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Will Golden Globes show go on?

January 05, 2008|Robert W. Welkos and Meg James | Times Staff Writers

The film and TV industries were awash in unanswered questions Friday about the upcoming Golden Globe Awards and whether Hollywood's striking writers, and actors unwilling to cross the picket lines to attend the ceremony, would curtail the Jan. 13 broadcast.

There were mixed signals Friday, but one thing seemed certain: The Globes would lack their usual glamour.

The actors and actresses who have been nominated for Golden Globes probably won't attend the event -- an embarrassing scenario for the network; the Hollywood Foreign Press Assn., which sponsors the gala; and Dick Clark Productions, which produces the show.

Screen Actors Guild President Alan Rosenberg issued a statement Friday saying "actors will not cross WGA picket lines to appear on the Golden Globe Awards as acceptors or presenters. We applaud our members for this remarkable show of solidarity for striking Writers Guild of America writers."

Nevertheless, NBC seemed intent on proceeding. "We are prepared to move forward with the telecast," NBC spokeswoman Rebecca Marks said.

That put a kink in the Hollywood Foreign Press Assn.'s plan to possibly hold a "private" Globes party without television cameras. The association, along with Dick Clark Productions, is contractually bound to provide the event to NBC for a nationally televised broadcast, according to two top NBC executives.

The show is very lucrative for NBC, which pays $5 million a year in license fees for the right to air the show. The network makes millions of dollars in profit from ad revenue from the event.

Jorge Camara, the foreign press group's president, issued a statement Friday afternoon indicating that a resolution would be forthcoming. "We are making every effort to work out a solution that will permit the Golden Globes to take place with the creative community present to participate. We hope to announce a resolution to this unfortunate predicament on Monday."

The network, the foreign press association and the production company huddled Friday to come up with alternatives, including pushing the date of the show back several weeks, one NBC source said.

If NBC does televise the event, the WGA threatens to picket outside the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, where it is held. The union is fighting the studios over the pay writers receive when their work is distributed on the Internet.

Dick Clark Productions had sought a strike waiver for the show, like the ones received by the Screen Actors Guild Awards and Independent Spirit Awards.

The production company had offered to accept the same terms as David Letterman's Worldwide Pants, which reached an agreement with the WGA that allowed the talk show host to return to the air with his writers this week.

But the guild rejected the offer. "It is apparent that we are being treated differently from similarly situated production companies," Dick Clark Productions said in a statement Friday.

The Golden Globes show, a precursor to the Oscars, kicks off the awards season and grabbed 20 million viewers on NBC last year to win its time slot, according to Nielsen Media Research.

robert.welkos@latimes.com

meg.james@latimes.com

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Times staff writer Martin Miller contributed to this report.

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