Monday, December 31, 2012

Happy New Year!

Classic NYE Pic: Joan Crawford rings in the New Year!

Calling All College Students. Free ride on the Oscars Contest

Calling all college students! Who wants to go to the Oscars this year?

Enter our Oscar Experience College Search co-presented by mtvU for your chance to take the Oscars stage.

What an amazing year this has been. I went from presidential assassin to presidential incumbent. I performed with some of the best talent in Vegas on a stage once headlined by Elvis. I toured the world with Dick. I directed my first large scale, book musical. I was beaten, electrocuted and shot in the head. I opened and closed six different shows in six months. I was challenged. I was humbled. I was honored. I did it all while laughing with friends and loving my girl.

Much love and thanks to all of you that made my 2012 something special. Have a happy New Year! 2013. . .you've got big shoes to fill!!

‎2012 was an amazing year. Artistically had amazing times with directing PUTTING IT TOGETHER, TUESDAYS WITH MORRIE, EDGES, DUCK VARIATIONS, COMPANY, MARRY ME A LITTLE, HAIR, BILOXI BLUES, the epic SHOWSTOPPERS and more. Elvis' stage, the Smith Center, NY and LA - it was a blast. Found an amazing teammate in Bill Fayne. On the personal side of things, things were even better. Ava is the most fun and incredible 3 year old I can imagine; and has made our home and family unendingly happy. My best friend moved to Vegas and lives a block away. Our Vegas fam is incredible. Thank you, 2012. Ava is leading the charge to make 2013 even better. Thanks to all who helped make it so special. Love you guys.

SAG Awards Viewing Party January 27th

  • The 19th ANNUAL SCREEN ACTORS GUILD AWARDS will be held on Sunday, January 27, 2013, at 5:00 p.m. (PST) and will be presenting the 49th Life Achievement Award to Dick Van Dyke. Nevada National Board Diretor Art Lynch serves on the committee that selects Lifetime Achievement members.

    The Nevada SAG-AFTRA Local is having our annual Gala Viewing Party to watch the LIVE broadcast at Tommy Rocker’s, 4275 Dean Martin Drive.

    Doors open at 4:00 p.m. for pre-show socializing. Tommy Rocker’s will have Happy Hour Food & Beverage prices in effect.

     Join us in this celebration of the best in our field with your friends in this field for food, drinks and great company.

    This event is limited to current members of SAG-AFTRA (please bring current card) and one guest, plus industry professionals that have been extended a courtesy invitation.

    Admission is free for the big screen SAG AWARDS broadcast, cash bar/food.

Bob Mondello's Best Movies Of 2012

Cousin Ben (Jason Schwartzman), Sam (Jared Gilman) and Suzy (Kara Hayward) show that nothing can stand in the way of young love in Wes Anderson's Moonrise Kingdom.
Cousin Ben (Jason Schwartzman), Sam (Jared Gilman) and Suzy (Kara Hayward)
show that nothing can stand in the way of young love in Wes Anderson's
Moonrise Kingdom.  

Hollywood finishes 2012 strong. "Ted" top seller, "Total Recall" top renter, on DVD chart. Changes at Live Nation. Tribune emerges from bankruptcy!

"Django Unchained"
"Django Unchained" is a hit. (The Weinstein Co. / December 31, 2012)

The Skinny: My New Year's Eve celebration was last night when the Redskins beat the Cowboys. For all you folks partying tonight, don't drive drunk! The life you save may be mine. Today's headlines include a look at the box office for the weekend and for 2012, and Los Angeles Times parent Tribune Co. emerges from bankruptcy.

Daily Dose: The semi-annual Television Critics Assn. Press Tour gets rolling later this week but the likely highlight will be Jan. 8, which is when Fox takes the stage. Not only will the network face a barrage of questions about the performance of "The X Factor" and who the new judges will be next season, but also about its new dark drama "The Following." The show, which stars Kevin Bacon and is about a cult of killers, is pretty bloody and given concerns about the impact of movies and films on our culture, will likely be given a lot of scrutiny. Having said that, I watched the first four episodes and found it very compelling.

We're back! After being in bankruptcy for four years, Los Angeles Times parent Tribune Co. is finally emerging with new owners including private equity firms Oaktree Capital and Angelo, Gordon & Co. and a new board of directors. Former Fox and Discovery Communications executive Peter Liguori, who is on the new Tribune board, is expected to be named chief executive as well in the coming weeks. More on Tribune's emergence from bankruptcy from the Los Angeles TimesChicago Tribune and Bloomberg.

