Joe Roth’s still-unnamed shingle is inching closer to a domestic distributor in Sony, Fox, Paramount or DreamWorks. Meanwhile, Rob Moore has quietly moved into the company’s temporary West Los Angeles offices to help run the show.
For all intents and purposes, Moore will serve as the company’s chief operating officer, though, for now, he wears no titles. He will ultimately oversee a staff of roughly 25.
Sources said Roth plans to make six movies a year and that his company will be capitalized to a tune of at least $500 million. It remains unclear, however, who will be the principal investors in the Roth shingle.
Moore, who ankled the Mouse House soon after Roth’s departure, will oversee day-to-day operations of the film company. He will also be responsible for seeking out new business opportunities — particularly the development of a company Internet strategy.
“We will be a small company with everyone working together,” said Moore. “We will not be a bureaucracy. We intend to deliver quality entertainment, whether it be motion picture or Internet content.”
Elaborating on the company’s evolving Internet strategy, Moore said, “We will be looking for ways to assist audiences in connecting to motion pictures before they get released. We think that is an important aspect of film production going forward.”
Moore added the company plans to hire a senior creative person. Talk continues to center on Todd Garner as a likely candidate. (Garner recently ankled his post as co-prexy of the Buena Vista Motion Picture Group).
In March, Roth inked a deal with Julia Roberts and is expected to close a similar arrangement with Bruce Willis and several other top creative talents. Unlike studio first-look pacts, however, these deals will require that the talent commit to work with Roth.
Agents open 6-month SAG window
Hollywood’s talent agents have put the Screen Actors Guild on official notice that it must come to the bargaining table to renegotiate its entire contract during the next six months.
The Assn. of Talent Agents delivered its proposals last week to SAG —which is planning to strike next week against the advertising industry over its commercials contract — to mark the formal start of a six-month negotiating window between the organizations. “Changes must be made to SAG’s charter to insure the survival of the agency business in today’s competitive marketplace,” the ATA said in a statement.
The trade group said it supports SAG’s goals in its negotiations with the ad industry. “However, today’s economic environment forces us to move forward without delay,” it added.
The ATA had spent a year in negotiations with SAG to revamp the financial-interest segment so that agents could indirectly own and be owned by production companies in exchange for enhanced protections for actors. But the deal, which the ATA believed had been concluded, fell apart in March amid worries by SAG’s leadership that the agreement would create unacceptable conflicts of interest for agents.
NBC tucks ‘SNL’ redux for sweeps
Alert the tube police: NBC will break one of those cardinal rules of TV scheduling during May sweeps.
The Peacock has scheduled a repeat of its 1999 special “Saturday Night Live: The 25th Anniversary” on May 14 from 8-11 p.m., opposite the heavily hyped “Jesus” on CBS and the second hour of “Mulan” on ABC.
Even as more reruns have been slipping into recent sweeps skeds (witness ABC’s move to repeat theatricals just days after their initial airings), it’s still pretty unusual to schedule a repeat on one of the major Sunday night battlegrounds.
In its defense, NBC blames the last-minute change on an initial scheduling mix-up: The web says it originally skedded the “SNL” special on a Saturday, but the same night as the “SNL” season finale.
To avoid stealing the last episode’s thunder, NBC swapped the “SNL” special with the theatrical “The Rainmaker,” originally slated to air May 14.
Rival web execs testify that NBC probably (and rightfully) figured the repeat “SNL” special — which did boffo in its initial, live September telecast — would perform better than “The Rainmaker.”
NBC isn’t the only web making some interesting scheduling moves next month. Talk about your reruns: ABC will air a 25-year-old movie— “Jaws” — on Saturday, May 6.
— Michael Schneider