AND THE ANGELS SING -- FOR HBO
HBO's miniseries Angels in America won a record 11 Emmy Awards Sunday night (tying with 1976's Eleanor and Franklin), receiving an award in every major category for which it was nominated, including best actor (Al Pacino), best actress (Meryl Streep), best director (Mike Nichols), best writer (Tony Kushner), and best miniseries. HBO's The Sopranos took the best drama series award. Another HBO production, Something the Lord Made, was voted best made-for-TV movie. Fox's critical hit (but ratings failure) Arrested Development won for best comedy series. CBS's The Amazing Race earned the best reality show award, while Comedy Central's the Daily Show With Jon Stewart took the best variety, music, or comedy series Emmy. In the most surprising upset, James Spader won the award for best actor in a drama series (The Practice), while Kelsey Grammer won for best actor in a comedy series (Frasier). Allison Janney (The West Wing) and Sarah Jessica Parker (Sex and the City) won in the respective best-actress categories. The awards telecast performed poorly in the ratings, drawing a second-place 9.0 rating and 15 share in the 8:00 (beaten by CBS's Cold Case), then moving ahead at 9:00 with a 10.0/15 and at 10:00 with a 9.7/16. But the highest rated show of the night was CBS's 60 Minutes, which did a 12.4/23 at 7:00 and lifted CBS to a first-place win for the night.
CBS'S STONEWALL CRUMBLES
CBS's strong defense of the documentation that it used to support claims that President Bush shirked his duties in the National Guard and received favored treatment to get into it is expected to come crashing down as early as today with a statement saying that it was misled about the authenticity of the material, several publications reported today (Monday). Today's Washington Post said that the statement was being drafted even as CBS anchor Dan Rather was flying to Texas to tape an interview with Bill Burkett, the retired Texas National Guard officer who is believed to have provided 60 Minutes with the contested documents. The New York Times added that Burkett's answers to Rather's questions led CBS officials to conclude that "their initial confidence [in the memos] was not warranted." In its report, the Times observed: "Several people familiar with the situation said they were girding for a particularly tough week for Mr. Rather and the news division should the network announce its new doubts." CNSNews.com, a unit of the conservative Media Research Center, reported on Friday that Burkett, in a commentary for the Internet site Online Journal wrote on August 23rd that he had "reassembled" Bush's National Guard files.
TALK-SHOW HOST SAYS CBS STATION FIRED HIM OVER RATHER COMMENT
A Seattle radio talk-show host claimed Saturday that he had been dumped after three years on the air after criticizing Dan Rather's broadcasts about President Bush's National Guard service. Brian Maloney's show aired on KIRO-AM, a CBS affiliate. "What they have expressed is essentially that my show went in a direction they're not comfortable with," Maloney told the Associated Press on Saturday. On his broadcasts, he had called for Rather's resignation or dismissal following the furor over the authenticity of documents used by Rather during a 60 Minutes broadcast to back claims that the president had shirked duties in the Texas National Guard during the Vietnam War. ""I really felt [Rather] was taking the network's credibility down with him," Maloney remarked Saturday. Spokespersons for the station declined to comment.
NEWS MAGAZINES WIN ON FRIDAY
News magazines dominated the Nielsen ratings on Friday night, with NBC's Dateline winning the 8:00 p.m. hour with a 6.8/12 and a 20/20 clip show serving as a tribute to departing host Barbara Walters taking the 9:00 and 10:00 p.m. hours with a 6.9/13 and 8.4/15 respectively. ABC also performed strongly on Saturday, winning all three primetime hours, starting at 8:00 with America's Funniest Home Videos, which pulled a 4.0/8, and continuing with its telecast of the Miss America contest, which drew a 5.5/10 at 9:00 p.m. and a 7.3/14 at 10:00 p.m.
SURVIVOR PRODUCER WANTS TO HELP MARTHA SURVIVE
Marc Burnett, creator of Survivor and The Apprentice has told the New York Daily News that he would be "very interested in reinventing" Martha Stewart Living once the so-called domestic diva is released from her five-month prison stint and projected five months of home-confinement. ""There's a lot she has to get through in the short run, so I look forward to working with her in 2005," he told the newspaper.
