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Posts Tagged ‘Stacey Snider’

Morning Media Newsfeed: RIP, Joan Rivers | Wright to Replace Snider at DreamWorks

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RIP, Joan Rivers (FishbowlNY)
Comedian Joan Rivers died Thursday. TVNewser The news came from Rivers’ daughter, Melissa just before 3 p.m. ET. Rivers, who was 81, stopped breathing while undergoing outpatient surgery in New York City last Thursday. She was rushed to Mount Sinai Hospital and put on life support. NYT The State Health Department is investigating the circumstances that led to her death, a state official said Thursday. A spokeswoman, Judy Katz, said the cause of death had not yet been determined. Deadline Hollywood During a minor endoscopic procedure last Thursday to check her vocal cords at an Upper East Side clinic, Rivers was rushed to Mount Sinai, where she was put into a medically induced coma. Wednesday she was moved from intensive care to a private room at the Manhattan hospital. Mediaite Rivers got her start as a guest on the Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson in 1965, often filling in as host for Johnny Carson over the years. But after she took a job as a rival host on the Fox network without consulting Carson, he banned her from the Tonight Show, a situation that stayed in effect until she briefly appeared on Jimmy Fallon’s first night as host earlier this year. The Late Show Starring Joan Rivers only lasted one season, but she went on to a successful stint of reality shows later in life, including Fashion Police and Joan and Melissa: Joan Knows Best? with her daughter. The Daily Beast In her last big interview, Rivers spoke candidly to The Daily Beast in July about Hollywood celebrities’ thin skins, contemplating suicide after her husband’s suicide, sex, dating and her own mortality.

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The ‘Cosmo 100′ Starring Sarah Jessica Parker and Jessica Seinfeld; The Wednesday Crowd with Star Jones and Doris Kearns Goodwin

1003_mockup.gifAs you probably know by now, only the most extreme circumstances could keep the faithful from their usual lunch at Michael’s. Since Mother Nature proved to be too formidable a force for us on not one, but two back-to-back Wednesdays, we were only too happy to pull double duty this week.

On Monday, I attended the estrogen-fueled lunch for “The Cosmo 100,” a gals-only power lunch hosted by Joanna Coles who, having been named EIC of Cosmopolitan mere weeks ago, put together a guest list to end all guest lists for her first event. When I arrived  a few minutes before noon, the paparazzi was lined up to capture the arrival of Sarah Jessica ParkerDiane von Furstenberg, Ali Wentworth, Jennifer Westfeldt and Jessica Seinfeld, who seemed to be channeling MC Hammer in some curious gold lame harem pants. Also in attendance: ABC News’ Deborah Roberts, model Carol Alt, bestselling author Jane Green and more A-list Gotham gals than I’ve seen in one place in ages. Hearst’s amazing PR team headed by Deb Shriver, Alexandra Carlin and Holly Whidden deserve some major kudos. I was seated at a fabulous table with Cathie Black, modeling icon Pat Cleveland and Barbara Taylor Bradford, who told me her 29th book will be published early next year. The mind reels.

When the A-list crowd made their way to the Garden Room, Joanna (who was rocking some gorgeous leather pants) greeted everyone with her trademark cheeky humor, telling us she’d prepared ‘binders of men’ as research for her new gig and then quoting Margaret Thatcher with the wise words, ‘Cocks crow but it’s hens that lay the eggs.’ She also advised us “never to underestimate what you can do in 10 minutes.” So true. But Joanna wanted to do more than celebrate fun, fearless females at her kick-off lunch; she surprised everyone by introducing some truly formidable women who’d broken through the glass ceiling during this election cycle. New Hampshire’s first female governor Maggie Hassan talked of having her daughter run her winning campaign, Tulsi Gabbard, the first Hindu elected to congress explained how she won her race in Hawaii by proving wrong the naysayers who told her “it wasn’t her time,” and Grace Meng, the first Asian-American elected to congress from New York, spoke of the need for women to be mentors to other women. It was truly one of the most inspiring events I’ve attended in a long, long time.

Marcy Syms and Diane Clehane

Marcy Syms and Diane Clehane

Today, I was joined by another trailblazer Marcy Syms, who you must know from those commercials for the legendary off-price retailer (“An educated consumer is our best customer”).  It was Marcy’s father, the late Sy Syms who founded the business in 1958 as the first national retailer to sell off-price men’s clothing. At first, it was Sy who gave voice to the slogan in 1974, but he wisely asked Marcy to take his place in 1978 thus tapping into an emerging public consciousness about working women. The rest, as they say, is history.  ”I still remember wearing those bow blouses and those short haircuts!” said Marcy.

