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It's War At The Golden Globes

 

Friday, January 11---------That old adage, about war being hell, is just an understatement for the conflict that is now brewing around this Sunday's Golden Globe Awards. Not only has the broadcast of the live event been cancelled (since film stars and directors, also members of their own guilds, will not cross WGA picket lines), but a battle royale is now brewing between NBC, the television network set to broadcast the event, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, the Globes' sponsor, and Dick Clark Productions, which has produced the event for the past two decades.

The battle reached fever pitch today, as all parties began wrangling about creative control and how monies from broadcast advertisers should be divvied up. The kerfuffle has led the Association to pull NBC's broadcast exclusivity and turn the Globes Press Conference (the only thing that is going out live) into a network-neutral broadcast that NBC will not host or produce and instead serve as, at most, one of several broadcasters. Aside from the move from previous contracts, this also sets the stage for a potential lawsuit between Dick Clark Productions and NBC over show costs.

Earlier in the week, NBC announced that it was retooling its awards telecast as an NBC News event, with the added presence of Dateline (a news magazine show),  Access Hollywood (a leading television entertainment magazine show), Today (NBC's perennial early morning chat show) and including exclusively NBC (and by extension, Universal Pictures and Focus Features) personalities. But the Association and Dick Clark Productions, with whom NBC has a contract, became incensed about the loss of creative control and the apparent exploitation by NBC/Universal to use the broadcast as exclusive promotion for its films and television series.

There is also, inevitably, a scuffle over monies.....with Dick Clark Productions demanding over $1 Million in pre-production costs and the Association demanding a multi-million dollar payday by NBC for a broadcast fee. NBC, for its part, has said that the program's estimated low ratings (since it will not be a traditional broadcast of a live awards event and not feature the nominated actors and directors of this year's films) have hurt its advertising prospects, and it is resisting paying the fee.

So be prepared for one of the most bizarre and unusual Golden Globes yet! This murky landscape of conflict and recrimination may be a prelude for the Oscars next month, which tend to attract the largest audiences and advertising broadcast fees on television.

Sandy Mandelberger, Awards Watch Editor

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All the Buzz on Film Festival Awards, Celebrity Tributes and the Film Awards Season.


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