Breaking News Archives

Mar 12, 2003  •  Post A Comment

HBO Plays Hardball With Gandolfini

In its contract dispute with Sopranos star James Gandolfini, HBO came heavy Tuesday, countersuing the actor in Los Angeles Superior Court and asking for at least $100 million in damages as well as an order that would enjoin Mr. Gandolfini from “rendering acting services for himself or anyone other than [HBO].”

The actor’s original suit, filed last week in Los Angeles, claimed that HBO had missed a contractual deadline for informing him in writing that his acting services would be required for a fifth season, which is set to begin production at the end of this month, and that therefore his contract was no longer in force.

The actor’s contention was intended to force HBO to up his per-episode fee from $400,000 to as much as $1 million, according to various reports. The HBO countersuit denied that any deadline had been missed. HBO and Sopranos Productions, another cross-complainant, “have done all things required of them to be done under the series contract and are in no manner or respect in breach thereof,” according to the countercomplaint, which also contends that Mr. Gandolfini was offered a “very extensive increase,” but “wanted even more.” The offered increase would have put his salary in the range of $750,000 to $800,000 per episode, according to reports.

One result of the dispute is that HBO has already informed Sopranos cast members that “their employment on the series might be suspended or terminated,” according to the HBO cross-complaint.

‘Children,’ ‘Light’ Lead Daytime Emmy Noms: ABC and its All My Children and CBS and it’s Guiding Light led the 30th Daytime Emmy nominations announced today on ABC’s The View. Perennial powerhouse The Oprah Winfrey Show earned four nominations and hit freshman spinoff Dr. Phil earned two.

The awards will be handed out by the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences in cooperation with the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences in a three-hour ceremony carried live by ABC starting at 8 p.m. (ET) Friday, May 16, from Radio City Music Hall in New York.

Art Linkletter, who has won two Emmys and four nominations for a body of work that includes Kids Say the Darndest Things, will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award.

The Creative Craft Daytime Emmy Awards will be presented Saturday, May 10, in New York at the Marriott Marquis Hotel and in Los Angeles at the Sheraton Universal Hotel.

ABC bagged 59 nominations, including 17 for Children, followed by CBS with 52 nominations, 14 of them for Light. PBS programming earned a total of 47 nominations, syndicated programming accounted for 43 nominations, followed by NBC (16), Showtime (13), Nickelodeon (10), Disney Channel (8), Discovery Channel (5), Kids’ WB (5), Comedy Central (4), Food Network (3), VH1 (2) and A&E, American Movie Classics, MTV, the Travel Channel, WAM and The WB with one each.

Aside from All My Children and Guiding Light, shows that snagged multiple nominations included Sesame Street (13), General Hospital (12), The Young and the Restless (12), As the World Turns (10), The View (10), The Bold and the Beautiful (8) and One Life to Live (8).

A complete listing of the nominations can be found at www.emmyonline.org.

ABC News Live Broadband Service Launches: ABCNews.com today launches a 24-hour broadband Internet news service that is aimed at the audience that gets a significant amount of news online at work and that will be the first such test of the public’s willingness to pay for content.

The ABC News Live content will include replays of ABC News programs, some stories that might not have made it into an ABC newscast, coverage of key Washington policy speeches and briefings, archived news footage and news, sports, business and weather headlines.

Users will be able to choose from simultaneous feeds offered in a “virtual control room.”

ABC News Live initially will be available only to subscribers to ABC News On Demand (who pay $4.95 per month for just-archived news footage via the Internet) and upwards of 900,000 subscribers to RealNetworks’ RealOne SuperPass (who pay $9.95 a month for a bundle of services that includes ABC News On Demand).