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October 25, 2014

nikki finke

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.

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New Tonight Show deal for Leno?

by Joel Keller, posted Jan 14th 2010 5:47PM
Jay LenoAnd the hits in the new late-night war keep on coming:

(UPDATE: TV Guide Magazine says this deal is confirmed.)

TMZ is reporting that NBC signed Jay Leno to a contract to host The Tonight Show from 11:35 PM - 12:35 AM. Of course, TMZ being TMZ, this might just be a rumor.

However, given the fact that -- if Nikki Finke is to be believed -- that Jeff Zucker and the execs at NBC are trying to take a hard line with Conan, and Bill Simmons is saying that Conan's version of Tonight will end next Friday, the pieces of this puzzle might be falling into place.

I don't think we need to go over all the bloody details again, but we all know that Conan is getting the shaft here. Even if you weren't a fan of Conan's Tonight (Conan fan Bryan Curtis of The Daily Beast did a great piece today on why the show just isn't working), the guy doesn't deserve to get jerked around like this.

Now, here's the question: Did Jay get what he ultimately wanted, which was to never leave 11:35?

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What Saved NBC's 'Trauma' From Cancellation?

by Elizabeth Chan, posted Nov 19th 2009 2:56PM
'Trauma' saves itself out of cancellation. Less than a month after announcing it was going to cancel 'Trauma', NBC has had a change of heart.

Nikki Finke's Deadline Hollywood reported Thursday that the network would be continuing it's original order for the series and plans an additional order for a few more episodes.

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Get a taste of the Wanda Sykes show through her writer's packet

by Danny Gallagher, posted Jul 24th 2009 3:05PM
Wanda SykesIf Wanda Sykes' appearance at the White House TV Correspondent's Dinner was a taste of her new FOX late night show, then get ready for the appetizer.

Nikki Finke's Deadline Hollywood Daily scored a copy of the audition packet the show's producers sent out to prospective comedy writers that included a few choice bits that would make David Letterman's Sarah Palin punchline squad blush.

These are not bits that have been confirmed as part of Sykes' first show. They are just examples designed to guide the prospective writer towards the kind of work they are looking to produce when the show hits the air next fall. But even for random examples, they make my diseased mind wonder what could actually get on the air and how many strokes it will cause for elderly housewives across the nation.

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Problems with Parks and Recreation?

by Joel Keller, posted Mar 23rd 2009 11:36AM
Parks and Recreation
When I first saw the headline from this Nikki Finke report on NBC's Parks and Recreation, the highly-anticipated collaboration between Amy Poehler and the folks who write and produce The Office, I thought the story might be about set tension or significant rewrites or even those ever-so-useful "notes" from the network.

But it turns out that the article was about notes the network got as part of a "Consumer And Market Intelligence Research Summary." Basically, the pilot went through audience testing, and the test audience saw some problems. In the 12-page report (nine of which are charts and graphs, as Finke takes pains to point out), the test audience liked a lot of the pilot, but thought it dragged in parts, was too similar to The Office in tone, that Poehler's character needed to have "more energy and enthusiasm," and that there are "there are no 'datable' men in the cast."

To that, I say: who gives a flying crap?

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What the hell? Lionsgate calling around for a new Mad Men show-runner

by Joel Keller, posted Oct 29th 2008 9:55AM
Matthew WeinerAmong the Hollywood industry insider columnists, Nikki Finke's hit rate is pretty high, so it's troubling to read a report from her about the acrimonious contract negotiations between Lionsgate and Mad Men creator Matthew Weiner. It's gotten so bad that Finke is reporting that Lionsgate is calling around looking for someone to replace Weiner as show-runner.

As everyone else in the industry is saying: What the hell?

Mad Men just finished its second season with record ratings. It's the first basic cable show to win an Emmy for Best Drama, and Weiner is the show's heart and soul. Believe me when I tell you that it's his vision and attention to detail that you see in every scene. Weiner gave critics a tour of the sets during the July TCAs, and he was able to speak about the look and feel of the show as easily as he was able to talk about the stories and characters. I can't imagine anyone else running the show, even if it's someone that's already on staff.

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More dark days ahead for NBC

by Brett Love, posted Sep 1st 2008 9:38AM

NBC logoI don't think it's really going out on a limb to predict that NBC is going to find itself back in that familiar fourth place spot once this new season gets underway. It's become almost comical to look at what has happened to the network since the days of the unstoppable Must See Thursdays. Now though, as we head into the new season, I find that I only have interest in two of their new shows.

With one of them, My Own Worst Enemy, I seem to be in the minority. I'm having trouble finding anyone else that doesn't want to dismiss it out of hand as an inferior Jekyll. And the other, Kings, won't be premiering any time soon. The network isn't without its prizes. Chuck, Heroes, and The Office are all very good, but I don't expect any giant gains in ratings for any of them. Those would have to come from the new shows, and I'm just not seeing that happening. It's not a good way to kick off a new season, and that's just the start of the troubles. Nikki Finke is now reporting that the impending doom of the new schedule, combined with a host of other troubles, will bring about a shakeup at the top of the network.

