Globes return to NBC despite legal fight

2012 kudocast scheduled for Jan. 15

The Hollywood Foreign Press Assn. and Dick Clark Prods. have reached a temporary truce in their ongoing legal battle that will allow the 2012 Golden Globe Awards kudocast to go on.

The kudocast has been scheduled for Jan. 15 on NBC.

However, the standoff between the two organizations, which has been delayed in court due to the judge’s illness, will continue, according to a joint statement released by DCP, HFPA and NBC. “The parties are pleased to have reached an agreement relating to the 2012 GoldenGlobe Awards, while preserving their respective positions.”

The trial had been scheduled to start on Tuesday, but that was postponed after U.S. District Judge Valerie Baker Fairbank withdrew from the case. It has been reassigned to Judge Howard A. Matz, but a new date has not been officially set.

Even before the delay, time was running short to solidify plans for the 2012 telecast.

The HFPA sued DCP in November, claiming that its longtime producer did not have the rights to forge a long-term pact with NBC that would run from 2012 through 2018. But DCP has contended that its contract gave it the rights to produce the telecast as long as it was able to secure an agreement with the Peacock network.

The trial promises to be heavy in technical details about contract interpretation, but it also holds the possibility of exposing past rifts within the HFPA as well as the business practices of DCP. In one of her last orders before leaving the case, Fairbank ruled that CBS Corp. chief Leslie Moonves would be allowed to testify via videoconference about discussions he had with HFPA about the Eye network gaining rights to broadcast the ceremony.

No host has been announced for the 2012 event, but Ricky Gervais, who created some controversy as host of this year’s Globes, wrote on his blog that he’s looking into doing a commentary podcast next year.

“People at home can have the telly on with the sound down listening to us online say things that no broadcaster could get away with,” he wrote. He wrote in another post that the response to his idea has been “amazing.” “Not only was the idea received well, but we’ve had offers of sponsorship, technical support and a bunch of comedians up for it,” Gervais said.

He added, “If I actually do it, it will show people how tame my official hosting was last year. I still can’t quite understand how anyone would think I overstepped the mark, was cruel, or pushed any boundaries of taste and decency. It was a network-friendly gentle ribbing of the industry. Nothing more. I didn’t even dress as Hitler in the end.”