LONG LOST JIMI HENDRIX FOOTAGE DISCOVERED
Original footage of a Jimi Hendrix concert taped in Stockholm in 1969 but never shown in its entirety has been discovered in the vaults of SVT, the Swedish public broadcaster, the BBC reported today (Monday). The 56-minute concert features Hendrix performing with the Jimi Hendrix Experience and was discovered as the network was preparing to transfer its archived material to digital. An SVT spokeswoman said that the network is searching to determine whether it has the rights to broadcast the concert. "This is great material that we would love to show," she said.
NO. 1 FILM IS A LOSER
In what amounted to a somewhat Pyrrhic victory, Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow took the No. 1 spot at the domestic box office over the weekend, but the $70-million film grossed just $16.2 million, and most analysts predicted a big fall-off during its second week. Wayne Lewellen, Paramount's distribution chief, blamed the September play date for the poor box office performance. In an interview with the Associated Press, Lewellen remarked, "I thought we had a great date in June prior to the opening of [Spider-Man 2]. Unfortunately, [the producers] couldn't deliver the picture [then]." The baseball flick Mr. 3000 opened in second place with $9.2 million, while last week's winner, Resident Evil: Apocalypse, plunged 61 percent to take third place with $9 million. Debuting in fourth place was the romantic comedy Wimbledon with $7.8 million. Total sales for the top 12 films was a dismal $66.1 million, down 27 percent from the comparable weekend a year ago.
The top ten films for the weekend, according to studio estimates compiled by Exhibitor Relations:
1. Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow, $16.2 million; 2. Mr. 3000, $9.2 million; 3. Resident Evil: Apocalypse, $9 million; 4. Wimbledon, $7.8 million; 5. Cellular, $6.87 million; 6. Without a Paddle, $3.7 million; 7. Hero, $2.95 million; 8. Napoleon Dynamite, $2.4 million; 9. Collateral, $2.3 million; 10. Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement, $2 million.
MGM BUYERS ARE QUIBBLING, MAGAZINE SAYS
Members of the Sony-led consortium who recently reached an agreement "in principle" to buy MGM are already quibbling over the deal, Newsweek is reporting in its current (Sept. 27) issue. Sony's partners include Providence Equity Partners and Texas Pacific Group, as well as Brian Roberts of Comcast, -- each of whom, according to Newsweek, is still attempting to structure the deal so they can cash out quickly with a big profit. The news weekly reported that the partners have already persuaded Sony to reduce the distribution and marketing fee it plans to charge to handle the MGM library to 7.5 percent rather than the standard 10-15 percent so that MGM will be able to meet its financial goals faster and enable its partners to exit quickly.
LELOUCH GIVES AWAY FREE TICKETS FOR HIS FILM
French director Claude Lelouch said today (Monday) that he had spent $182,700 of his own money in an effort to counter negative critical reaction to his latest film, Les Parisiens (The Parisians). (One newspaper critic called it "exaggerated and insignificant;" another, "pathetic;" still another, "indigestible.") Lelouch invited anyone who wanted to see the film to pick up a ticket without charge on Friday night. "I've taken this decision following an unprecedented media lynching," he told the French radio network RTL. The 40,000 people who took him up on his offer, he said, "were enthusiastic. ... People loved it." In fact, Lelouch claimed, some audiences gave the movie a standing ovation. "I've never seen anything like it. It's a popular uprising, it's Bastille day," he exclaimed.
GERMANS DRAWN TO HITLER AGAIN
More than 100,000 Germans packed theaters throughout the country Thursday night to see The Downfall, starring Bruno Ganz in the role of Adolf Hitler. Critics were deeply divided over the film, particularly because some of the scenes depict the wartime German leader sympathetically. However, British historian Ian Kershaw, who has written a respected book about Hitler, told the BBC. "Of all the portrayals of Hitler, this is the first which I found convincing."