What Matters in Hollywood Today

10:34 AM 1/8/2018

by Ray Rahman

Nicole Kidman_Frances McDormand_Golden Globes_Split - Publicity - H 2018
Paul Drinkwater/NBCUniversal

What's news: The Golden Globes broadcast experiences a (very slight) ratings bump. Plus: What the critics are saying about the Globes, CBS and Showtime head to TCA, a Weinstein Co. sale could be around the corner and the #MeToo movement comes to China. — Ray Rahman

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  • Globes Morning After

    What were the highlights from last night's Golden Globes? And the lowlights? Daniel Fienberg digs in:  

    Highlight: If a presidential election were held today, Oprah Winfrey would receive 100 percent of the vote from the group of TV critics with whom I watched the Golden Globes. She'd get around 98 percent of the presidential vote from my Twitter feed. In the aftermath of the 75th Golden Globes telecast, I'd wager that a Winfrey/McDormand ticket with promised cabinet-level positions for Natalie Portman, Barbra Streisand and Viola Davis would probably scoop up around 90 percent of the vote in the greater Los Angeles area. Maybe more.

    Lowlight: The show suffered from a lack of a cohesive presenter strategy. Jennifer Aniston and Carol Burnett were just amazing together. Shirley MacLaine and Emma Stone were a good pairing. Why not go for more of that? Also, in reliable awards show fashion, after around an hour, things started running long and the middle of the show was basically gutted. Read more.

    + What others are saying: The L.A. Times declares, "Oprah, Barbra, Elisabeth, Nicole: Women in black take over." Vulture has a rundown titled "The best moments in black excellence at the 2018 Golden Globes." The Atlantic calls it "a charged night," with Oprah "setting the tone." Similarly, The New Yorker went with: "Oprah leads a decisive feminist takeover." And The Daily Beast asks: "The #MeToo Golden Globes hint at Hollywood's enlightened future. Will it last?"

    + Early ratings: (Drumroll) They're pretty much the same as 2017. Early returns for the 2018 Golden Globe Awards have the telecast up by just a hair from the previous year. The show, which ran for three hours and change, averaged a 13.4 rating overnight rating among metered market households. That's up 1 percent, compared with the same numbers last year, for the NBC telecast. The previous year's show averaged a 13.3 overnight rating, ultimately averaging 20 million viewers and a 5.6 rating among adults 18-49.

    + Party quotes: "It's up to the people," Stedman Graham said when asked about the prospect of Oprah Winfrey running for president. "She would absolutely do it." 

    "Her mission is bigger than politics," Lena Waithe said of the prospect of Oprah running for president. "It's just a fantasy, and I don't blame her [for saying no]. What we want is someone who has her skill, integrity, wisdom and class to lead us. Lord knows we need it."

    "See The Room, have fun, and enjoy life," Tommy Wiseau said when asked what he would've said if James Franco had let him speak onstage. "The American Dream is alive, and it’s real."

    Full winners list I Wins by network/studio I Party diary I Red carpet photos I Snubs

    ^Red Carpet fashion review: Couture conviction. "Although it was a bad night for designers looking to have their names dropped on the red carpet, actresses were able to communicate something else: the idea that fashion can tell a story," Booth Moore writes. "From a fashion perspective, the palette was refreshing, putting an emphasis on silhouette and sumptuous details. It didn’t look like a funeral, but a celebration of individual style gestures and the power of accessories." Read more | Best dressed women | Best dressed men.

    (Miss last night's special edition Globes newsletter? There's much more red carpet, ceremony and party details here.)

    Elsewhere in film...

    ? China Box office: Star Wars: The Last Jedi loses. The Disney film came in second in its opening weekend in China with a soft $28.7 million — no match for The Ex-File 3: The Return of the Exes, a local sequel that reached $86.7 million in its second weekend in theaters.

    + Down from here? With its screen share already on the wane and Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle coming on Friday, Last Jedi definitely won't match Force Awakens' $124 million China total, and may not even reach Rogue One's $69 million haul. Both of those films faded fast after their opening frames, and the erosion is likely to be worse for Jedi. China box office wrap.

    ? Lady Bird named best picture by National Society of Film Critics. The acclaimed film (which also nabbed two Globes, including for Best Movie, Comedy) won four awards in total, including accolades for writer-director Gerwig.

