Why Robert Rodriguez Is Hating On Sony TV

Nikki Finke doesn’t write all that often anymore, but when she does…well, hell, kids, let’s just say that nobody bashes like she does:

by Nikki Finke

EXCLUSIVE: Deadline reported this week that Sony TV just announced it will produce an El Mariachi series based on the 1992 Robert Rodriguez film. Now I’ve learned that Robert Rodriguez and his reps are really pissed about it. I’m told that Sony TV execs reached out to Rodriguez only once to say that they were “thinking” about doing a TV show based on the writer/director’s trilogy ofEl Mariachi/Desperado/Once Upon A Time In Mexico characters.

“After that they stopped returning our calls. So we thought that this had been abandoned,” one of RR’s insiders tells me. “Not only does Robert not have any involvement in this show, he wasn’t even given a ‘head’s up’ on Sony’s press release. In it we noticed that Sony mentioned something about ‘staying true to the original story’. Good luck with that without involving the creator! Not that it matters as the budget that’s allocated for the television production will make  Robert’s original budget of $7,000 for El Mariachi look like Avatar. This TV  series is a sloppy and lazy replica for the tourist trade, without any of the heart and soul that made the original El Mariachi win the Sundance Audience Award and become a landmark in independent cinema.”


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The 1% Makes Itself Felt At Disney/Marvel

The Economic Wars continue even though BigMedia doesn’t want to phrase it that way. (You didn’t know TVWriter™ was so wonderfully radical, did you?)

Ike Pearlmutter, today’s villain, in a 25+ year old pic (cuz he doesn’t want anybody to be able to I.D. him? Suspicious, no?)

Disney And Marvel Do Damage Control After Media Scrutiny Of Big Boss Ike Perlmutter – by Nikki Finke

EXCLUSIVE… UPDATE: Sources now tell me that all three female executives in employments disputes with the Walt Disney Co have settled – including one today. This is many months after the women lost their jobs in a Department Of Consumer Products reorganization set in motion nearly a year ago by Marvel boss Ike Perlmutter who is Disney’s 2nd largest shareholder. Former DCP head of fashion and home products Pam Lifford, former chief financial officer Anne Gates, and former DCP HR  exec Susan Cole Hill were all represented by the same attorney with  the Pasadena law firm Hadsell, Stormer, Keeny, Richardson and Rennick which has sued Disney in other employee rights cases. According to my sources, the three women, who are all African Americans, referred to themselves as “The Help” – a reference to last summer’s hit DreamWorks movie distributed by Disney and set during the civil rights movement about black maids in Mississippi.

The reorganization took place in September 2011 but the negotiations for the exit settlements dragged on. Some insiders claim the law firm didn’t return Disney’s calls because it first wanted a story damaging to Perlmutter to appear in the media. An article appeared on Thursday, and Disney and Marvel and Perlmutter now are in damage control mode. Financial Times LA-based correspondent Matthew Garrahan broke the news about these three African-American female execs, their respective job status after their boss Andy Mooney was replaced as the head of DCP, and their hiring an attorney. At the time he wrote that only one of the three women had settled with Disney.

But the FT story also reported that, when African-American actor Terrence Howard was replaced by African-American actor Don Cheadle in the role of  Colonel Jim Rhodes for Iron Man 2, ”Perlmutter apparently told Mr. Mooney the change cut costs. He allegedly added words to the effect that no one would notice because black people ‘look  the same’,”  Garrahan wrote. A Marvel spokesperson told the FT in a statement: “Mr. Perlmutter and all  of Marvel have a long record of diversity in the workplace and on movie sets around the world as evidenced by both Mr. Perlmutter’s own history and Marvel’s management team.”

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Ah, racism, how’d  you carry it off? How’d you only pretend to go away?

The Business of Showbiz: Viacom vs. DirecTV

Who Won The War: DirecTV Or Viacom?
By David Lieberman

DirecTV seems to have the edge in my non-scientific checks with industry watchers who monitored the contract dispute that for 10 days prevented 20M satellite customers from seeing Viacom’s 17 channels. But there are champions for both sides — and nobody outside of the companies knows enough about the financial terms to make a solid case for his or her view. Here’s what I’m told: DirecTV’s first year payment to Viacom in the seven-year deal is a double-digit percentage step up from what it was paying before, but less than the 30% that DirecTV said Viacom initially wanted. After that, DirecTV’s outlay for Viacom’s channels will rise by mid-single digit percentages each year. The deal gives DirecTV the right to stream Viacom programming to its customers — both inside and outside of their homes — via the satellite provider’s TV Everywhere program. And it doesn’t have to carry premium movie channel Epix, but has the option to pick it up.

When the talks initially broke down, Viacom said that its channels accounted for about 5% of the nearly $10B that DirecTV spent on programming last year — about $500M. Some say that the new deal would bring that to 6%, or $600M, but that’s in dispute.

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It’s articles like this one that make us fall in love with Deadline.Com all over again. Was that too much information? We really don’t want to give too much information…

Because We Love Good News About Writers

Written by Nellie Andreeva and culled from Deadline.Com by our ever-vigilant Not-A-Bot:

‘Bones’ Exec Producer Stephen Nathan Signs New Overall Deal With 20th TV

Stephen NathanBones‘ executive producer and creator/exec producer Hart Hanson’s right-hand man, has signed a new overall deal with 20th Century Fox TV, the studio behind the long-running Fox dramedy. The two-year pact (with an option for a third) keeps Nathan onBones as the second-in-command to showrunner Hanson. Additionally, Nathan will have the ability to develop new projects for the studio.

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David Manson Joins AMC’s Richard LaGravenese Drama Pilot As Showrunner

EXCLUSIVEDavid Manson has come on board AMC’sLaGravenese & Goldwyn pilot (aka Philly Lawyer) as executive producer/showrunner. The untitled project is a legal thriller centered on a District Attorney who uncovers new evidence that prompts the reinvestigation of a sensational murder case.

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IFC’s Marc Maron Show Taps Showrunners

Veteran comedy writer-producers Sivert Glarum and Michael Jamin have been tapped as executive producers/showrunners of IFC’s upcoming Marc Maronshow.

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USA Network Picks Up Jeff Eastin Pilot ‘Graceland’ To Series

USA Network is doubling its bet on Jeff Eastin. The cable network has picked up to series Graceland, the new pilot of the White Collar creator/executive producer Jeff Eastin.

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Why are we pimping Deadline.Com now? Because as over the top as head honcho Nikki Finke usually is, today she has demonstrated remarkable grace and good taste:

Official: Tom Cruise & Katie Holmes Divorcing
by Nikkie Finke 

Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes are splitting after 5 years of marriage. Holmes’ attorney released an anouncement. Deadline plans no coverage of this matter unless it impacts the actors’ professional lives.

If Nikki can refuse to exploit this delicate matter, than so can we.