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Posts Tagged ‘John Wells’

Comcast Plays Hardball with E! Writers

Things are going to get ugly over at the house that Ted Harbert‘s ex-girlfriend, three sisters and Simon Cowell‘s former whipping boy built. In the wake of today’s WGA West monitored secret-ballot results, which show 46 E! writer yea’s and one nay in favor of joining the union, incoming parent company Comcast is having none of it.

Never mind that The Soup writer Greg Fideler is quoted in this afternoon’s LA Times report as saying “Comcast made a public statement saying it believes in the sanctity of a secret-ballot election, and that’s exactly what we’ve participated in. Comcast must now do its part and begin talks with the Writers Guild.”

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Killer Films Gets A Killer Investment

christinevachon.jpgWho says money can’t buy happiness? In the indie world anyway.

Killer Films, the upstart indie producer of such low-budget films as “Boys Don’t Cry” and “Far From Heaven,” has sold off half of itself to New York-based venture capital fund GC Corp, Variety says.

With this influx of cash, partners Christine Vachon and Pam Koffler, who are mainstays at events like the Gotham Awards and the Independent Spirit Awards, will go from making $3 million to $5 million indie projects to $40 million to $50 million films.

Killer had been partnered with “ER” creator John Wells, who will stay on as an executive producer for Killer releases.

In The Trades: Writers, Talkers, Cross Words

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The Writers Co-Op, a sort of joint venture for screenwriters, has gotten 19 top scripters to sign up. John Wells has offered office space and staff support for the production entity, and Warners has offered a first look deal to the Co-Op. Writers will take cuts in their high upfront salaries for the reward of receiving first-dollar gross, the right to participate as producers and a guarantee they will not be rewritten without their consultation and approval, and will get imput all the way from development to post-production. Since the parties involved are all A-listers, many of whom also direct, they’ll want to write commercial projects that will net the Co-Op producers’ fees as well as their own shares of the gross, so the reasoning goes.

Bunim-Murray, the reality (Real World, Road Rules) titans, are moving into theatrical documentary, under Sasha Alpert’s guidance. First film out is Autism: The Musical.

Margaret Thatcher is the subject of a BBC Films feature, to be produced by Damian Jones. Helen Mirren, get ready!

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Steven Bochco enters the online community with Cafe Confidential, a sort of tell-all show with real people telling all about various subjects. Metacafe hosts the series.

Dolemite returns to the big screen. Rudy Ray Moore, created the characrter and will EP the film with Bill Fishman directing. No casting announcements yet.

Merv Griffin Entertainment’s newest game show, Let’s Play Crosswords, has cleared enough TV markets for a 2007-08 debut. It’s a return to quality, according to execs.