Showbiz mediaspeak: what does it all mean?

FEW PEOPLE IN HOLLYWOOD need a translation for phrases like “urban audiences,” “creative differences” and “We have high hopes for this one.”

But thanks to a boom in entertainment reporting — endless magazines, cable channels, syndicated half-hours and local-news segs — showbizzers have created an explosion of mediaspeak. Press releases, faxes, public statements and press conferences try to address all questions without really answering any.

And the obfuscation is not only work-related. Everyone in Hollywood is so anxious to put on a happy face that they’re attempting to put a positive spin on their private lives as well.

As another in a long line in a series of public services, here are a few common phrases, and helpful translations.

“We wish him well in his future endeavors.” — “Change the lock on his office and have security escort him out of here.”

“My quote was taken out of context.” — “I got in big trouble after the article appeared.”

“He had been on prescription pain killers.” — “He’s so drugged up, we’re not sure which one caused the collapse.”

“It may be released as a theatrical feature.” — “I’d rather die than admit I just spent two years making a TV movie.”

“Hello! How are you, nice to see you again, you look great, call me!” — “Who are you and where do I know you from?”

“I’m very excited by the possibilities of new media.” — “I’m taking a job with an Internet startup because I couldn’t get work anywhere else.”

“It was a real crowd-pleaser.” — “It was crap, but it made a fortune.”

“It was a critically acclaimed work.” — “Audiences hated it and it made no money.”

“It’s a labor of love.” — “Won’t make a dime.”

“It was a big hit at this year’s Sundance Festival.” — “The audience liked it, but then, they were short of oxygen at that altitude.”

“She has worked out an indie production deal with the studio.” — “She got the ax.”

“First off, I loved your script.” — “We’re not buying, go away.”

“We have no further comment.” — “Go away.”

“She’s in a meeting, can I have her call you back?” — “Go away.”

“We’ve taken it off the network schedule for the time being.” — “It’s canceled, but contractually we can’t say that.”

“We’re retooling the pilot.” — “With the show’s creator at Betty Ford, we’re looking for a new team of writers.”

“He’s the next big action star.” — “He can’t act, but the explosions may distract you.”

“He’s the next John Travolta.” — “We’re desperately hoping for a comeback.”

“The network never gave us a chance.” — “It’s not my fault the series tanked.”

“It was a great experience and I learned a lot.” — “OK, it was a clunker.”

“I’m especially proud of this.” — “Everything I do is wonderful.”

“We think we have a good shot at the Oscar.” — “Everything I do is wonderful.”

“This project was an amazing experience for all of us.” — “Everything I do is wonderful.”

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