After much speculation and behind-the-scenes wrangling, the Golden Globe Award Ceremony (the annual honors bestowed by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association) has officially been cancelled.
An article in the entertainment-focused magazine, Variety, details last-minute efforts to save the anticipated, annual event which is seen to be a prelude to the Oscars. Variety describes the process as a "complicated scenario that mirrors the breakdown in trust and communication that has fueled the Writers Guild of America's 11-week-old strike against Hollywood's majors."
Activity over the weekend seemed to indicate some progress toward a compromise which would allow the ceremony to happen. Negotiations between NBC (the network which holds the rights to televise the ceremony), the show's production company (Dick Clark Productions), and top PR firms who wished to see the night shed some favorable light on their clients and industry fell apart as it became clear that top stars were not going to cross the picket lines promised by the writers.
Dick Clark Productions and the Writer's Guild discussed the possibility of retaining the red-carpet entrance of the stars while limiting the actual ceremony to a reading of the winners, but those talks soon faltered much like earlier talks (to have the Writer's issue a waiver for the event) had also stalled.
"By Monday evening...[the] annual kudos had been downscaled from a gala dinner ceremony and live telecast to an hour-long news conference at the Beverly Hilton, to be covered live (taped delayed for the West Coast) by NBC News, with only [journalists] in attendance -- and most likely with WGA pickets outside," Variety reported.
In an effort to fill up the time sold to advertisers (a revenue stream of $15-$20 million in past years) with relevant material, NBC released information about their plans to broadcast other Golden Globe-related content, as detailed by the website, Deadline Hollywood:
"There will be a press conference this afternoon announcing that the Globes Awards ceremony will not go on. Here is the plan:
-- At 9 PM there will be a press conference covered by NBC News announcing the Golden Globe winners. (9pm-10pm)
-- At 8 PM, we are negotiating with Dick Clark Enterprises for a one-hour retrospective/clip show.
-- At 7 PM, we will air a Dateline with clips and interviews with nominees. (Currently scheduled to air for two hours on Saturday night.)
-- At 10 PM, we will broadcast an "Access Hollywood" style, Golden Globes party show...visiting the various parties in Hollywood
However, it appears that most of the major parties scheduled for that night will not happen.
“We are all very disappointed that our traditional awards ceremony will not take place this year and that millions of viewers worldwide will be deprived of seeing many of their favorite stars celebrating 2007’s outstanding achievements in motion pictures and television,” said Jorge Camara, President of The Hollywood Foreign Press Association. “We take some comfort, however, in knowing that this year’s Golden Globe Award recipients will be announced on the date originally scheduled"
The open question will remain: Will the pressure of the Writers be applied in the same way to the Academy Awards, scheduled for February? As the conflict between production companies and the Writer's union heats up, a similar scenario may keep this year's Oscars dark, unless a compromise can be found.