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Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Media-Whore D'Oeuvres



"Iran, of course, is offering this deal in an effort to avoid sanctions, dividing and conquering by using the good auspices of U.N. Security Council non-permanent members Brazil and Turkey. These two states represent a third-world option designed to woo developing nations to Iran's side. They also represent two key votes on the 15-member Security Council, which is discussing whether to levy new sanctions on Iran to get it to stop enriching uranium. In the Alice in Wonderland world of diplomacy over Iran's nuclear program, it is sometimes hard to tell who is being hoisted on whose petard. Iranian nuclear agency chief Ali-Akbar Salehi said Monday that Iran had shown its 'goodwill, understanding, and the spirit of cooperation once again.' But White House spokesman Robert Gibbs pointed out that if Iran wants to strike the deal, not only is it ignoring previous Security Council sanctions to get it to stop enriching uranium, but it's getting others to up the level to 20 percent, or closer to weapons-grade—a far higher level than the purported use of producing isotopes for medical diagnosis. 'Iran has a history of shafting its interlocutors,' says one diplomat about whether Tehran would even honor the deal struck with Brazil and Turkey." (TheDailyBeast)



(Joey Arias and Paper's Kim Hastreiter via NYSD)

"On a lighter note, the 'euphoric' 'Arias With A Twist: The Docufantasy,' makes you smile in awe of the extraordinary creativity of this unique and dynamic partnership. It is the story of my ole pal, the brilliant cabaret and drag Artist, Joey Arias and his fantastic collaboration with master Basil Twist. One may recall Twist’s amazing 'Symphonie Fantastique' and Arias’s beautiful show with Cirque Du Soleil. 'Arias' also takes a trip down the creative era of the ‘70s and ‘80s, while noting the devastation of AIDS and the horrific impact on the creativity community. (Jill Lynne/NYSocialDiary)



"CBS is cleaning house. To make way for bumper crop of new productions starring the likes of Tom Selleck and James Belushi, the eye network has axed several underperforming series. The casualties include the sitcoms 'The New Adventures of Old Christine,' 'Gary Unmarried,' and 'Accidentally On Purpose' and the dramas 'The Ghost Whisperer,' 'Cold Case,' 'Numb3rs,' and 'Miami Medical,' TheWrap has confirmed. Spared in the bloodbath are 'Medium' and 'Rules of Engagement,' both of which CBS has renewed for next season." (TheWrap)



"It's war at Sony Music Group. Sources say Rob Stringer, chairman of Columbia/Epic, and Barry Weiss, group chairman/chief executive of RCA/Jive, are jockeying for power. 'The industry is shrinking. There is less room for both of them. It's like a couple of polar bears, and their iceberg is melting,' said one insider. 'All the employees know what is going on, and it is real.' It was even rumored that Weiss' deputy, Chief Operating Officer Ivan Gavin, nearly came to blows with Stringer's right-hand man, Steve Barnett, chairman of Columbia Records. But flacks for both men deny any altercation, and one rep described the tension between Stringer and Weiss merely as 'healthy competition.' Stringer, a Sony veteran of more than two decades, has one big advantage -- he's the younger brother of Sony Corp. chairman/CEO Sir Howard Stringer." (PageSix)



"Is this a hit record? I told myself I was swearing off Howard Stern, that I was going to listen to music in the car. And pushing the buttons, I stumbled on this on SiriusXM's Coffee House. It's got the lolling groove of a Jack Johnson song, the sing-songiness of Colbie Caillat's big hit and the jaunty irreverence of Jason Mraz's 'I'm Yours.' Which means it's completely derivative, but... I turned it off halfway through, I was at my destination, home. But as I was walking up the sidewalk, I found myself singing this song I'd only heard a minute of. Repeatability, singability, aren't those the keys to hits? I immediately fired up Safari and started searching. Needing to hear this track again. But it wasn't easy to find. The act's name is Loyola, meaning the results end up being every parochial school in America. But, I ultimately found the album on Amazon. With no comments. And more Googling put me on Loyola's MySpace page. Where I found the song only had 195 plays. In other words, it was not yet a smash. The label was an independent. The CD is out of stock. But somehow someone got to SiriusXM. If that someone was bigger, let's say Monty at Universal Republic, could 'Easier Life' be an utter smash? I'd say the odds are really good." (LefsetsLetter)



"Balancing an efficient, self-contained story that leaves viewers satisfied after 42 minutes with a more complicated narrative that weaves through 23 episodes is no easy task. Tilt one way, and you end up with yet another generic crime/corpse/case-of-the-week show. Tilt the other, and you can become so entangled in your own mythology that your audience quickly jumps ship (see every series that failed to become the new Lost). Which makes CBS’s The Good Wife—a series that deftly intermingles half a dozen story lines with some of the sharpest courtroom scenes since the ten-years-past heyday of Law & Order—the rarest of network shows." (NYMag)



"YouTube will today reveal that it serves up more than 2bn videos a day as it tries to persuade the world's content providers that it can offer 'TV-size audiences' to the very companies that had once lined up to denounce or even sue the video-sharing site. As the site starts to celebrate its fifth birthday, the explosion of content on YouTube has raised questions about how the costs of serving up so much video would affect its chances of making a profit. Last October, on the third anniversary of Google's $1.65bn acquisition, YouTube announced that it had passed 1bn views a day - although TechCrunch had reported in June that the figure had already passed 1.2bn. Google said last summer that YouTube would be 'very profitable . . . in the not too distant future' but financial details have been sparse. Barclays Capital estimated in January that YouTube would contribute to Google's earnings this year, when it forecast revenues of $700m." (FT)



"From Mode to Wisteria Lane. Ugly Betty co-star Vanessa Williams will join another ABC dramedy, Desperate Housewives, as a regular next season. She will play 'a housewife who’s sure to shake things up in the neighborhood.' Williams, who just wrapped a stint on Broadway’s Sondheim and Sondheim, should be a good fit on Desperate Housewives, which has a similar campy comedy feel to the recently cancelled Ugly Betty. Williams earned an Emmy nomination for her role as the villainous Wilhelmina Slater on Ugly Betty." (Deadline)




(image via theobserver)

"Under a featureless, cloud-ridden sky in early May, Michael Hirschorn was sitting in an empty room on a fold-out chair, the kind more typically reserved for unexpected dinner guests. He had commandeered a corner den in the new New York offices of his TV production company, Ish Entertainment, and was tugging on the ear cord of his BlackBerry, his head bobbing in tune to the conversation. The blankness of the room belied the urgency of whatever he was discussing. 'We need furniture,' Mr. Hirschorn said as he stepped out of the office and surveyed the landscape of boxes and plastic tables. 'It's taking longer than we thought.' Indeed, Mr. Hirschorn, 46, is moving faster than anyone can keep up. In a way, the recent expansion of his company is a fitting emblem of the growing cadre of independent TV producers that the network leviathans have increasingly come to rely upon to supply low-cost, high-value entertainment -- all just in time for the upfronts, of course." (ADAge)

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