WME's Political Debate: Ari Emanuel's WME not only got his brother Rahm Emanuel and Karl Rove in the same place at its annual agency retreat Jan. 11 to 13 at La Costa Resort & Spa in Carlsbad, Calif. -- they got them to engage in a 75-minute debate. Moderated by PBS' Need to Know host Jeff Greenfield, "it was very heated," according to an insider. WME declined comment on the chat. THR also hears the getaway boasted a passel of other heavyweight panelists including Al Gore, former Google chief Eric Schmidt, former Morgan Stanley head John Mack, former White House counterterrorism czar Richard Clarke, Michael Milken and Napster co-founder Sean Parker.
David Cross Gets Cross
THR has learned that Karen Rosenfelt is the unnamed Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked exec producer who was the subject of actor-comedian David Cross' rant about "the most miserable experience that I've had in my professional life" on the Jan. 9 episode of Late Night With Conan O'Brien. Cross complained of being "forced -- at 'legal-point' -- to spend a week on a cruise ship" while dressed head-to-toe in a rubber pelican outfit. "You cannot see any of my flesh [in the film]," he told Conan O'Brien. "Nor do I have any dialogue." Cross, noting he should have been allowed a stand-in and that "everyone else had my back" on this issue, claimed he was overruled by Rosenfelt, whom Cross described as "the personification of what people think about when they think negatively about Jews." (Cross was raised Jewish but is now an atheist.) O'Brien quickly changed the subject. Neither Rosenfelt nor Cross could be reached for comment.
Even Young Adults Dig Downton Abbey
Patton Oswalt, the Young Adult star who played sci-fi geek Spence Olchin on The King of Queens, has outed himself as the most prominent fan of PBS' aristocrats-and-servants drama Downton Abbey. "It reminds me of The Wire," he tells THR. "You can easily have 15 favorite characters on the show." Oswalt has been riffing about Abbey to his half-million-plus Twitter followers ("It's Star Trek for tea drinkers!"; "If they remake Escape From New York, I elect Maggie Smith to play Snake Plissken") since its second-season debut Jan. 8, which he took in at a viewing party with Aimee Mann and Adult Swim mainstay Tim Heidecker. Oswalt notes that the series' class-consciousness feels current: "The Earl of Grantham's daughters are like trust-funders who don't have jobs and are looking for something to do with themselves."
The Artist: Lost in Translation
Hollywood has more than embraced the Franco-centric film The Artist, but its country of origin has not -- at least not to the extent its French producer would like. "For Hollywood, it's a 'French film,' " Thomas Langmann tells THR. "But to the French, it's a 'Hollywood film.' I think they feel it wasn't French enough." Artist has sold 1.5 million tickets in France, but Warner Bros., which released the film there Oct. 12, will rerelease it Jan. 25, expanding it from 80 theaters to 200. "We created a whole new poster, a new trailer, a new ad campaign," reveals Langmann. "It seems the French are more open to it now that America has embraced it so much."