Sean Parker has had a hand in some of the Valley's biggest successes. His first company, Napster, took the world by storm, but didn't make Parker rich. His second, Plaxo, just sold to Comcast. And his third, Facebook — well, say no more. Except for the bit about him getting kicked out, according to Mark Zuckerberg's legal testimony, for a cocaine arrest. (Parker characterized the incident as "a misunderstanding.") That and more is covered in the 21 pages Sarah Lacy devotes to Parker in Once You're Lucky, Twice You're Good, new book about Web 2.0. The index page where Parker is listed:
Mike Ovitz just testified about how he hired private eye Anthony Pellicano, on trial on federal racketeering and wiretap charges, to obtain "embarrassing or otherwise useful information about the New York Times journalists and their sources," according to the Times. The former Hollywood mogul said he paid Pellicano $75,000, which did not get him information about the reporters, but did net him a fetching nickname, "Gaspar," some dirt on his rivals and, if reporter Anita Busch's hotly-contested testimony is any indication, some serious cloak and dagger directed at the reporters:
· A frustrated, posturing Viacom finally breaks down after months of "unproductive negotiation" about licensing fees for the interweb rebroadcast of its cherished content, suing Google and its infernal YouTubes for "massive intentional copyright infringement" for over a billion dollars in damages, a suit that could be quickly dropped should GooTube come back to the conglomerate with a number representing a fair value for allowing its users to share their favorite clips of crudely animated, foul-mouthed schoolchildren talking to an anthropomorphized piece of human excrement. [Variety]
· Meanwhile, Bravo buys Television Without Pity, proving that media companies and the internet can sometimes figure out a way to coexist. [Variety]
· Questions about the fates of various established shows on the pick-up bubble: Will NBC try to get Law & Order back on the cheap? Will ABC ever get rid of According to George and The Jim Belushi Show? Will ABC swoop in and steal away Scrubs from NBC? We are all atwitter over the intrigue. [THR]
· Studio 60 TimeslotWatch: Paul Haggis' The Black Donnellys continues to flounder in Aaron Sorkin's rightful 10 pm home, getting trounced by a repeat of CSI: Miami. [THR]
· While no one actually wants to buy it, a three-year old script about Michael Eisner and Mike Ovitz's fun-filled time together at Disney is delighting bored studio executives all over town. [Variety]
Radar has awoken from a nine-month hibernation to relaunch its website today, celebrating the rebirth with the publication of its poll of the "industry's heaviest hitters" that it first started researching back around the time of its 1981 "Ron Howard Washed Up At 27?" issue. The survey doesn't really contain any surprises: Howard is nice, Brett Ratner's a hack, Russell Crowe has a temper problem, and CAA's partners are the agents you'd most like to have devouring babies on your behalf. Among Radar's "winners" is Imagine Entertainment superproducer Brian Grazer, whose signature "Produced By Brian Grazer, From An Idea Brian Grazer Had While Distracted By A Shiny Object During A Meet-And-Greet With Stephen Hawking, And Directed By A Guy Brian Grazer Hand-Selected to Execute Brian Grazer's Uncompromising Vision" movie credit seems to have rankled some of his peers:
· If just about everything in Hollywood devolves into a dick-measuring contest, why should art collecting be any different? The LA Weekly's Nikki Finke looks at erstwhile superagent Mike Ovitz's attempts to have the biggest dick in town.
· There may be no better way to welcome the opening of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire than to watch video in which one of its (legal!) stars is topless.
· It would be horribly rude if we didn't wish a happy 37th birthday to Owen "The Butterscotch Stallion" Wilson. To celebrate the occasion, please enjoy this picture of Hollywood's Official Playmate Inspector plying his trade.
· As it turns out, the Lindsay Lohan-Jason Lewis story is true.
· LA.comfidential catches FPJ having dinner with a non-SMG female, suspects foul play.
· Have you heard? The critics are raving about Rent! All two of them.