What is real? Reality TV is where non-union actors and out of work writers go to die, or work with their tales between their legs. It is not real and barely TV, but it draws larger than average numbers for cable and record numbers on the major networks. It seem that quality is not what the American public is seeking, so much as perceived voyerism and escape from what is real. More from American Public Radio's On the Media. That said, news that is not slanted is at an all time low in ratings. Seems people do not like "fair and balanced" andwant to believe they are watching the truth only if agrees with their own limited perspectives.

A year to remember. Hollywood will have plenty to celebrate tonight as 2012 will likely set a box office record by the time dust settles. "The Avengers," "The Dark Knight Rises," "Skyfall," "The Hunger Games" and, of course, ""The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn — Part 2" were among the hits that lifted box office totals 6% compared with 2011. A look back from the Los Angeles Times and New York Times. Santa Monica station KCRW has a business retrospect on the Hollywood year.

Total Recall
Kate Beckinsale and Bryan Cranston in Columbia Pictures' action thriller movie TOTAL RECALL, which topped the week's DVD and BluRay rental chart. (Columbia Tri Star Pictures / December 31, 2012)

The hit Mark Wahlberg comedy "Ted" topped the DVD sales chart for the second week in a row, easily besting two new competitors: The science-fiction flop "Total Recall" and comedy "Pitch Perfect."
Sony Pictures' "Total Recall," a remake of the 1990 adaptation of a Philip K. Dick story, was the most rented movie the week before Christmas, according to Rentrak Corp. However Universal Pictures' "Ted" and "Pitch Perfect" are not yet available to rent from outlets including Redbox and Netflix.

Here are the top titles for sales (week ending Dec. 22) and rentals (week ended Dec. 23):
Top 10 DVD and Blu-ray Sales
  1. “Ted” (Universal). Week 2.
  2. “The Dark Knight Rises” (Warner Bros.). Week 3.
  3. “Pitch Perfect” (Universal). Week 1.
  4. “Total Recall” (Sony). Week 1.
  5. "Diary of A Wimpy Kid: Dog Days" (Fox). Week 1
  6. “Brave" (Disney). Week 6.
  7. Ice Age: Continental Drift" (Fox). Week 2.
  8. The Bourne Legacy" (Universal). Week 2.
  9. “The Dark Knight Trilogy” (Warner Bros.). Week 3.
  10. Resident Evil: Retribution” (Sony). Week 1.

Top 10 DVD and Blu-ray Rentals

  1. “Total Recall" (Sony). Week 1.
  2. “The Watch” (Fox) Week 6.
  3. ““Men In Black 3” (Sony). Week 4.
  4. “Savages” (Universal). Week 6.
  5. "Lawless” (Anchor Bay). Week 4.
  6. Hope Springs” (Sony). Week 3.
  7. ““Brave” (Disney). Week 6.
  8. The Expendables 2” (Lionsgate). Week 5.
  9. “The Campaign” (Warner Bros.). Week 8.
  10. “Stolen" (Millennium). Week 1.

[image]Getty Images
Director Lynn Shelton will make her third Sundance appearance.
No binders needed here. The Sundance Film Festival will get going in just a few weeks and for the first time in its history will have an equal number of films from male and female directors. The Wall Street Journal with a preview of Sundance.

Squeeze SpongeBob. Cablevision Systems Corp. is in a programming dispute with Viacom, parent of cable channels Nickelodeon (home of SpongeBob SquarePants), MTV and Comedy Central. The current distribution agreement is up at the end of the year, reports the New York Post. Cablevision has about 3 million subscribers, mostly in the New York City region.

Call my broker! What media stocks should you invest in next year? The Hollywood Reporter looks at what the top analysts are saying about which companies are in line to have a good 2013. If I were a stock, I'd tell you to short me. Kidding.
Irving Azoff
Irving Azoff in late 2012. (Astrid Stawiarz / Getty Images / December 31, 2012)

Irving Azoff exits Live Nation, will retain artist clients.

Irving Azoff, the chairman of Live Nation Entertainment and outspoken manager of the Eagles, has left the management and concert promotion giant, the Los Angeles-based company said Monday.
In conjunction with the move, effective immediately, Liberty Media Corporation has purchased 1.7 million shares of Live Nation stock from Azoff. Liberty Media now owns a 26.4% stake in Live Nation Entertainment. 
Azoff has resigned from Live Nation's board of directors and his role as CEO of Front Line Management, which represents more than 250 artists.
Azoff will, however, maintain control of his own management firm and will continue to oversee the careers of "a handful" of major artists, according to a source familiar with the negotiations but not authorized to speak publicly. 
In addition to the Eagles, artists working with Front Line include Christina AguileraAerosmithVan HalenFleetwood Mac and Kenny Chesney, among others, but it was unclear which artists would be leaving with Azoff. 

