What Matters in Hollywood Today

7:09 AM 1/9/2018

by Ray Rahman

Oprah Winfrey at The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks Press Conference  -Getty-H 2017
Vera Anderson/WireImage

What's news: The BAFTA nominations are in, and the results may surprise you. Plus: Oprah Winfrey 2020 chatter heats up, ABC and Shonda talk Netflix at TCA, CBS finds its Charlie Rose replacement and the annual CES technology conference rolls out in Las Vegas. — Ray Rahman

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  • BAFTA Weighs In

    The biggest film awards outside the U.S. has unveiled its full list of nominees for 2018, writes Alex Ritman:

    Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri came away with nine nominations, with many across many of the major categories (including film, actor, director and both supporting shortlists), matched by Joe Wright's Darkest Hour (including best film, actor and supporting actress). But, thanks to the technical categories, it was The Shape of Water that emerged in the lead with 12 nods (including film, director, actress and supporting actress). See the full list.

    + The Best Picture category: Call Me By Your Name, Darkest Hour, Dunkirk, The Shape of Water and Three Billboards

    + Surprises and snubs: Steven Spielberg's The Post was shut out completely while the British sleeper Film Stars Don't Die in Liverpool pulled in three noms. Another glaring snub: Dee Rees' Mudbound, which also came away empty-handed.

    Three other awards favorites, all with U.S.-centric storylines, were passed over by BAFTA in the best film and best director categories but got recognition elsewhere: Get OutLady Bird and I, Tonya. Read more.

    + Who's up and who's down? The U.K.'s version of the Academy also sent mixed-messages about a number of films, Scott Feinberg says. Full analysis.

    + Joanna Lumley replaces Stephen Fry as host. The Absolutely Fabulous star is set to take over from Fry, who revealed last week he would be stepping down after hosting 12 times.

    Elsewhere in film...

    ? Roman Polanski update: L.A. prosecutors won't bring criminal charges against the director after a woman alleged that he molested her in 1975 — when she was 10 years old — because the statue of limitations on the case has expired. 

    Deadpoolkeeps T.J. Miller: "We're in the final editing," producer Lauren Shuler Donner said when asked if Miller would be replaced in the film following allegations of sexual misconduct. "I don't think so."

    ? New Black Panther footage: A new look at Ryan Coogler's Marvel film debuted last night during the the college football championship, helping tide fans over until the film's Feb. 16 release date.  See it here.

    ^Alison Brie interview: The actress discusses becoming picky after landing Glow, working alongside husband Dave Franco in The Disaster Artist and the audition process for her role in The Post: "After I got the role, [Spielberg] told me, 'I don't like to rehearse, so good luck and I will see you on set.' Which gave me a weird amount of confidence because I thought, 'If he isn't worried, then I shouldn't be.'" Q&A.

    ? R.I.P, Alan Bleviss: The iconic voiceover actor, who provided the baritone voice for Bill Clinton's U.S. presidential campaigns and movie trailers like Scarface and Dirty Dancing, passed away at 76.

    [icon:therace] Feinberg Forecast: An updated snapshot of the Oscar race after the Golden Globes. See the list. 

  • ABC Day

    Monday was the Alphabet's turn at the TCA press tour. Among the highlights: ABC boss Channing Dungey addressing the Disney-Fox deal and Shonda Rhimes' Netflix pact, writes Lacey Rose: 

    During her 20 minutes, Dungey was asked just one question about the $52.4 billion deal. The exec simply said that “at the moment, my focus is on everything that lies directly in front of me.” She shut down any follow-ups by stating clearly that she and the company had said all that it would until a regulatory process in complete.

    The conversation led to a line of questioning about Shonda Rhimes, who, after years as the unofficial face of ABC, signed a mega-deal at rival Netflix. “I’ve known for a while that Shonda was interested in stretching a different set of creative muscles,” the exec said after asserting that her relationship with Rhimes is “as strong as it’s ever been” and that she was “really excited about the three shows we have on the air and the two we’re about to launch.” Full story.

    + Shonda Rhimes talks, too. The powerful producer discussed the state of Shondaland after the Netflix deal: "There's a misconception. We're already at Netflix. Our deal with Netflix already began. It's not as if we're going to pack our bags. We have five shows at ABC and are developing another. All our new shows will be at Netflix. It's not as if we're going anywhere. It's not as if there's a separation date." Read more.