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Blake Lively, Charlie Rose And An Ex-Caped Crusader

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— DIANE CLEHANE

I just love it when the random celebrity turns up at Michael’s for lunch. It’s always entertaining to watch the usual suspects try to simultaneously network and star gaze. Today’s out-of-left-field appearances represented both new and old Hollywood (just like this year’s Oscars but without James Franco‘s near comatose involvement). For fans of eighties screen gems like the original Batman and Beetlejuice, there was Michael Keaton. The younger demographic was represented by Gossip Girl star Blake Lively, who, it should be said, is even more beautiful (and taller) in person.

There was plenty of Tinseltown talk at my table, too. I was lunching today with producer Joan Gelman and marketing consultant and political commentator Robert Zimmerman, who is keeping busy with appearances on CNN and Fox News. Joan, who has more than paid her dues in television, had this to say about the Oscars: “You need a heavyweight to carry that show. You need a comedian who can make the audience laugh. It was a horribly produced show.”

Maybe so, but we all agreed that Bravo’s Andy Cohen was way out of line to trash the performance of the school kids from Staten Island who closed out the show by singing “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.” Appearing on Morning Joe, Cohen told the incredulous hosts that the kids’ performance (which got a standing ovation from the audience) “ruined everything” and that he was so pained by the sight of kids in t-shirts (evidently, he thought they should have dressed up) that he was “looking for a knife to stick in his eyes.”

To that, Robert asked, “The man who is responsible for such high-brow television as The Real Housewives franchise is suddenly the arbiter of good taste and glamour in Hollywood?” Don’t expect an apology anytime soon, either. In the current media climate, said Robert, it’s more than likely Cohen is relishing the attention he’s getting for taking aim at the elementary schoolers. “Creating buzz is more relevant than making sense.” Apparently so.

Here’s the rundown on today’s crowd:

1. Hollywood heavyweight Freddie Gershon (Loved the sweater!) with Linda Janklow

2. Spotted: Blake Lively and Vivi Nevo. When this unlikely duo showed up without a reservation, things got a lot more interesting. (One pesky paparazzo seemingly transfixed by the sight of the actress stationed himself outside of the window overlooking the dining room for the entire lunch and refused to move no matter how many times he was asked to leave) We’re more intrigued by Vivi, who, we hear is an Israeli-born venture capitalist and was once engaged to the Chinese actress Zhang Ziyi. Could this be the start of another Hollywood romance? Maybe he’s just interested in fashionable folk. After all, the last time we spotted him at Michael’s he was sitting at this very table with Anna Wintour.

3. A trio of social swans: Margo McNabb Nederlander and producers Terry Allen Kramer and Francine LeFrak.

4.  Charlie Rose (who we overheard introducing himself to Michael Keaton) and Universal Pictures CEO Stacey Snider

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Anne Sweeney Tops THR’s ‘Women In Entertainment Power List’

Disney/ABC Television Group President Anne Sweeney is the most powerful woman in Hollywood according to The Hollywood Reporter‘s 19th annual “Women In Entertainment Power 100” list. It’s the second year in a row she’s topped the list.

The rest of the Top 10:

2. Amy Pascal, co-chairman, Sony Pictures Entertainment
3. Bonnie Hammer, chairman of NBC Universal Cable Entertainment
4. Oprah Winfrey, chairman of Harpo Studios
5. Abbe Raven, president and CEO of A&E Television Networks
6. Stacey Snider, co-chairman and CEO at Dreamworks
7. Donna Langley, co-chairman of Universal Pictures
8. Nina Tassler, president of CBS Entertainment
9. Dana Walden, chairman of 20th Century Fox Television
10. Judy McGrath, chairman of MTV networks

Kinda surprising to see Oprah at number 4, considering she was named the third most powerful woman in the entire world this year by Forbes.

Is DreamWorks In The Middle Of A Nightmare?

dreamworkslogo3.jpgDreamWorks, in its new form with co-chairs Steven Spielberg and Stacey Snider, is having a tough time raising the money to cover their half of the deal with India’s Reliance Big Entertainment, according to Variety.

Reliance will ideally put up $500 million against $750 million that DreamWorks would raise. But credit issues as they are have put a slight crimp in their plans.

DreamWorks has only been able to raise $75 million so far through bridge loan from JPMorgan Bank. Other banks are balking.