Inside the Los Angeles Times: Steven Zeitchik on movies with bad endings. Randy Lewis looks back at the biggest concert tours of the year.

Start the new year off right by following me on Twitter. @JBFlint. See you on Wednesday. 

Academy Extends Oscar Nomination Deadline to Jan. 4

Oscar Statues
Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images..
Oscar voters get one more day.
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has extended the deadline for members to vote for Oscar nominations by one day to 5 PM on Friday, January 4.  (The original date was Thursday, January 3, 5 p.m. PT).  Members may vote online or via a paper ballot.  Any votes received after the deadline will not be counted.
“By extending the voting deadline we are providing every opportunity available to make the transition to online balloting as smooth as possible,” said academy COO Ric Robertson in a release.  “We’re grateful to our global membership for joining us in this process.” 
The Academy said its online voting system will only close for two hours on Thursday, Jan. 3 - from 5-7 PM PST - and will stay open until 5 PM PST on Jan. 5. 
It's the first year that Academy members can vote online, and members have reported problems. 

For update go to the Hollywood Reporter by clicking here.

The 2012 Show Business Year in Review

The 2012 Show Business Year in Review
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MON DEC 31, 2012
Produced by:
Kim MastersJohn Horn and Michael Schneider review the top entertainment business stories of 2012 like Disney becoming the new home to Star Wars and The Walking Dead being the biggest hit on television. Other TV news from the year include the renaissance of NBC and the increased use of DVR's affecting what shows get made or renewed. On the film side, 2012 saw a few big bets fail, like Battleship and John Carter while "adult dramas" like LincolnArgo and Life of Pi succeeded. Looking ahead to 2013, we consider how Hollywood will respond to the Newtown shootings, going forward in terms of violence in TV and movies. We also look at the Netflix effect and it's 2013 experiment into original programming with the revived Arrested Development and the series House of Cards. Plus, the chance that more consumers will consider "cord cutting" -- people cancelling their cable or satellite subscriptions. In film, one or two movie studios possibly up for sale in the coming year; a Chinese company could very well be a buyer.


Earnest Bornine RIP

SAG Lifetime Achievement Award Winner Earnest Borgnine (1917-2012) passed away this year. I was honored at being a part of the process that nominated and confirmed him for the honor (this year's honoree is Dick Van Dyke). Work in acting, for actors, for the overall community, character and importance to our industry are all key factors in being honored. Borgnine met all these criteria with flying colors, a tribute to his generation and to our craft. Click here for CBS News photos and captions of many of his finest moments and roles.

Worth a listen: A decade of rapid change

Remember Y2K? That's beginning to seem like a long time ago, now. Morning Edition takes some time to remember how much has happened since the turn of the century. Listen for a decade of history in this audio montage from National Public Radio...just the tip of the iceberg on the Millennial Decade, click here.

Sweeney Returns to the Onyx Theatre

Off-Strip Productions' own intimate, fully staged, innovative rendition of Sondheim's Musical Thriller returns to the stage due to popular demand. Once again combining professional live musicians with a powerhouse local cast, they tell this tragic tale the way it deserves to be told. Don't miss this second and final chance to be among the ghosts of Fleet Street as you witness murder, incest, and cannibalism set to music - an "in your face" experience you can only get at Las Vegas's premiere indie art house, the Onyx Theatre.  

            The cast includes Kellie Wright, Chris Mayse/Glenn Heath, Troy Tinker, Kim Glover, Randy Brown, Alexa Freeman, Scott Gibson-Uebele, Bill Flynn, Michael Drake/Alex Mendoza, Cynthia Abney, Don Leonard, Amy Jill Solomon, and Mike Pemberton.

            The Creative team features the designs, direction and talents of Zoë Kohen Ley, Isaias Hiram Urrabazo, David Sankuer, Chris Lash, Kelli Jean Groskopf, Dustin Scott, Brandon Burk and more.
This is truly a collaborative community effort you won't want to miss... again!


