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October 9, 2015

Could Nikki Finke Sue HBO?

by Joel Keller, posted Feb 8th 2010 2:02PM
HBO logoLast week, when Annie posted about the series HBO is developing the comedy 'Tilda,' about the life of "a powerful female online showbiz journalist with a no-holds-barred style," the first person I thought of was Nikki Finke, who writes the blog Deadline Hollywood.

In fact, pretty much everyone who works in entertainment journalism thought of Finke; she's reclusive, opinionated, confrontational, litigious, and likes to punctuate news that corroborates with her inside info with a big fat "TOLDJA!" in all caps. So it's not a surprise to think that more than one person had to wonder if Finke was involved in this show, and if she wasn't, would she sic her lawyers after HBO and anyone else within subpoena-shot.

Gawker called Finke, who, in between threats to sue the site's writer and corporate parent, said she'd talk about her involvement (or lack therof) with the project soon. But The Hollywood Reporter managed to find out that Finke wasn't involved, leading to their wondering if Finke has the right to sue over this series.

The answer, like almost everything in life, is "it depends." More than likely, if the character of Tilda is, as HBO claims, a composite of a number of different Hollywood bloggers, Finke won't have much of a leg to stand on. If it seems like the character is too much like a specific person or references too many specific events in that person's life, then Finke may have a case.

It all depends on the execution, but her case will have to be a good one: If Bill and Hillary Clinton didn't sue over 'Primary Colors,' what kind of case would Nikki Finke have over 'Tilda?'

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Finke and her cohort Fleming at Deadline Hollywood are condescending elitists. They encourage comments to their articles, whose subjects are usually interesting, but the writing is what you'd expect from a high school newsletter. They don't tolerate disagreement and vigorously censor anything that departs from their editorial stance, which is that of shills for their favorite studios. They don't want the truth, let alone can't handle it.

April 21 2010 at 3:46 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Hey maybe this will stop Nikki from ragging on on NBC for a few seconds. That might be fun.

February 08 2010 at 6:11 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to izikavazo's comment

Why? Her ramblings on NBC and zucker are fun to read. It tells as much about the stupidity of NBC as it does about Nikki's stubbornness. Also: what percentage of TV Squad readership knows who Finke is?

February 08 2010 at 10:45 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Regarding Primary Colors -- the Clintons are public figures in politics, and it seems that there's more leeway for media to cover and parody politicians. At least the names were changed in Primary Colors. Oliver Stone didn't even bother changing the names of the guilty in his movie W about George W. Bush. But if HBO wants to base a TV series on a specific person, without their involvement, that might be a little tricky and open them up to possible litigation if they don't handle it properly.
-- Nick from City of Kik http://nickleshi.blogspot.com

February 08 2010 at 2:35 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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