    ? Red Sparrow trailer: The Jennifer Lawrence movie debuted its first full-length official trailer. Watch it here.

    ? AFI Awards: Women take center stage. "Wonder Woman director Patty Jenkins, an AFI alum, and lead actress Gal Gadot, the movie star of the moment, were among the centers of attention at Friday's exclusive luncheon," Scott Feinberg writes. Read more.

    ^The Cinematographer Roundtable: The lensing experts behind Blade Runner 2049, DunkirkMudbound, The Post, Roman J. Israel, Esq., The Shape of Water and Suburbicon open up to Carolyn Giardina about their craft and finding a balance with their directors: "He does his thing, I do my thing. Somehow we both see this movie the same way." Full story.

    ? Weinstein Co. update: The studio's leading bidder could provide female ownership. Maria Contreras-Sweet, now backed by Ron Burkle, may buy the company with a group of female Silicon Valley investors and install a women-led board as Bob Weinstein eyes a new company of his own.

    + Gregg Kilday writes: TWC declined to comment, and sources say the Contreras-Sweet-led bid is not a done deal. But she is said to be scouting properties in Los Angeles, including the offices of recently shuttered Broad Green Pictures, which could house a new incarnation of TWC.

    + If the Contreras-Sweet bid is successful, TWC co-founder Bob Weinstein would be given certain assets. He is expected to then start his own company, which a source says is tentatively named Watch This, a favorite phrase of his. Weinstein declined to comment. Full story. 

    ? Film Independent's Spirit Awards Nominee Brunch: The organization doled out $150,000 in grants when it announced the winners of its filmmakers grants at its annual brunch on Saturday. Recipients included The Rider helmer Chloe Zhao, Gook director Justin Chon and Jonathan Olshefski, director of Quest.

    Rep Sheet Roundup: UTA has cut ties with Danny Masterson a month after Netflix dropped him from The Ranch. … Carrie Underwood has signed with publicity firm PMK*BNC. … Abrams’ L.A. talent head Marni Rosenzweig is leaving to launch management firm The Rosenzweig Group. … CAA has invested in corporate perks packager Entertainment Benefits Group. … GLOW’s Britt Baron has signed with ICM Partners. More here.

  • CBS, Showtime at TCA

    The weekend saw CBS and Showtime take over the TCA press tour, with big news, interviews and updates coming out of the related networks: 

    + Showtime boss talks: David Nevins, joined by programming chief Gary Levine, talked subscriber growth, Twin Peaks and Mark Halperin, among other things:

    Twin Peaks' future: "We're thrilled we did Twin Peaks," said Levine. "It was incredibly good for our brand and our network. But it took 25 years. The door at Showtime is always open to Mark [Frost] and David [Lynch] for Twin Peaks or whatever else they want to talk about."

    Why SMILF worked and White Famous did not: "When you're making a decision about the show, you ask if it's moving the needle or if it will in the future," said Nevins. "Voice matters. ... SMILF and Shameless was a great combination that worked really well together and drove a lot of business."

    Cutting Halperin and hiring Alex Wagner: "I became aware with a phone call from Mark probably a day or so before the story broke," said Nevins. "We were already in conversations with Alex Wagner about joining, she was going to come on regardless. It was very difficult to be kind of blindsided like that. Once it became clear, we decided very quickly that the show should go on without him." Read more.

    + Alan Cumming on being broadcast's first leading gay character on CBS' Instinct: "It was one of the reasons I wanted to do the show," said Cumming. "Socially and politically, especially at a time in America where gay people are being persecuted and our rights are being removed and the president is condoning the persecution against gay people by his silence, it was all the more important to have a character with a healthy same-sex marriage on TV. I think it's the perfect time to do that." Full story.

    + News and notes: Young Sheldon scored an early season 2 renewal ... The second season of The Good Fight will tackle presidential impeachment .... Showtime bought the rights to a Chelsea Manning documentary titled Chelsea XY.

    Elsewhere in TV...

    ? Stephen Miller vs. CNN: It all began when the White House aide appeared on Jake Tapper's State of the Union Sunday morning. The interview got contentious, and Tapper eventually cut Miller off, telling him: "I get it — there is one viewer that you care about right now and you’re being obsequious, you’re being a factotum in order to please him. And I think I’ve wasted enough of my viewers’ time. Thank you."

