Hitched, Hatched, Hired

6:00 AM PST 12/13/2011 by THR Staff
Courtesy of Subject

Inside the industry's celebrations and news.

Kemper-Koman Engagement: The Office and Bridesmaids star Ellie Kemper announced her engagement to Michael Koman, co-creator of Adult Swim's Eagleheart, during a Dec. 7 appearance on Conan. Koman, a former writer for the talk-show host, and Kemper will wed this summer.

WEDDINGS

E! News' Catt Sadler wed film producer Rhys David Thomas in Las Vegas Oct. 23. The candlelit ceremony took place in the couple's suite at the Palazzo Hotel. The pair, who met on Cinco de Mayo in 2010, plan to celebrate again with a wedding for family and friends in the Caribbean in June. Said Sadler: "To marry secretly was supremely romantic, but to now share our news with the world has been so much fun!"

Survivor host Jeff Probst married Lisa Ann Russell during an intimate Dec. 5 ceremony in Los Angeles.

Irish singer Sinead O'Connor wed therapist Barry Herridge in Las Vegas on Dec. 8 (her 45th birthday). The pair exchanged vows in the back of a pink Cadillac during a "drive-thru" ceremony at  A Little White Wedding Chapel on the Strip.

BIRTHS

Trevor Rose, vp talent and development at VH1, and his wife, Julie, a talent and casting executive at Nickelodeon, welcomed son Wyatt Rose on Nov. 22 at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.

CONGRATS

Disney president and CEO Bob Iger was tapped as chairman of the capital campaign for the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures on Dec. 7, and Annette Bening and Tom Hanks joined as co-chairs.

Discovery Communications hired Elizabeth Newell as senior vp global corporate legal and Savalle Sims as senior vp litigation and intellectual property Dec. 7.

Television literary agent Amy Retzinger joined Verve as a partner and will begin Jan. 2.

Warner Bros.-based Langley Park Pictures promoted Aaron Schmidt to creative executive Dec. 7.

IFC appointed Andrew Siegal to vp production Dec. 6.

Bravo named Jamie Cutburth vp ad sales marketing Dec. 8.

Telemundo named Ronald Gordon chairman of affiliate owner-operator ZGS Communications on Dec. 12.

Syfy hired Andrew Whitney as director of alternative development Dec. 6.

David Dinerstein was named president of LD Distribution on Dec. 12.

DEATHS

Harry Morgan, who played the fatherly Colonel Potter on M*A*S*H and Officer Bill Gannon on Dragnet, died Dec. 7 at his Los Angeles home. He was 96.

Paul Haggar, a postproduction editor who has a building on the Paramount lot named after him, died Dec. 7 at his L.A. home. He was 83.

Larry Rickles, a producer and the son of comedian Don Rickles, died Dec. 3 in L.A. of respiratory failure due to pneumonia. He was 41.

Barbara Orbison, the widow of Roy Orbison and a music publisher, died of pancreatic cancer Dec. 6 at County-USC Medical Center. She was 60.

The Man Who Changed Fatal Attraction

Joseph Farrell died Dec. 7 of natural causes at age 76 in Los angeles. He introduced the film industry to market research, schooling studio executives in how to test-market a movie and track its potential opening. From 1978 through 2003, along with his business partner Catherine Paura, he headed the National Research Group, which created the models that other companies now follow. Producer Sid Ganis, who during his previous executive posts at Lucasfilm, Paramount and Columbia worked closely with Farrell, remembers: "None of us knew anything about market research when in comes this guy, very sophisticated. He was an outsider yet he was strangely one of us. Joe taught me, he taught all of us. The Naked Gun movies, the second one in particular, were a great example. His process led the Zuckers [Gun director David and writer Jerry] to create that movie for the optimum laughs. We had a half a dozen research screenings, and Joe was able to advise, joke by joke, what worked and what didn't." In its most famous application, Farrell's research showed that the original ending for Fatal Attraction, in which Glenn Close's character committed suicide, needed to be reshot so that she meets a more dramatic, violent end. "There was research, a dry set of calculations, numbers, saving the movie from what could have been instant death," says Ganis. "Research was Joe Farrell's tool that created the ability for that to happen." -- Gregg Kilday

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