    + The Bachelor Winter Games: You read that right. The show is going international with a seasonal Winter Olympics-themed spinoff series set to premiere Feb 13. Meet the cast.

    + Jenna Fischer talks The Office revival: "I think that’s for networks to figure out if I were to be asked," Fischer said during the panel for her upcoming ABC comedy Splitting Up Together. "I haven't been approached about it and don't know anything about it. … But I love Pam!"

    + Roseanne lets loose: "I'd be a better president" than Oprah, Susan Sarandon, or Trump, Barr said during a wide-ranging appearance that dug deep into her — and her revived show's characters' — political beliefs. Full story.

    + American Idol: No more William Hungs? Showrunner Trish Kinane said ABC's version won't rely on bad auditions for humor: "It doesn't feel comfortable to put borderline unstable people up on stage and laugh at them."

    + ABC news and notes: Shondaland's For The People will debut Tuesday, March 13 ... Zach Braff's Alex, Inc. launches March 28 ... The Goldbergs' 1990s-set pilot Schooled, which was passed over last season, is getting a second chance: it will air as special Goldbergs episode Jan 24 ... Nancy Kerrigan will play herself on Jan. 30 episode of Fresh Off the Boat ... The Mike Myers-hosted The Gong Show was picked up for a second season ... 

    Elsewhere in TV...

    ? Oprah talk heats up. "I absolutely don’t think that her position has changed. I don’t," Gayle King said on CBS This Morning today when pressed about Oprah Winfrey's chances of running. "She’s intrigued by the idea. I do think that."

    + Ivanka Trump raised eyebrows yesterday when she tweeted her support of Oprah (though not necessarily in a campaign context), calling her Globes speech "empowering & inspiring."

    + How real is this? Politico ran a story titled "Democrats say 'O yes!' to Winfrey," saying "hardened political operatives from both parties are taking a potential 2020 bid seriously — and say she'd be formidable." Even Newt Gingrich is quoted in the story as someone touting her credibility as a candidate. CNN's Brian Stelter reports that people close to Winfrey say she's "actively thinking" about it.

    + White House response: "We welcome the challenge, whether it be Oprah Winfrey or anybody else."

    ? John Dickerson to replace Charlie Rose: HuffPost reports that the Face the Nation host is set to replace Rose on CBS This Morning, joining Norah O'Donnell and Gayle King as co-anchor. 

    Louis C.K. show scrapped by TBS: Weeks after suspending production of the disgraced comedian's animated entry The Cops, the network has nixed the 10-episode straight-to-series comedy altogether.

    ? Tavis Smiley eyes return: The former PBS host, dropped after misconduct claims came to light less than a month ago, announced a new online show called The Upside With Tavis Smiley that will stream on The Word Network — a move comparable to Bill O'Reilly's post-Fox News retreat to an online series. 

    ? White House addresses the Stephen Miller-CNN flap: "He left on his own will," a White House press official said, refuting reports that Miller had to be escorted out of CNN's studio by security.

    ? Viacom creates new role: Chief People Officer. Fukiko Ogisu, a 10-year veteran of the conglomerate, was promoted into the new position, which will manage human resources the conglomerate's security efforts and diversity goals.

    ^Kimmel's tough gig: Following Meyers. Michael O'Connell reports: "The future Oscars host says he did tune in for Seth Meyers' Globes night — and that it's too soon to say how much Hollywood's current narrative will play into his own monologue." Full story.

    + Oscar poster: "What could possibly go wrong?" asks ABC's Kimmel-centric official poster for the Oscars, a reference to last year's Best Picture flub. 

    ? FX vs. Versace: "A work of fiction," the Versace family said in harsh terms of the upcoming American Crime Story: Versace season. FX defended its work, saying the series "is based on Maureen Orth's heavily researched and authenticated nonfiction best-seller ... We stand by the meticulous reporting of Ms. Orth."

    ? Is Fox's 911 a hit? The Ryan Murphy show's premiere numbers popped after streaming, jumping 50 percent and reaching 10.5 million viewers — enough to tie Modern Family as the top series of the week. 

