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January 07, 2008

Hey, Hey, WGA, How Many Shows Didja Kill Today?


By Ray Richmond

All right, so here we all sit poised for NBC's momentous decision any minute surrounding the 65th Annual Golden Globes that may or may not take place on Sunday. Does the network telecast a greatly diminished Globecast minus all of the stars honoring the Writers Guild of America strike picket line at the Screen Actors Guild's behest -- or cancel plans to broadcast it?

This is what is commonly known as a no-brainer, ladies and gentlemen. It ain't rocket surgery, as someone once said. It's a done deal, even if NBC doesn't necessarily know it yet. Does NBC really want the enduring image of its coverage to be an empty podium? Not bloody likely.

Shoot, even the Hollywood Foreign Press Assn. is pressuring NBC to bag its show this year, which is a bit like Steve Jobs imploring you not to purchase an iPhone. The HFPA well knows that if NBC drops out, the stars return and the show goes on with at least close-to-normal attendance of both the Globe nominees and Hollywood royalty. No pickets, no problem.

It's no doubt a bit more problematic for the Hollywood Foreign Press Assn. to postpone the ceremony indefinitely in the hope that an eleventh-hour miracle brings about either a WGA waiver or a strike settlement. Ah, to dream. But it might behoove the group to bag the show this year entirely out of respect to the division now gripping the industry. There is also that whole "Nobody particularly cares" angle they might want to heed.

Yes, this is indeed shaping up as an awards season like no other in recent memory -- that is, one where self-congratulation starts to look a lot like self-flagellation due to the present predicament.

We're also left to ponder where this all leaves the Oscars, the one show that one might see as apathy-proof. But in the meantime, (Golden) Global cooling is poised to devolve into a deep freeze. You heard it here first. Or maybe second. Or...anyway, you heard it here at some point.

Helpful editor's note: And you can hear more Richmond rants here and here.


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Jeffrey Cohen

What a load of horseshit, Ray.

The AMPTP killed the Golden Globes (and the back end of the current TV season) by refusing to meet with the writers until the WGA removes "objectionable terms" from their negotiating points.

Now, if one side is willing to meet (WGA) and the other side won't even sit down unless the other makes concessions (AMPTP), who is at fault?


Hey Jeffrey --

You're not making a good point here.

If someone won't talk to you until you stop throwing around "objectionable terms" -- whose fault is it, really?

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Oscar Contenders

  • So "The Dark Knight" didn't make it into the final five after all, never mind that critical and popular support. Let's just call the comic-inspired mega-hit "The Biggest Snubee."

    Here are the best picture contenders in a race that, two weeks away from the Oscars, seems to be a foregone conclusion ("Slumdog") unless there's a come-from-behind possibility ("The Reader" anyone?)

    "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button," with Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett; the politically timely "Milk;" rags-to-riches fairy tale, "Slumdog Millionaire," Holocaust best-seller-based drama "The Reader," and Watergate-era biopic "Frost/Nixon."

    Could "Button" and "Slumdog" split the vote, allowing another film to take the prize? Doesn't seem likely. After having clung to "Button" for months as what we thought would be the Academy voters' top vhoice, our money's now on "Slumdog." Momentum can't be ignored.

    Watch this blog for updates, ephemera and all manner of postulating.

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  • Mmmmm, chocolate Oscar. Not every star will walk away from the 81st annual Academy Awards with a trophy, but if they hit the high-profile Governor's Ball they can have pastry chef Sherry Yard's gold-dusted candy version. Also on the menu from celeb chef Wolfgang Puck is tuna tartare in sesame miso cones, chopped Chino Farms vegetable salad with ginger soy vinaigrette, Maine lobster and caviar. Serve it up! (Getty Images)

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