"...scary, funny and surprisingly tender... restores your faith in American musicals, as well as local artists' ability to do them justice."
~Anthony Del Valle (Las Vegas Review Journal)

"Burk and the superbly talented group of actors, musicians and set designers pulled it off, transforming a simple square of dark space into terrifically gruesome Fleet Street... the performance delivered a triumphant and always-welcome injection of excitement and enthusiasm into Vegas' community theatre scene."
~Kelle Schillaci (Las Vegas CityLife)

"This production is worth a trip to Las Vegas. And for Sweeney aficionados, this is a must-see production. I was in seventh heaven." ~Robert Rusie (

"Burk and his comrades made good on Stephen Sondheim's original hope that the work be intimately staged...
Hopefully, people will get wise and treat themselves to a surprisingly good production of a unique musical."
~Molly O'Donnell

Sweeney Todd Preview

The Onyx Theatre
953 E. Sahara Ave
Las Vegas, Nevada 89104

The Company Line on the future of Tribune Co.

Tribune Co. emerges from bankruptcy

Tribune Tower
The Tribune Tower. (Brian Cassella/Chicago Tribune / September 25, 2012)

The last day of 2012 is the first of a new era for Tribune Co.

After spending more than four years embroiled in a contentious Chapter 11 bankruptcy case, the reorganized Chicago-based media company emerged Monday under new owners and a newly appointed board, freed from its massive debt and facing an uncertain future.

Senior creditors Oaktree Capital Management, Angelo, Gordon & Co. and JPMorgan Chase & Co. are set to take control of Tribune Co.’s storied portfolio of publishing and broadcasting assets, including the Chicago Tribune, officials said.

It was an almost anticlimactic end to a long and painful chapter in Tribune Co.'s 165-year history. Late Sunday, the new Tribune Co. named its board of directors, filed notification with the Delaware bankruptcy court where the bulk of legal wrangling took place and declared its existence.

"It took a long time to get here," said Ken Liang, a managing director at Oaktree and a new member of the board. "It was a tough restructuring. We're pretty excited about the exit."

The new board also will include Tribune Co. CEO Eddy Hartenstein; Ross Levinsohn, who recently left as interim chief executive of Yahoo Inc.; Craig Jacobson, a well-known entertainment lawyer; Peter Murphy, a former strategy executive at Walt Disney Co. and Ceasars Entertainment; Bruce Karsh, Oaktree president; and Peter Liguori, a former top television executive at Fox and Discovery.

Liguori is expected to be named chief executive of Tribune Co. going forward.

Hartenstein, who is publisher of the Los Angeles Times, has been CEO of Tribune Co. since May 2011. He will remain in the role until the board convenes its first meeting in the next several weeks, where it will name the company’s executive officers, according to a company statement.

“Tribune will emerge from the bankruptcy process as a multi-media company with a great mix of profitable assets, strong brands in major markets and a much-improved capital structure,” Hartenstein said in the statement.

Tribune Co. owns 23 television stations, including WGN-Ch. 9, WGN America, eight daily newspapers and other media assets, all of which the reorganization plan valued at $4.5 billion after cash distributions and new financing. Eventually, all the assets are expected to be sold, according to the new owners.

They take the reins of a company that saw its worth essentially cut in half since 2007, when Chicago billionaire Sam Zell took it private in an $8.2 billion leveraged buyout. The rapid decline was mostly due to falling newspaper valuations in the face of digital competition. The anticipated hiring of Liguori suggests that broadcasting will be the operational focus going forward, according to several media analysts.

Los Angeles-based Oaktree, the largest shareholder, with about 23 percent of the equity, appointed two of seven board members. Both Angelo Gordon and JPMorgan have roughly a 9 percent stake and appointed one seat each. The three jointly appointed two more board members, with the final seat occupied by the chief executive.

Among the outgoing board members is Zell, whose deal was seen at the time as an alternative to the squabbles within Tribune Co. that threatened to break apart the then-publicly traded company. But the Great Recession and plummeting advertising revenues across all media, especially the struggling newspaper industry, made the company’s resulting $13 billion debt load untenable.

Tribune Co. filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in December 2008. Zell blamed a “perfect storm” of industry and economic forces. But the bankruptcy case turned on charges leveled by junior creditors that saddling the company with such a debt burden left it insolvent from the outset.

Led by an aggressive distressed debt fund called Aurelius Capital Management, the junior creditors pressed litigation that stretched out the case for three and a half years in a Delaware court before U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Kevin Carey confirmed the reorganization plan in July. An emergency appeal to stay that decision was dismissed by the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in September. In November, the Federal Communications Commission signed off on waivers needed to transfer Tribune Co.’s broadcast properties to the new ownership, clearing the last hurdle to its emergence from Chapter 11.