    ? P!nk at the Super Bowl: The pop star has been tapped to perform the National Anthem before Super Bowl LII, joining Justin Timberlake as part of the evening's musical attractions.

    ? Hulu has given Marvel's Runaways and Future Man second season renewals.

    Sorry, Cheers fans: John Ratzenberger says a reboot isn't likely. "I don't think they want a bunch of geezers sitting at the bar," laments the actor who played Cliff Clavin. But he said he'd be game: "I would love to see it, and I think the cast would, too. The audience is still there." Read more.


  • Art Stars

    Hidden Figures star Aldis Hodge and painter Harmonia Rosales are debuting their collaborative works at an upcoming L.A. art show, writes Maxwell Williams:

    When Aldis Hodge DM'd artist Harmonia Rosales on Instagram to compliment her paintings, he never expected to kick off a collaboration. But the Hidden Figures actor — who next stars opposite Kevin Bacon in Showtime police pilot City on a Hill — showed Rosales some of his paintings, and she told him they held a beautiful sadness.

    "I was surprised someone responded to my work in that way who was not named 'Mom,'" he says. Now the duo are bowing two new works via the Simard Bilodeau gallery at the L.A. Art Show, Jan.?10 to 14 at the Los Angeles Convention Center. Read more.

    ^Jewel at CES: The singer/songwriter has partnered with Zappos on a new corporate benefits startup, Whole Human, that focuses on employee health and well-being over free meals and other perks. The program also plans on addressing sexual harassment: “We’re telling men how they behave isn’t acceptable, but we’re not telling them what is acceptable,” she says. “We have to think about what information we’re filling that void with." Full story.

    + CES reporter's notebook: Media day brought a big Samsung TV, new Oculus headset. Interested in a 146-inch modular television called "The Wall"? Everyone at CES is. Read more.

    What else we're reading...

    — "Darkest Hour and other Golden Globe winners find success in a sea of franchises." Ryan Faughdner writes: "The strong results - especially for movies that typically cost less than $20 million to make — have been heartening for indie distributors and producers. They say the numbers are evidence that there’s still a big audience for prestigious adult dramas, as long as they are critically acclaimed and distinctive while also appealing to a broad audience." [L.A. Times]

    — "CES has a diversity problem. And it's time we fix it." Brenda Darden Wilkerson writes: "The tech trade show turns 50 this year. It needs to start treating female executives and other women technologists with the respect they deserve." [Recode]

    — "For your reconsideration: Supporting whom, exactly?" Wesley Morris writes: "'Supporting' acting is now where lead acting goes, either when odds in the lead categories seem grim, as they apparently do for Armie Hammer, or, in the case of Viola Davis, when there’s a clearer path to certain victory." [New York Times]

    — "Silicon Valley reconsiders the iPhone era it created." Tripp Mickle writes: "A tussle between prominent investors and Apple over iPhone use by young people comes amid a nascent re-evaluation of the smartphone’s social consequences within the industry that spawned it." [Wall Street Journal]

    — "Why is Will Smith trying to be the next Jake Paul?" Ann-Derrick Gailot writes: "More and more mega-celebrities are turning to vlogging." [The Outline]

    What else we're seeing...

    + "Michael Wolff: You should believe all of Fire and Fury." [Late Show]

    + "Meryl Streep on Mariah Carey: 'Bitch stole my seat.'" [Jimmy Kimmel Live!]

    + "Taraji P. Henson proves actresses over 40 are action heroes." [Tonight Show]

    What else we're hearing...

    + "Tom Hanks: Interview." The beloved actor reflects on his tumultuous childhood and becoming a dad at 21; why he grew tired of playing "pussies," and how he managed a remarkable career reinvention capped by Oscars in back-to-back years. [Awards Chatter / THR]

    + "Lisa Nishimura: Interview." Scott Feinberg sits down with Netflix's vp of original documentary and comedy programming. [Awards Chatter / THR]

    + "How #MeToo played out at the Golden Globes." New York Times reporters chat with Lehrer about Sunday night. [Brian Lehrer Show / WNYC]

    Today's Birthdays: Nina Dobrev, 29, Kate Middleton, 36, Joey Lauren Adams, 50, Dave Matthews, 51, Al Jean, 57, Imelda Staunton, 62, J.K. Simmons, 63, Jimmy Page, 74.