Indiana Jones and the Temple of Idiocy
An extra gives away key plot details of the upcoming movie.
On the other hand, anyone who's seen the Pushing Daisies pilot has to wonder: How long can the studio keep up that expensive look? The same question applies to the premise—guy touches dead people, they come back to life; he touches them again, and they die permanently. The girl of his dreams dies. So, guy loses girl, guy touches girl, guy can never touch girl again.
It seems that the ABC money problem has had some ripple effects. A CBS source confirms that Warner has applied its management technique to its new good-guy vampire show, Moonlight. The mandate is to shoot less expensively, which means fewer exterior shots that might include, you know, moonlight.
Several sources say Warner TV president Peter Roth is under a great deal of pressure, not just because of expensive shows but thanks to a stunningly pricey deal with J.J. Abrams that has yet to bear fruit. A well-placed network executive says the deal guarantees the prolific Abrams a staggering $10 million a year. But Abrams is busy popping out movies for Paramount—focusing at the moment on a new Star Trek film that "is going to become his life" until it opens in December 2008, according to a studio source.
Abrams made news in July 2006 with his great big mama of a deal—movies at Paramount, television at Warner. But insane seems to be very popular word when top entertainment executives are polled about it—and it's not just sour grapes. "Somebody had to get hurt," says one. At this point, it doesn't appear to be Paramount.
We're told that the networks have been put on alert to expect a chance to bid on a project bearing the J.J. Abrams label soon. But check the list of ingredients carefully. Just how much Abrams is required for that label to be applied is not clear.
Well—some can still fiddle while Rome burns. We leave you with the image of NBC Entertainment co-chairman Ben Silverman's pre-Emmy party last Friday, which started at about 11 p.m. and featured scantily clad ladies and a caged tiger. We're not sure if the party was fun; the invitation, which stipulated that formal attire was required, also promised, "no media admitted." Silverman threw the bash at a Laurel Canyon mansion with DJ Brent Bolthouse, who—as the folks at GE will be pleased to hear—"virtually invented the Hollywood nightlife scene we know today." For the record, NBC didn't sponsor or pay for the good times.
No wonder Silverman's ring tone is "This Is Why I'm Hot." (Link)
Kim Masters is an NPR correspondent and the author of The Keys to the Kingdom: The Rise of Michael Eisner and the Fall of Everyone Else.
Photographs of: Pushing Daisies © ABC Inc. all rights reserved; Steven Spielberg by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images. Photo illustration of Tyler Nelson by Tom Kilbourne.