10:00am PT by Chris Gardner
Emmys: How to Get a CAA Party Invite (Hint: Leave AMC)
Before Joel Stillerman became chief content officer of Hulu this summer, he was president of original programming and development at AMC Networks. And for the past three years, he and his AMC colleagues have been personae non gratae at CAA events, sources contend, due to an increasingly nasty legal dispute with ex-Walking Dead showrunner Frank Darabont and the agency over profits from the show.
Lo and behold, on Sept. 15, new Hulu exec Stillerman was welcomed into a party that was off-limits to AMC execs, surprising bystanders as he pressed the flesh with talent and top agents at the pre-Emmys Bouchon fete. Those in attendance included Reese Witherspoon, Laura Dern, David E. Kelley, Ava DuVernay, Geoffrey Rush, Lisa Kudrow, Samira Wiley, Kevin Bacon, Jon Hamm, Tony Goldwyn, Sarah Paulson, Emmy Rossum, Seth MacFarlane, NBA star Dwyane Wade, NBC’s Bob Greenblatt and Jennifer Salke, and uberproducer Ryan Murphy.
It's understandable the two companies would want to keep their distance in social situations considering the $280 million lawsuit. Darabont and his reps at CAA are claiming that AMC cheated them by imputing an artificially low license fee for the wildly popular cable television series. The dispute has been going on for years, but earlier this month, the first step was taken toward a possible trial when summary judgment oral arguments were presented in front of New York Supreme Court Justice Eileen Bransten.
As for Stillerman, he hasn't cut ties with AMC entirely. He was spotted at Hulu's electric Emmys afterparty where the company hosted high-energy guests to celebrate the first-ever best drama series with for a streaming service thanks to The Handmaid's Tale. Stillerman was spotted having a conversation and posing for photos with Jon Hamm, who starred on AMC's Mad Men.
A version of this story first appeared in the Sept. 20 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.