NBC may unplug Globes

Mon Jan 7, 2008 9:53am EST
 
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By Steven Zeitchik

NEW YORK (Hollywood Reporter) - The Hollywood Foreign Press Assn. and NBC engaged in eleventh-hour sessions Sunday to try to save the boycott-stricken Golden Globes, with NBC appearing to be seriously considering pulling the telecast as a result of the Hollywood writers strike.

The HFPA, whose 100-odd members organize the ceremony, is pushing NBC to pull the plug on the broadcast because that will prompt the Writers Guild of America to lift its pickets and enable stars to attend the January 13 event. On Friday, the Screen Actors Guild said its members would not cross picket lines to attend.

NBC and its chief Jeff Zucker had through the weekend maintained that it will broadcast the event. But one person with knowledge of the situation described NBC as trying to find "a middle ground," potentially including a scaled-back event or a postponement. As of late Sunday, NBC was said to be close to yielding to the HFPA's request for the Globes to be taken off the air.

Were a postponement agreed upon, the Globes would likely have to occur before Oscar nominations are announced on January 22, which buy only a week or two, a very small amount of time for an interim agreement or larger strike resolution to take place. The Beverly Hilton may also not be available for the following Sunday, January 20.

It's unclear how much contractual wiggle room NBC would have if it sought a postponement that the HFPA didn't want.

NBC is expected to make a final decision Monday on whether to air the broadcast, which is produced and co-owned by Dick Clark Prods.

As of Sunday night, Dick Clark Prods. was readying for preproduction in the way it would for any awards broadcast that's one week away. It's unclear what its involvement would be if the Globes were to go on without a telecast.

The weekend conferrals between the HFPA and NBC come after a Friday in which the guilds essentially shut the door on star attendance for an NBC-aired show.   Continued...

 
<p>The red carpet is seen before the start of the 64th annual Golden Globe Awards in Beverly Hills in this January 15, 2007 file photo.The Hollywood Foreign Press Assn. and NBC engaged in eleventh-hour sessions Sunday to try to save the boycott-stricken Golden Globes, with NBC appearing to be seriously considering pulling the telecast as a result of the Hollywood writers strike. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni/Files</p>