    + It didn't end there. After the interview, Miller reportedly would not leave the studio. According to Business Insider, Miller was politely asked to leave several times, but refused to do so. Security was then called and Miller was escorted out of the studio. CNN has not commented on the report.

    ? ESPN on Trump? Donald Trump will be in attendance at tonight's college football championship game in Atlanta, but an ESPN executive says a presidential interview seems unlikely. "We're still taking to the White House. I don't get the sense he's going to do an interview," said Stephanie Druley, ESPN senior vp for events and studio programs. "We will, obviously, show him at the game when we see where he is sitting."

    + Kendrick Lamar, a rapper with sharp views of the Trump administration, is slated to perform at halftime. Will the president stick around for that? 

    ^NBC enlists Sara Bareilles for Jesus Christ Superstar Live: The Waitress star will play Mary Magdalene opposite John Legend (Jesus) and Alice Cooper (King Herod) in the televised musical, which is set to air live from Brooklyn on Easter Sunday, April 1. 

    + Yet to be cast: Judas.

    Rose McGowan debuts trailer for Citizen Rose: Ahead of last night's Golden Globes, the activist premiered a preview of her upcoming E! series, which follows her life post-Weinstein scandal. Watch here.

    ? Viacom to acquire influencer platform WhoSay. The deal, terms of which were not disclosed, comes nearly eight years after CAA helped to launch the company alongside founder and CEO Steve Ellis. At the time, WhoSay was focused on providing artists with an easier way to upload photos to social media services, but over the years WhoSay's business has evolved into one focused on influencer marketing.

  • #MeToo Reaches China

    But will it have an impact? Jing Zhang writes:

    The Chinese entertainment sector — the second largest in the world — is beginning to grapple with its own sexual harassment problems. But while age-old attitudes toward gender politics are definitely changing in the Middle Kingdom, insiders say significant cultural barriers — victim shaming, a lack of legal recourse and an all-but-nonexistent free press — will make progress difficult.

    Last October, the English-language, state-owned China Daily newspaper took down a column about the #MeToo movement that claimed sexual assault was less prevalent in China than in the West. The author, Sava Hassan, a Canadian-Egyptian educator and periodic China Daily contributor, argued that “Chinese traditional values and conservative attitudes” safeguarded women against “inappropriate behavior from members of the opposite gender.” Full story.

    What else we're reading...

    — "What the men didn't say." Sophie Gilbert writes: "At the 75th Golden Globe Awards, not one male award winner used their platform to mention the biggest story of the night." [The Atlantic]

    — "ESPN's new pitch for advertisers: 'We reach women.'" Alexandra Bruell writes: "ESPN, armed with new data about its viewers, is more aggressively selling its female audience, starting with the College Football Playoff, which culminates in Monday’s championship game." [Wall Street Journal]

    — "'We create the culture.'" Allison P. Davis profiles Lena Waithe, creator of The Chi: "Waithe is simply telling the stories that she knows best. The difference is that, suddenly, everyone wants to listen." [New York Magazine]

    — "How Fox & Friends rewrites Trump's reality." Andrew Marantz writes about "the thin fourth wall between the president and his TV." [The New Yorker]

    — "Michael Wolff did what every other White House reporter is too cowardly to do." Drew Magary writes: "Why is Fire & Fury having such an impact? Because Wolff was willing to throw decorum away and torch his access - and more journalists should do the same." [GQ]

    What else we're hearing...

    + "The Golden Globe Awards." The culture desk chews on last night's ceremony. [Pop Culture Happy Hour / NPR]

    "Hollywood women respond to #MeToo." Aisha Harris and Monica Castillo discuss Time's Up." [Slate Represent]

    What's ahead this week:

    Tuesday: The National Board of Review Gala will be held in New York.

    Thursday: The Critics' Choice Awards will be held in L.A. ... TNT's The Alienist holds its premiere in L.A. ... ABC will premiere Truth and Lies: The Tonya Harding Story.

    Friday: The Commuter, Paddington 2 and Proud Mary open in theaters nationwide ... My Next Guest Needs No Introduction With David Letterman debuts on Netflix with Barack Obama as the first guest ... Philip K. Dick's Electric Dreams debuts on Amazon.

    Today's Birthdays: Freddie Stroma, 31, Gaby Hoffman, 36, Jenny Lewis, 42, Josh Meyers, 42, Stephen Hawking, 76, Charles Osgood, 85.