Kudos to ‘Social Network,’ ‘Big Bang’ praisers

LA Times' Boucher wins press award; lifetime achievement to Jennifer Allen

The publicity teams behind Sony’s “The Social Network” and Warner Bros. Television and CBS’ “The Big Bang Theory” took the top film and TV honors at the 48th Publicists Awards Luncheon.

John Lasseter, chief creative officer of Disney and Pixar Animation Studios and principal creative advisor, Walt Disney Imagineering, received the motion picture showman of the year award, while Gary Newman and Dana Walden, 20th Century Fox TV chairs, took the TV showman of the year prize.

“Most days I find myself thanking Ryan (Murphy) for delivering another spectacular episode of ‘Glee’ and for delivering the spectacular Sofia Vergara,” Newman said.

Walden, a former publicist, called it “one of the hardest jobs” she’s ever had.

Arnold Schwarzenegger was on hand to present a lifetime achievement award to Sylvester Stallone, with the former governator joking about the old Hollywood trick to get a celebrity to attend: “You pay them or give them an award.”

“Arnold knew how to deal with the public,” thanks to his publicists, Stallone said after shaking Schwarzenegger’s hand and calling him “muscles.” “Now that I’m a has-been, I got it,” Stallone said.

Jennifer Allen won the Les Mason Lifetime Achievement Award.

“I’m proud of this,” said Allen, who recently co-founded Viewpoint Inc. with fellow PMK/HBH defector Melissa Kates, “but I consider this the half-lifetime award.”

Matt Damon took the stage in a bathrobe with glasses and disheveled hair, jokingly blaming Allen, his publicist, for not being available to help him get ready. “I had to get a suit, hair and makeup … and had to drive myself,” he said. “Why couldn’t Tony Angelotti win this thing?”

Thesps Michelle Monaghan, Bonnie Hunt and Jacqueline Bissett, and producers Steve Levitan and Ryan Murphy were among thecelebrity clients on hand to present awards to their publicists or creatives on stage.

International media honors resulted in a tie between Jose Ignacio Cuenca of Spain and Stevie Wong of Asia.

The Los Angeles Times’ Geoff Boucher received the press award. Rosalind Jarrett won the Bob Yeager award for community service.

For the Maxwell Weinberg Publicist Showmanship Awards for Television and Motion Pictures, “Social Network” bested Universal’s “Despicable Me,” WB’s “Inception,” Disney’s “Toy Story 3,” Paramount’s “Waiting for Superman” and 20th Century Fox’s “Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps.”

“Big Bang” beat Fox’s “Fringe,” CBS’ “The Good Wife,” The CW’s “Vampire Diaries” and AMC’s “The Walking Dead.”

The show opened with a tribute to publicists who had died during the past year, including Hallmark Channel’s Nancy Carr, who died last week, and Ronni Chasen, the veteran praiser shot in her car three months ago. Vivian Mayer-Siskind offered remarks about her close friend, saying Chasen visited her the night before her death to give her this advice: “Keep it short.”

Event, which “Entertainment Tonight” hosts Mark Steines and Kevin Frazier emceed, took place Friday at the Beverly Hilton Hotel.

Publicists are part of the IATSE’s Intl. Cinematographers Guild, Local 600.

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