“Usually, bankruptcy cases like this take much less time and cost less money,” said Douglas Baird, a bankruptcy expert and law professor at the University of Chicago.

Baird said legal fees for most large corporate bankruptcies run 3 to 4 percent of the company’s total worth. The Tribune Co. case, which will likely cost the company more than $500 million in legal and other professional fees, was more than twice that percentage, due to both the extended litigation and the company’s declining valuation.

Before cash distributions and new financing, a 2012 analysis by financial adviser Lazard valued the broadcasting assets, including the TV stations, WGN-AM 720, CLTV and national cable channel WGN America, at $2.85 billion. Other strategic assets, such as online job site CareerBuilder and cable channel Food Network, are worth $2.26 billion.

Tribune Co.’s newspaper holdings, including the Tribune, Los Angeles Times and six other daily publications, have withered to $623 million in total value, according to Lazard. In 2006, entertainment mogul David Geffen made a $2 billion cash offer for the Los Angeles Times

'The Hobbit' beats 'Django,' 'Les Mis' for third No. 1 in a row

"The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" scampered away with the top spot at the multiplex this weekend, beating out a handful of popular Christmas releases to claim No. 1 yet again.
For the third consecutive weekend, Peter Jackson's prequel to "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy sold the most tickets at the box office, grossing $32.9 million, according to an estimate from distributor Warner Bros. After a decent opening, the big-budget film has proved to have legs with moviegoers: Domestically, the movie has collected $222.7 million, and abroad it has grossed an even more robust sum of nearly $400 million.
The final weekend of 2012 was a strong one for Hollywood, as a crop of well-reviewed titles gave good performances at the box office. Quentin Tarantino's western "Django Unchained"lassoed the runner-up position, as the violent R-rated flick took in $30.7 million. Since debuting Tuesday, the movie has made a strong $64 million.
"Les Miserables," a star-studded adaptation of the classic Broadway musical, didn't do quite as well as the industry had predicted after its excellent start on Christmas Day. Still, the movie sold a respectable $28 million worth of tickets this weekend, raising its six-day total to a fantastic $67.5 million. 
Even the critically-lambasted family comedy "Parental Guidance" did solid business at the box office. Though its weekend take of $14.8 million wasn't especially impressive, the film starring Billy Crystal and Bette Midler has now made $29.6 million -- far more than pre-release audience polling suggested at the beginning of the week.
Overall, ticket sales were up 20% compared with the final three-day period in 2011, according to With only a few days left in the year, it appears that both revenue and attendance will have lifted roughly 6% from 2011.
"Django" was by far the most expensive of the new releases to hit theaters this week, costing co-financiers The Weinstein Co. and Sony Pictures about $100 million to produce. But the film -- also the best-reviewed of the new crop -- earned a positive average grade of A- from opening day moviegoers, and that word of mouth paid off.
The movie, which stars Jamie Foxx as a slave out to kill a greedy plantation owner, marks the second-best opening ever for Tarantino behind his latest film, 2009's "Inglourious Basterds." That movie, which launched with $38.1 million, went on to become the filmmaker's biggest hit ever, collecting $120.5 million in North America.
"Les Miserables" also benefitted from strong buzz and the average A grade it received from audiences. The film, which stars a handful of popular actors including Hugh Jackman,Anne Hathaway and Russell Crowe, cost Universal about $61 million to make. 
The picture is also doing well overseas, having collected $48.7 million from just eight foreign markets. The movie did best by far in Korea, where its $20.1-million take marked the biggest opening ever for a musical in the country and the best debut there for any Universal title.
With a lack of family films in the marketplace, "Parental Guidance" was able to attract parents and their children. About 53% of those who saw the movie were families, who gave the film an A- CinemaScore despite the fact that the movie was savaged by reviewers.
“Critics are so impressed with themselves and want to show how smart and clever they are, and when there’s something sweet that’s right down the middle, they tend to turn their noses up at it,” said Chris Aronson, president of domestic distribution for 20th Century Fox, which released the film.
Along with Walden Media, Fox spent only about $25 million to make "Parental Guidance," as its big stars Crystal and Midler took cut deals and the movie did not require any pricey special effects.
In limited release, Focus Features debuted its environmental drama "Promised Land" in 25 theaters. The movie, co-written by and starring Matt Damon and John Krasinski, took in $190,150 over the weekend, amounting to a modest $7,606 per-theater average. The $16-million film, about a small town weighing whether to allow oil drilling, will expand to about 1,500 locations next weekend.