Meanwhile, DreamWorks is on the hook right away for $20 million to acquire the 17 projects they were making at Paramount. And they’ve already been notified that Reliance is only providing as much as DreamWorks can raise. So it’s kind of like fish or cut bait time.

Inside DreamWorks sources were tight-lipped as well, though one executive told FBLA that DreamWorks relationship to Reliance is solid and not going away.

At this point, no one is quite sure how this will play out. The credit crunch has scared most of the major banks out of the water and DreamWorks is struggling for its deal to stay afloat.

Variety is chiding DreamWorks for foresaking its Paramount deal. But that may be misplaced spite as DreamWorks is happy to be free and clear to set up its production process to the highest bidder. Presumably, Universal was coming back into the DreamWorks fold, but that’s in question now too.

The Reliance money came in handy to the studio, perhaps even moreso with the worldwide credit crunch spurred by Wall Street.

Hollywood Reporter, In Between Layoffs, Manages To Laud 100 Women, Starting With Oprah

oprah2.jpgThe Hollywood Reporter‘s Annual 100 Most Powerful Women List came out today with none other than, no surprise, Oprah at the top of the heap.

She was followed by some of the usual female subjects, including DreamWorks Stacey Snider, Sony’s Amy Pascal, CBS’s Nancy Tellem and MGM’s Mary Parent.

The girls are all breakfasting at the Beverly Hills Hotel this morning. No doubt eating power bars.

DreamWorks 2.0 Announces First Deal — The Walter and Laurie Show

walterlaurie.jpgDreamWorks 2.0 announced its first deal in its new incarnation with India’s Reliance Big Entertainment money: the studio will work in a two-year deal with former production heads (and producers) Walter Parkes and Laurie MacDonald, Variety says.

Production pact is the company’s first since principals Stacey Snider and Steven Spielberg left Paramount Pictures in October and partnered with Reliance on an independent venture.

DreamWorks exited Par with a number of Parkes/MacDonald development projects in tow as part of its separation agreement with the Melrose studio. Among the Parkes/MacDonald films staying in the DreamWorks fold are “The Trial of the Chicago 7,” “The Damned,” “Motorcade,” “St. Agnes’ Stand” and “Dinner With Schmucks.”

“Dinner With Schmucks” had been developed as a Sacha Baron Cohen starring vehicle, but curiously he is no longer involved in the project.

Maybe he has something against Spielberg.

EXCLUSIVE: DreamWorks May Stay Put With Universal — re: Distribution

Though no declarations have been made, an inside source at DreamWorks tells FBLA that the company is likely to stay put with Universal for its distribution dealspielberg2.jpg.

“We’re actually on the Universal lot in the old Amblin studio space,” the source said. “It’s just easier to maintain with Universal. Paramount will still have its cut on a number of DreamWorks projects, but though nothing is set in stone, it looks like it will probably be Universal.”

DreamWorks recently severed itself from the Paramount deal that had been cut by David Geffen, Steven Spielberg and Stacey Snider. Take Geffen out of that mix and you have the remaining two principals still involved with DreamWorks: Spielberg and Snider.

That pair negotiated and was awarded a $500 million deal with India’s Reliance to bankroll six to eight films a year.

Those films will not be out-and-out blockbusters, but rather limited-budget pieces that can turn a profit, the source said. The example that is always given is: Sam Mendez’s “American Beauty,” which not only came in on a low, low budget, but won its share of awards and attention.

DreamWorks publicity reps were expectedly close-mouthed about distribution for the studio.

Stay tuned. More to come in the next week.

DreamWorks Will Get Smaller

DreamWorks will downsize its 150-person staff by about 15% as the company gets going with its Indian cash, says Deadline Hollywood Dailyholly.jpg.

The Reliance deal will inject some $500 million into DreamWorks coffers with an additional half bil being raised on Wall Street, though that may not be so definite these days with the current state of the economy.

As noted last week on FBLA, President of Production Adam Goodman is gone, firmly ensconced in the Paramount fold, but senior executives Holly Bario and Mark Sourian will end up as co-presidents of production at Dreamworks 2.0 with about four execs following them. DreamWorks COO Jeff Small will follow studio chief Stacey Snider.

DreamWorks publicity did not return calls to FBLA.

UPDATE: Gail Berman Out at Paramount!

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UPDATE:
Gail Berman walked the plank at Paramount with two years left on her contract. Claudia Eller at the LA Times points out that this is another loss for Brad Grey, while Nikki Finke sees another woman in power become a woman in peril: Berman’s not even getting the golden handshake of a production deal.

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