5 items from 2006
26 October 2006 | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »
NEW YORK -- "No one went away from Viacom that rich since Dave Chappelle," MTV Networks' chief Judy McGrath joked Wednesday about her former boss during a rollicking but affectionate roast of recently ousted Viacom president and CEO Tom Freston as part of the Center for Communication's annual Frank Stanton Award luncheon.
In addition to McGrath, those getting a few gentle jabs in at Freston included News Corp. president Peter Chernin, BET Networks chairman Debra Lee and Stephen Colbert, star of Comedy Central's The Colbert Report. There was no shortage of ribbing delivered about the size of Freston's severance package, which Viacom disclosed last week was worth more than $60 million (HR 10/19).
Visibly moved, Freston told the audience in a packed ballroom at the Pierre hotel that he hasn't decided what the next step in his career will be.
"I'm taking my time," he told the packed ballroom, where the crowd included new Viacom CEO Philippe Dauman, CBS Corp. president and CEO Leslie Moonves, News Corp. chairman and CEO Rupert Murdoch and wife Wendi, the Weinstein Co.'s Harvey Weinstein, Imagine Entertainment's Brian Grazer, producer Russell Simmons, MTVN president and chief operating officer Michael Wolf, New York City film commissioner Katherine Oliver and Center for Communication chairman Richard Bressler. "But I got my creative juices flowing already," Freston said.
He said he hopes that any future professional challenge will be "as exciting as the last." He thanked former colleagues at MTV Networks, saying that "nothing will ever change the good feelings I have for Viacom."
- Quick Links > Mr. Burnout > Paul Dinello > Strangers with Candy Paul Dinello (Strangers With Candy) has signed on to direct Mr. Burnout from a screenplay by Eric Gravning. Nala Films’ Emilio Diez Barroso and Darlene Caamano Loquet will produce. Mr. Burnout is the story of an English teacher who turns into a cynical curmudgeon after ten years of teaching. He takes a bet, wagered by a female colleague that he’ll try to romance, that he can get three of his worst students into the Ivy League. Shooting is scheduled to kick off in January 2007. This will be Dinello’s first film since he hit Sundance in 2005 with the feature-length addition of the Comedy Central semi-hit “Strangers With Candy,” which he created alongside current Comedy Central star and the neo-Steve Carell, Steven Colbert. Dinello also serves as “consultant” on The Colbert Report, and appears frequently in the role of Tad. »
Paramount Pictures has acquired a pitch by multihyphenate Rob Corddry titled The Donor. Corddry, a regular on Comedy Central's The Daily Show With Jon Stewart, will topline the comedy. The story, which is being kept under wraps, was conceived by Corddry along with Daily Show colleagues Stewart and executive producer Ben Karlin. Corddry will pen the screenplay with Brian Huskey and Jason Mantzoukas. Paramount's Gail Berman and Eben Davidson are shepherding the project for the studio. The deal highlights Berman and Paramount's mandate to mine homegrown talent; Paramount and Comedy Central are sister companies under the Viacom umbrella. Karlin, who also is executive producer of The Colbert Report, and Stewart are producing the film through their Bus Boy Entertainment shingle. Corddry will executive produce. »
He's not a news commentator, but he plays one on TV. He's an actor, a producer, a writer, a satirist. A very good satirist at that. His credits include The Daily Show With Jon Stewart, Strangers With Candy, Saturday Night Live and his current regular gig, The Colbert Report, the nightly Comedy Central spoof of TV news talk. Obviously, very little is out of bounds with this guy. So, now that we've presented a sampling of Stephen Colbert's pretty darn consistent curriculum vitae, the question must be posed: Why in the world is anyone -- anyone -- condemning Colbert for having the temerity to take shots at President Bush to his face at the recent White House Correspondents Dinner? »
Viacom's Comedy Central is breaking the mold of iTunes television pricing. Full episodes of The Daily Show With Jon Stewart and The Colbert Report will be available either singly or at a significantly lower cost when purchased using a new option called Multi-Pass. The two shows also are the first daily programs to be offered on Apple's iTunes Music Store. Individual episodes are priced at the standard $1.99. The Multi-Pass alternative costs $9.99 for the next 16 first-run episodes, each automatically delivered to the consumer's computer the day after it airs. Repeats are not included. Apple vp iTunes Eddy Cue said Multi-Pass should not be considered as Apple moving toward offering subscriptions. »
5 items from 2006
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