Legal dispute over show's prod'n underway

With a legal dispute under way over the rights to produce the Golden Globes, the glacial pace of the judicial process has raised a pressing question: Just how will the 2012 show go on?

On Monday, the Hollywood Foreign Press Assn. released a statement saying that “regardless of the legal proceedings,” the org will present the Globes “as scheduled in January 2012.”

In November, the org sued longtime Globes producer Dick Clark Prods., charging that the company negotiated an extension of the telecast agreement with NBC without their approval.

DCP and its owner, Red Zone Capital Partners, are seeking to have the case dismissed, arguing that their contract is still in force and does not have any clause specifying consent.

Barring a settlement, the court will decide on the conflicting interpretations of the contract.

“The show will go on, with or without DCP,” the HFPA said.

Concerns about the schedule surfaced in a brief filed in U.S. District Court last week, when both sides sketched out timelines for discovery, pre-trial hearings and the trial. DCP proposes a trial start of Dec. 1, while the HFPA is pitching March 5, 2012.

In the brief, attorneys for the HFPA said that a December trial would not allow “sufficient time to take reasonable commercial steps for the production and distribution of the television broadcast” — expected to be Jan. 8 or Jan. 15, 2012.

The HFPA “anticipates that it may need to seek preliminary or expedited relief” so that it may “locate a producer, license the broadcast rights” and handle other aspects of the kudocast.

But DCP said that it does not see “any basis” for such an expedited schedule. It is seeking to dismiss the case, with a hearing set for March 7.

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