Golden Globes Lawsuit Puts 2012 Show at Risk

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Lawyers for the Hollywood Foreign Press Association say that litigation with show producer Dick Clark Productions may not be decided in time to ensure next year’s TV broadcast.

NEW YORK – The controversy surrounding Golden Globes host Ricky Gervais may not be the biggest headache for the Hollywood Foreign Press Association.

A legal dispute between the organizer of the awards and its longtime production firm, Dick Clark Productions, is threatening next year’s Golden Globes ceremony as it may not be concluded in time to pick a new producer, find a network and bring in advertisers, the New York Times reported.

In court filings last week, lawyers for Dick Clark Productions and the HFPA said the likely trial date is Dec. 1 and March 5, 2012, respectively. 

Neither date would allow “sufficient time to take reasonable commercial steps for the production and distribution of the television broadcast of the 69th annual Golden Globes Awards Show,” the association’s lawyers said. Next year’s show is tentatively scheduled for Jan. 8 or 15.

The HFPA’s legal team said it may have to ask the court for a preliminary or expedited ruling.

In a statement to The Hollywood Reporter, the HFPA says, "Regardless of the legal proceedings with Red Zone and dick clark productions, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association will present the Sixty-Ninth Annual Golden Globe Awards Show as scheduled in January 2012. The show will go on, with or without dcp."

Late last year, the press association sued the Globes producer, arguing it unilaterally reached a new eight-year broadcast deal with NBC. Dick Clark Productions responded by asking a judge to dismiss the complaint.