Saving Spielberg's tribute

Career nod moved to '09 as Globes fallout continues


UPDATED 7:31 p.m. PT Jan. 8, 2008

The day after the Golden Globes was relegated to a celebrity-free news conference, the HFPA was scrambling to preserve what little aura around the Globes that it could.

The group postponed Steven Spielberg's Cecil B. DeMille Lifetime Achievement Award to next year, but asked studio execs and publicists to attend the news conference that is airing exclusively on NBC, though few who were interviewed said they would.

A clips show from Dick Clark Prods. -- the shingle producing the Globes telecast -- was scotched. The company may yet provide some clips to NBC's "Dateline," whose annual preview show will be moved from Saturday to Sunday, possibly sharing space with another program, like the NBC-owned entertainment magazine "Access Hollywood."

Nominees have been solicited by "Dateline" for interviews. But sources indicated Tuesday that actors had been advised not to participate.

"The WGA has informed us that they consider the taped segments that are being produced to be struck work," SAG spokeswoman Pam Greenwalt said. "So we would hope that our members would not participate. (But) there is no official advisory planned."

At NBC, meanwhile, the format for the news conference became a subject of increasing scrutiny. It's likely that there will be no significant NBC News talent; some speculated that the network may enlist talent from "Access Hollywood," including anchors Billy Bush and Nancy O'Dell, for the news conference or earlier primetime fare. Both normally host the network's Golden Globes arrivals preshow.

Insiders indicated that there will be only a brief introduction at the news conference, much like the format the Hollywood Foreign Press Assn. uses for the Globes nominations announcement. The exclusion of all TV outlets other than NBC News is raising eyebrows in the TV news world, since it's not really a news conference if only one TV network is allowed in the door. As of Tuesday evening, no other outlet is known to have sought permission to attend the event.

New York-based entertainment execs at specialty film companies and nominated television networks canceled their trips to the West Coast, with some saying that they were hoping to apply them to Oscar flights -- though they were holding off on doing that just yet.

A number of cable channels also were adjusting their plans.

TV Guide Network, which originally had scheduled four hours of red-carpet programming leading up to the Globes telecast along with a fashion special the following night, is now planning a two-hour in-studio preshow (airing from 7-9 p.m. EST) featuring packages revolving around the nominees.

After the Globe winners are announced, TV Guide will air an hourlong postshow (10-11 p.m. EST) from its studios, recapping the winners. Chris Harrison (ABC's "The Bachelor") and Maria Sansone (Yahoo's "The 9") will host both the pre- and postshow.

TV Guide's red-carpet hosts, Lisa Rinna and Joey Fatone, will not be involved with the network's Globes coverage but will be on the red carpet for TV Guide at the SAG Awards on Jan. 27.

E! Entertainment Television, which also broadcasts hours of red-carpet programming from the major awards shows, is still in the process of finalizing its plans for Sunday.

Various players associated with the Globes' unraveling sighed and in some cases pointed fingers Tuesday.

Among the more notable details to emerge came when sources said an alliance of publicity firms that included such heavyweights as 42 West and PMK/HBH -- which had previously signed a letter saying their stars wouldn't attend -- had been involved Monday in brokering a deal with the HFPA, the WGA and NBC that would have resulted in their clients attending the news conference.

That fell apart when the writers guild got wind of a supposed memo from NBC about an elaborate party-and-red-carpet telecast, which surfaced on the Web. The publicity firms then opted to follow the lead of the WGA and SAG.

Entertainment programs weren't the only entities affected by the Globes' relegation.

Without the $5 million license fee from NBC, the HFPA's grants to fund scholar film programs including those at USC, UCLA and Cal State Northridge were "thrown into question," according to an HFPA rep.

There was business as usual in at least one venue: As of Tuesday night, was still promoting a star-studded three-hour Golden Globes award ceremony.

Steven Zeitchik reported from New York; Nellie Andreeva reported from Los Angeles. Kimberly Nordyke and Carl DiOrio in Los Angeles and Paul J. Gough in New Hampshire contributed to this report.