News Column

Philadelphia Daily News Howard Gensler column

September 20, 2013

YellowBrix

Sept. 20--FOLLOWING IN the physics-laden footsteps of co-stars Mayim Bialik and Melissa Rauch, the three principal players of the CBS sitcom hit, "The Big Bang Theory," Jim Parsons, Johnny Galecki and Kaley Cuoco, may pull a "Friends" and bargain as one next year to get a raise.

A big raise.

While most middle-class workers have seen their wages stay flat, the top-1 percent triad at "Big Bang" are seeking a bump up to $500,000 per episode for the 2014-15 season.

They currently make about $350,000 apiece, per episode, according to Radar Online, about $6 million per year.

That's a lot of buck for your "Bang."

On the other hand, the sitcom is a huge hit in syndication, and it could ultimately provide producer/distributor Warner Bros. with more than $1 billion in revenue.

Some other perspective: If the stars get even a piece of their requested bump next season, each of them will be making more than the entire staff of the Daily News.

--In other TV news, NBC is developing a miniseries based on the life of Johnny Carson, host of the "Tonight" show from 1962 to 1992.

The series will be based on an upcoming biography of Carson by Bill Zehme. It will cover his childhood in Nebraska and his off-screen life as well as the 30 years he spent at the "Tonight" show. The network hasn't cast an actor to play Carson yet.

Good luck with that.

But if Lindsay Lohan can play Elizabeth Taylor, one of the guys from One Direction can probably play Carson.

--Bryan Cranston will start his post-"Breaking Bad" career in movies as blacklisted screenwriter Dalton Trumbo.

A publicist for Cranston confirmed the casting yesterday. "Trumbo" will be directed by "Meet the Parents" filmmaker Jay Roach from a script by John McNamara.

As a member of the Communist Party, Trumbo was among the Hollywood 10: screenwriters and directors blacklisted in 1947 after refusing to testify before the House Committee on Un-American Activities. Trumbo won two Oscars, one for the script to "The Brave One," written under the name Robert Rich, and another awarded posthumously for "Roman Holiday."

True story: Tattle has long wanted to make a movie about blacklisted screenwriter Sidney Buchman. Buchman was also labeled a Communist and denied work, but in his prime he wrote screenplays for "Holiday," "Talk of the Town," "Here Comes Mr. Jordan" and "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington."

We always wondered how the guy who wrote the patriotic "Mr. Smith," could have been tossed out of Hollywood during the Red Scare.

TATTBITS

--Carole King will be honored as the MusiCares Person of the Year during the 2014 Grammy Awards week.

The Recording Academy announced yesterday that King will be saluted by Lady Gaga, the Dixie Chicks, Bette Midler, Steven Tyler, James Taylor and Jason Mraz. More performers will be announced later.

The fundraiser for the academy's charitable foundation will be held Jan. 24 in L.A., two nights before the Grammys. Previous honorees include Bruce Springsteen, Paul McCartney and Neil Young.

A songwriter and performer with scores of hits from "Will You Love Me Tomorrow" to "You've Got a Friend," King has won four Grammy Awards and was honored with a lifetime-achievement award at this year's ceremony.

--The New Jersey state Supreme Court has ruled that municipal judge Vince Sicari can't be both a judge and a comedian.

Sicari, who is also an established stand-up comic and actor, tendered his resignation after the high court released a unanimous opinion that said his acting-and-comedy career is "incompatible" with judicial conduct codes.

Obviously they never heard of Philadelphia Traffic Court.

Sicari, who is a member of the Screen Actors Guild and other professional performers' unions, has said his entertainment work entitles him to health benefits and earns him more than his $13,000-a-year part-time judge salary.

That's right, he's a part-time judge.

And the kicker: Sicari said he would continue practicing law, which the Supreme Court said in its opinion he is entitled to do and which he has done during the time he was a judge.

So he could be a lawyer while he was a judge and argue points of view before the court, but telling jokes was a problem?

Now that's a joke.

--According to Life & Style, Johnny Depp has bought Amber Heard a pair of $50,000 Neil Lane teardrop diamond earrings.

The magazine seems impressed by the fact that Depp shelled out $50K on the bauble, but Tattle always likes to put money figures in perspective.

Assuming that reports of Depp earning $60 million for "Pirates of the Caribbean 4" are accurate, the equivalent jewelry purchase in the Tattle income bracket would run about $50.

Alas, there are no Amber Heard-quality diamonds for $50.

--The two craziest star demands reported this past week. Whether they're true or not . . .

Performing on the awesome BBC music show "Later with Jools Holland," Kanye West demanded that his dressing room carpet be ironed, because it was not flat enough for him.

And in LA, when Gwyneth Paltrow goes to her gym, she demands that someone wipe the shower stall dry before she enters because she doesn't want used water on the wall.

- Daily News wire services contributed to this report.

Email: gensleh@phillynews.com

Phone: 215-854-5678

Twitter: @DNTattle

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