Riffing on today's Oscar nominations.

Inside the big picture show.
Jan. 22 2008 2:17 PM

The Oscar Nominations

Once again, there are lots of films that most people haven't seen and don't care about.

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On the other hand, Adalian notes that viewers could get sick of all reality, all the time. (You think?) And studios can't squeeze as much advertising and other revenue out of reality as they do out of successful scripted shows.

So, how long-term are the big conglomerates that own these studios thinking? Watch what happens with the Directors Guild to find out. (link)

Jan. 8, 2008

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Thus Spoke Zucker: You would think NBC Universal president and chief executive Jeff Zucker is a busy man, trying to revive his network, dealing with the writers' strike, figuring out how to deal with the cancelled Golden Globes telecast. But is he too busy to attend to details?

Remember that Top Ten list—Demands of the Striking Writers—that David Letterman had on the air last week, on his first night back? It was presented by a string of scribes including The Daily Show's Tim Carvell, The Colbert Report's Laura Kraft, and Nora Ephron.

Several sources from various places claim that before the show, Zucker got wind that among the presenters were a couple of striking Saturday Night Live writers. In other words, writers for an NBC show were abetting the enemy when their loyalty clearly should have belonged to disadvantaged Tonight Show host Jay Leno! (Back with no writers except, of course, himself.) The writers were in the Letterman's lair, waiting to record the list, when someone at NBC got hold of them, our sources say. Zucker's displeasure was threatened and they were convinced to book out of there just before the cameras rolled. (Conan O'Brien writer Chris Albers stood his ground and did the list.)

An NBC spokesperson denies that Zucker made that call or caused that call to be made. "We would not want our people on Letterman but Jeff Zucker is not meddling," this executive says. "This is happening on a lower level." Someone at NBC simply invoked Zucker's name in trying to stampede the writers off the show, the spokesman contends, adding, "I do it all the time when I need clout."

This spokesperson took the hit for trying to block another NBC talent, Tracy Morgan, from being a guest on Letterman this Friday. (That's not working out—it's already taped.) Morgan is on NBC's 30 Rock but the Letterman appearance is to promote the upcoming First Sunday—a movie that has nothing to do with NBC Universal. But NBC's position is that if Morgan wants to promote something, he should do it on Leno's show. If he doesn't want to cross a picket line—which would be necessary if he were to appear on Leno's show—then he should stay home. (link)