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Moonlight isn't done yet...

by Brett Love, posted May 14th 2008 9:21AM

MoonlightMoonlight is not going to just go away quietly and join that long list of one-and-done shows. People keep saying it's over, but apparently not everyone is listening. The latest rumor, from Nikki Finke's blog, has the show landing at the CW. And how would that work, considering that the CW has already made their schedule? I'm glad you asked.

You may recall a post from a few days ago about the network throwing in the towel on Sunday nights. That has now been confirmed with their upfront announcements. Sundays have now been outsourced. Moonlight comes back into the picture as a possibility to fill one of those two hours for Media Rights Capital, the new programmers for Sunday nights. If they could get even 60 to 70 percent of the show's viewers to make the move with them, it could be the most watched show on the network. Something that sounds very plausible given the loyal following the show has developed. It's still firmly in long-shot territory, but has the makings of quite a story.

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NBC renews Friday Night Lights with the help of DirecTV

by Joel Keller, posted Mar 6th 2008 10:19AM
Friday Night LightsFans of the perpetually unwatched but much-loved NBC show Friday Night Lights have a reason to rejoice this morning: the show has been renewed for a third season, according to Nikki Finke.

NBC executives had been looking for a way to renew their low-rated show, mostly through cost-sharing deals with other networks. They finally found a partner: DirecTV. No details of the deal were given; all we know right now is that the satellite company and the Peacock folks will share the costs of producing the show and will both air the show across multiple platforms.

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Tentative deal reached in writers' strike... but are the members happy?

by Joel Keller, posted Feb 9th 2008 1:39PM
Writer's strikeAccording to Variety, the WGA and the AMPTP reached a tentative settlement of the three month-old writers' strike early this morning. The presidents of the east and west coast guilds of the WGA sent this letter, which announces the agreement and gives information on the membership meetings that are being held today to discuss the terms of the deal. According to this PDF of the contract terms, it looks like the writers are going to get some credit and money if their writing is used for new media purposes, like on the internet or on moblie phones. It just doesn't look like they're going to get as much as they were looking for.

And that might be a problem. According to Nikki Finke, she's hearing that the rank-and-file members of the guild have been expressing displeasure at the terms of the contract in today's meetings, with the feeling that the union leadership is "ramming this deal down our throats," as one of her sources told her.

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As the strike winds down, what's next?

by Joel Keller, posted Feb 8th 2008 9:35AM
Honk 4 writersDepending on who you want to listen to -- or believe -- the end of the writers' strike is a done deal. Michael Eisner, former Disney CEO and current CNBC host, thinks "it's over," as he told the network's Fast Money show. Nikki Finke, in her usual subtle way, takes pains to debunk Eisner's expertise on the matter, saying that "Eisner hasn't mattered since 2004-2005 when he was kicked to the curb by Disney and its shareholders."

Still, Finke does give a timeline of how she's been informed the next few days will go; tomorrow seems to be the crucial day, as the WGA membership on both coasts will have "informational meetings" before the governing board of each coast's guild decides whether to put the tentative deal up for a vote. If the informational meetings go well, the union bigwigs may call off the strike before the vote, anticipating the deal will win with the rank-and-file.

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Strike photo of the day: Jerry Stiller!

by Bob Sassone, posted Dec 11th 2007 5:19PM

Jerry StillerI saw this picture over at Nikki Finke's Deadline Hollywood Daily site and I had to post it here. It's Jerry Stiller on the picket lines in New York City, supporting the writers during the current strike.

But something strikes me as wrong about the photo. It's fine and dandy that it says "Solidarity," but wouldn't it be even funnier if it said "Serenity Now!"? His famous line from Seinfeld not only fits the situation but would also illustrate that, hey, that line was actually written by a television writer. I'm sure that someone in that picket line must have said that to him during the day.

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Out of the Blogosphere

by Bob Sassone, posted Sep 16th 2007 9:01AM

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Leno hinting at another show in 2009?

by Bob Sassone, posted Jun 7th 2007 2:41PM
LenoI don't usually watch Jay Leno's show, unless he has a particularly interesting guest on, and I'll watch "Headlines" every Monday night (it really says something about your show when the funniest, most entertaining thing about it is something like "Headlines"), but he made a joke the other night that made Deadline Hollywood columnist Nikki Finke think that he might be hinting at having another show on another network when he leaves NBC.

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Is Kevin Reilly finally gone from NBC?

by Joel Keller, posted May 29th 2007 9:38AM
Kevin ReillyIt's a rumor that's been going around Hollywood for years; heck, we even mistakenly thought this was going to happen last year. But now it looks like NBC Universal president Jeff Zucker has finally had enough and is replacing the president of NBC Entertainment, Kevin Reilly.

Over the weekend, Nikki Finke of LA Weekly reported on her blog that Reilly will be replaced by two people: producer Ben Silverman, whose company brought The Office and Ugly Betty to the U.S., will be in charge of the entertainment side and Marc Graboff, currently NBCU Television's West Coast chief, will run the business side. Bill Carter of The New York Times is also reporting on the change, but in a less definitive manner.

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