With stars out of alignment, NBC poised to unplug Globes

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The Hollywood Foreign Press Assn. and NBC engaged in eleventh-hour sessions Sunday to try to reach an accommodation over the upcoming Golden Globes, with NBC appearing to be seriously considering pulling the telecast.

The HFPA, whose 100-odd members determine the awards each year, is pushing NBC to pull the plug on the broadcast because that will prompt the WGA to lift its pickets and enable stars to attend the Jan. 13 event. On Friday, SAG said its members would not cross picket lines to attend.

NBC and its chief Jeff Zucker had through the weekend maintained that it will broadcast the event. But one person with knowledge of the situation described NBC as trying to find "a middle ground," potentially including a scaled-back event or a postponement. As of late Sunday, NBC was said to be close to yielding to the HFPA's request for the Globes to be taken off the air.

Were a postponement agreed upon, the Globes would likely have to occur before Oscar nominations are announced later this month, which would only buy a week or two, a very small amount of time for an interim agreement or larger strike resolution to take place. The Beverly Hilton may also not be available for the following Sunday, Jan. 20.

It's unclear how much contractual wiggle room NBC would have if it wanted a postponement that the HFPA didn't want.

NBC is expected to make a final decision today on whether to air the broadcast, which is produced and co-owned by Dick Clark Prods.

As of Sunday night, Dick Clark Prods. was readying for preproduction in the way it would for any awards broadcast that's one week away. It's unclear what its involvement would be if the Globes were to go on without a telecast.

The weekend conferrals between the HFPA and NBC come after a Friday in which the guilds essentially shut the door on star attendance for an NBC-aired show.

With NBC continuing to say it will broadcast the event, SAG said that conversations with members had resulted in the collective decision not to cross the picket line.

"After considerable outreach to Golden Globe actor nominees and their representatives over the past several weeks, there appears to be unanimous agreement that these actors will not cross WGA picket lines to appear on the Golden Globe Awards as acceptors or presenters," SAG president Alan Rosenberg said.

Also on Friday, a number of prominent talent-publicity firms, including BWR, 42 West and Stanley Rosenfield, announced that their clients would be no-shows.

"After much discussion by our clients, we have concluded unanimously that the actors we represent will not cross the picket line out of respect for the WGA membership. Our clients are extremely grateful to the Hollywood Foreign Press and would love the opportunity to be recognized for their work but will only do so in the event that NBC and Dick Clark Productions reach an interim agreement with the WGA for the Golden Globes," the group said.

Meanwhile, Dick Clark Prods, which has said that it has offered terms to the WGA similar to those that Worldwide Pants negotiated, also jumped into the fray. It released a statement saying that it "has reached out to the WGA on numerous occasions, from the very beginning of the WGA strike, and offered to enter into an interim agreement similar to the agreement reached by Worldwide Pants" and was "disappointed that the WGA has refused to bargain with us in good faith." It also noted that it was not a member of the AMPTP.

If a Globes ceremony went ahead without stars, it would parallel the decision of the 1980 Emmy Awards to go forth despite a star boycott. In a coincidental turn, Dick Clark himself stepped in to co-host the event after the original hosts bowed out.

Nellie Andreeva in Los Angeles contributed to this report.
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