The Friday night agency party crawl has become a staple of Emmy weekend.
The fortunate few who were invited to all of them had the high-class problem of mapping a route that wound through the home of UTA managing partner Jay Sures in Brentwood, the Little Holmby digs of Gersh’s Leslie Siebert, Bouchon (CAA) in Beverly Hills and Catch LA (WME) in West Hollywood.
Among the Emmy weekend warriors on the circuit were Fox Television Group’s Dana Walden and NBCUniversal Cable’s Bonnie Hammer. Both of them also managed to make time to stop in at the Variety/Women in Film bash at Gracias Madre, just down the street from WME’s gathering.
Bouchon was packed with A-listers who wound their way through every nook-and-cranny of the famed Thomas Keller eatery. Showrunners “Better Call Saul’s” Peter Gould talked up production for season three of his AMC hit and “Mr. Robot’s” Sam Esmail tried to avoid giving away any spoilers for the upcoming finale. TV Academy chairman and newly anointed Disney/ABC exec Bruce Rosenblum accepted congratulations for his new gig.
Stars Milo Ventimigilia, Kerry Washington, Jon Hamm, Matthew Morrison, Neil Patrick Harris, Jon Hamm, Eric Stonestreet and more mixed and mingled alongside execs including ABC’s Channing Dungey, NBC’s Jennifer Salke, Showtime’s David Nevins, Amazon’s Roy Price, FX’s Nick Grad and Eric Schrier, Discovery’s Rich Ross and MGM’s Mark Burnett. “Amazing Race” exec producer Bertram Van Munster was there too, hoping for yet another win on Sunday.
For Westsiders, UTA is usually the first stop of the night. Sures’ spacious backyard made for a comfortable and casual environment with plenty of elbow room, even as the crowd swelled with an executive contingent that included ABC’s Ben Sherwood and Channing Dungey, NBC’s Jennifer Salke, Awesomeness TV’s Brian Robbins and A+E Networks’ Paul Buccieri.
Jill Soloway, Jay Duplass and others from the “Transparent” crew enjoyed themselves late into the evening. “Mr. Robot’s” Christian Slater and Stephanie Corneliussen took their leader’s cue and worked hard to avoid giving out any hints about next week’s season two finale. (“I know nothing!” Corneliussen insisted). “Veep’s” Tony Hale, “Key & Peele’s” Keegan-Michael Key and “Downton Abbey’s” Joanne Froggatt were among the nominees making the rounds.
The agency gave partygoers a sneak peek at the much anticipated Catch LA rooftop restaurant on Melrose Avenue, which formally opens its doors later this month.
Inside and outside, the space was packed with top execs, showrunners and stars. But as always, it’s not hard to spot Vice Media’s Shane Smith in a crowd. He had a long powwow with A+E Networks chief Nancy Dubuc. “Fargo” producer Warren Littlefield, NBCUniversal Cable’s Jeff Wachtel, A+E Studios’ Barry Jossen held court right next to them talking shop. Showrunners Carlton Cuse and Adam Horowitz had a mini “Lost” reunion and talked up plans for next week’s “Lost” concerts at the John Anson Ford Amphitheater.
Mingling among the many food stations serving up sushi and small plate bites were notables including Larry David, Aziz Ansari and Thomas Middleditch. “Mr. Robot’s” Rami Malek had a receiving line of well-wishers in one corner of the balcony.
Actors Joel McHale, Will Arnett, Joel Kinnaman, producers Pete Berg and Dick Wolf, Turner’s Kevin Reilly, “Game of Thrones” author George R. R. Martin and “Stranger Things’ ” Milly Bobby Brown were among the eclectic mix of guests.
Siebert’s home had a strong “People V. O.J. Simpson” contingent with nominees Courtney B. Vance and David Schwimmer making the rounds.
Other nominees on hand included “Bloodline” star Kyle Chandler, “Transparent’s” Jeffrey Tambor (the reigning comedy series actor champ) and “Mom’s” Allison Janney. Bradley Whitford, Chris Noth, Emily Deschanel and Kyle MacLachlan were also on hand to toast the Emmys and next week’s formal start of the 2016-17 television season.
After Friday’s gran prix, the ICM Partners brunch on Saturday is always a wonderfully relaxed affair at the Santa Monica home of agency chief Chris Silbermann and his wife, producer Julia Franz. A few guests including ABC’s Channing Dungey brought their little ones, which added to the casual atmosphere in the backyard. Guests munched on all manner of brunch-y foods. The lobster roll station was also well-trafficked.
Among the industryites on hand were ABC’s Patrick Moran and Howard Davine, CBS’ Scott Koondel, NBC’s Bruce Evans and attorney Michael Gendler. Showrunners Mara Brock Akil and Salim Akil were peppered with questions about their upcoming superhero drama “Black Lightning” at Fox and their semi-autobiographical romantic comedy “Documenting Love” at ABC.
Kamala Harris, California’s attorney general who is running for the Senate, pressed the flesh in a low-key way. She had many fans (and pledged voters) in the crowd.
Others who made the rounds in the mild morning air — a nice contrast to last year’s scorching heat — were “Better Call Saul’s” Tom Schnauz, “Modern Family’s” Christopher Lloyd, “American Crime” nominee Regina King, “People V. O.J. Simpson” nominee Cuba Gooding Jr. and actors Walton Goggins, Jason Ritter, Piper Perabo, James Wolk, Millie Bobby Brown and Jerry O’Connell.
(Pictured: “American Crime” star Regina King and “People V. O.J. Simpson” star Cuba Gooding Jr. at the ICM Partners brunch)