Beers proceeded to describe her own real-life experience doing just that. That show, Grey’s Anatomy, is now in its 11th season and a frequent contender on the awards circuit. These days, when asked how she and Rhimes manage to produce three different hit shows simultaneously, the first thought Beers has is no one ever asks that of Dick Wolf (producer of the Law & Order franchise). Read more

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Janice Min: ‘The Only Thing We Kept Was the Name’

It’s hard to argue with the selection of Janice Min for this week’s LA Weekly issue celebrating “the most interesting people” in Los Angeles. The name-brand editorial director has completely re-invigorated a moribund Hollywood trade, showed Jay Penske the way with her weekly glossy print edition and essentially steered clear of Nikki Finke‘s core beat.

So much so that a New York Post story today about the contract renewal status of Vanity Fair editor Graydon Carter mentions Min as a logical successor. Here’s a taste from Gendy Alimurung‘s LA Weekly profile of the “tiny, friendly” 43-year-old:

The new Hollywood Reporter launched in November 2010, a scant four months after Min took charge. The compressed schedule forced her to think clearly, she believes. Sometimes too much time muddles your thinking. The proof is in the numbers: Online traffic is up 800 percent. More importantly, revenue is up 50 percent.

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Harvey Weinstein, Ali MacGraw and the Brains Behind Coffee With Tim Cook

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Where to begin? This week at 55th and Fifth, the scene in the dining room provided whiplash-inducing people watching with a tasty mix of moguls on the menu (Harvey Weinstein, Jimmy Finkelstein) with a side of social swans (Sharon Bush, Patricia Kluge, Terry Allen Kramer).

Of course, it wouldn’t be a Wednesday at Michael’s without the random celebrity sighting. I was thrilled to hear that I would be sitting next to none other than Ali MacGraw today. The ageless actress, who catapulted into the pop culture hall of fame with her iconic performance (and preppy wardrobe) in the 1970 tearjerker Love Story, turned every head in the place when she arrived — which is quite a feat among this crowd. She was beyond gracious as diners (including yours truly) lined up for pictures. Several years ago, I worked with her on The Fashion Group International’s Night of Stars where she was honored with FGI’s entertainment award for her contributions to film and fashion. When I re-introduced myself, she immediately said, “Oh, I remember that night. It was so much fun!” and then proceeded to tell me this delicious bit of gossip from the evening: “I was standing next to Bill Blass when he saw Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta Jones come in. And Bill turned to the person next to him and said, “Finally, some real movie stars!” She giggled, clearly delighted by the memory of the snarky diss from the designer.

Diane Clehane and Coppy Holzman

Speaking of the power of celebrity, I was joined today by Charitybuzz CEO and founder Coppy Holzman who dazzled me with tales of his work with the famous and philanthropic. His company, which he founded in 2005, is currently the world’s largest online charity auction site and is the go-to partner for every famous person with a charity looking to raise serious money for their pet causes.

It all started at a backyard fundraising party for The Clinton Library in Westport, Connecticut that Coppy attended where he met President Bill Clinton and Chevy Chase. “Isn’t there a way  for you to use your experience on the Internet to raise for the library?” the host of the party asked Coppy. On the spot, he came up with the idea of auctioning off a lunch with the former president. One year later, The Chevy Chase Earth Day Auction brought in $250,000 for the library, including $80,000 paid by one bidder to lunch with Clinton and Chase. Since then, Coppy has worked with Clinton on many different initiatives. “There is no bigger celebrity in the world,” he says. The top dollar paid to spend the day with Hillary’s husband: $255,000 in an auction last year.

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FBLA Goes to the Party: Slate V

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Slate V, the video branch of the online mag, threw a party at the cavernous Avalon last night, complete with open bar, roving waiters, and a big buffet. Infiniti provided the decoration, in the form of a car. No raffle, and the back seat wasn’t big enough for any Tommy Lee action.

Editor Jacob Weisberg looked a little too comfortable with that mic.

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Virginia Postrel’s back in town, working on a new book, with her tall, dark, and handsome UCLA professorial husband, Steve Postrel.
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People were talking about Iraq, the heat, why no one is watching the debates, the heat.

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Mickey Kaus, temporarily blonde-less, Allen Mayer (dreamy, etc.), Slate EP Bill Smee, were all holding court in various power centers.

Investigative types asked us what rewards we’d reaped from the mediabistro.com sale. Perplexed as to how to respond, we looked for Dear Prudence.

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