There were entrepreneurs in the Shark Tank halls. Would they find excellent deals under their Christmas trees or would Mr. Wonderful leave them a lump of coal? It was the Christmas episode, in case you hadn't figured it out yet.
The first entrepreneur in the tank was Shawn Genenbacher, who was pitching Lite-netics. He wanted $125,000 for 15%. These were magnetic light strands that were supposed to whittle time spent putting up Christmas lights down to next to nothing. He was selling them for both residential and commercial use and he'd been at it for four years, averaging about $100,000 per year. The Sharks picked up immediately that there were scaling problems. The lights were too expensive to make, too, since the fact they were magnetized drove the production costs up. His lights were also way more expensive than his competitors. He also didn't do the best job presenting, stammering answers on multiple occasions. One thing that he did have in his favor was that it was patened. No one could copy it. Sensing an opportunity, Kevin O'Leary made an offer for $125,000 for 50% of the company. Robert Herjavec, Mark Cuban and Lori Greiner got out fast, ensuring no protracted bidding process. Greiner also pointed out that the bulbs were too big, since most people were buying icicle lights. Daymond John got in the act and offered $125,00 for 40%. Genenbacher declined both their offers, and the Sharks declared that he would never make any headway in the market.
Next in the tank was Morri Chowaiki, pitching the Hannukah Tree Topper, an ornament for interfaith families. He wanted $50,000 for 15%. He'd made $150,000 ... in three seasons, which caused the Sharks to groan. Several of the Sharks deemed it non-proprietary and the sales too dismal. O'Leary and Greiner were out in quick succession. It even seemed like hell froze over, since Greiner agreed with O'Leary's assessment. She's usually too busy insulting him. John didn't like Chowaiki's jugement but offered $50,000 for $35K. Chowaiki was hemming and hawing, which made me flash back to that idiot that was selling the individual wine glasses who screwed up not once but twice on the show. After a dramatic pause, he held mistletoe over his head and accepted the deal with John.
It was about the Ruckpack , which had been on a previous Shark Tank. It was doing really well, it had secured a $4 million deal with Walgreens, all with help from Herjavec and O'Leary.
The third entrants in the tank were Rachel Bernstein, a former model, and Melissa Barone, an expert on hair extensions, of Cashmere Hair Girls of Beverly Hills. They wanted $45,000 for 15%. They were selling hair extensions for $399. It was high quality Indian (the country India, not Native American) hair and it came in seven strips that had clips that were easy to take on or off..They'd made $38,000 in sales in six months. Cuban was out first. O'Leary was next. John followed suit, but not before first having to calm Barone down, who was nearly hyperventilating. Greiner liked the idea of hair parties. Herjavec agreed, but didn't see it worth investing in and he was out. Greiner was then out. No deals. Bernstein had to console Barone outside the Tank.
The last people in the tank were Evan Mendelsohn and Nick Morton for Tipsy Elves. They were selling really, really ugly holiday-themed sweaters (it was mostly Christmas, but they also had Hannukah-themed items), ranging from Santa riding his sleigh upside down to gingerbread men running from a giant Santa hand reaching for them. Cuban had this look of disgust as soon as he saw them and O'Leary said what Cuban was thinking: "These are hideous." Undeterred, the two men wanted $100,000 for 5%. Surprisingly, they had made over $1 million in two years, mostly online. They wanted to move to retail, which most of the Sharks shot down as a bad idea, since it would require tremendous overhead, like warehouses the size of a couple of blocks. Cuban was out. O'Leary made an offer, $100,000 for a royalty of $2 per sweater until the money was paid back and then $1 in perpetuity - but no equity. Herjavec offered $100,000 for 10%. John thought about making an offer, but couldn't pull the trigger. They accepted Herjavec's offer.
Another .500 night for people making deals. Of course, these handshake deals all have to pass through due diligence, so there's no guarantee that further down the road, the deals didn't fall through. Still, it was a better night than some, though there didn't seem to be as much jockeying amongst the Sharks as there has been in previous episodes. My perception may have been colored by my shock at Greiner agreeing with O'Leary, though. There won't be a new episode until Jan. 10.
Ray Romano's downtrodden TV brother is penning a new comedy based on his upcoming biography. Brad Garrett, who played grumpy cop Robert Barone on U.S. hit Everybody Loves Raymond, has signed a new deal with ABC to write a pilot for When the Balls Drop.
The show will be based on Garrett's book of the same name, which focuses on the struggles of being a middle-aged man and balancing a work and home life.
The new project comes a year after ABC bosses scrapped How to Live with Your Parents (for the Rest of Your Life), in which Garrett co-starred alongside Scrubs star Sarah Chalke.
Theatrics slapstick and cheer are cinematic qualities you rarely find outside the realm of animation. Disney perfected it with their pantheon of cartoon classics mixing music humor spectacle and light-hearted drama that swept up children while still capturing the imaginations and hearts of their parents. But these days even reinterpretations of fairy tales get the gritty make-over leaving little room for silliness and unfiltered glee. Emerging through that dark cloud is Mirror Mirror a film that achieves every bit of imagination crafted by its two-dimensional predecessors and then some. Under the eye of master visualist Tarsem Singh (The Fall Immortals) Mirror Mirror's heightened realism imbues it with the power to pull off anything — and the movie never skimps on the anything.
Like its animated counterparts Mirror Mirror stays faithful to its source material but twists it just enough to feel unique. When Snow White (Lily Collins) was a little girl her father the King ventured into a nearby dark forest to do battle with an evil creature and was never seen or heard from again. The kingdom was inherited by The Queen (Julia Roberts) Snow's evil stepmother and the fair-skinned beauty lived locked up in the castle until her 18th birthday. Grown up and tired of her wicked parental substitute White sneaks out of the castle to the village for the first time. There she witnesses the economic horrors The Queen has imposed upon the people of her land all to fuel her expensive beautification. Along the way Snow also meets Prince Alcott (Armie Hammer) who is suffering from his own money troubles — mainly being robbed by a band of stilt-wearing dwarves. When the Queen catches wind of the secret excursion she casts Snow out of the castle to be murdered by her assistant Brighton (Nathan Lane).
Fairy tales take flack for rejecting the idea of women being capable but even with its flighty presentation and dedication to the old school Disney method Mirror Mirror empowers its Snow White in a genuine way thanks to Collins' snappy charming performance. After being set free by Brighton Snow crosses paths with the thieving dwarves and quickly takes a role on their pilfering team (which she helps turn in to a Robin Hooding business). Tarsem wisely mines a spectrum of personalities out of the seven dwarves instead of simply playing them for one note comedy. Sure there's plenty of slapstick and pun humor (purposefully and wonderfully corny) but each member of the septet stands out as a warm compassionate companion to Snow even in the fantasy world.
Mirror Mirror is richly designed and executed in true Tarsem-fashion with breathtaking costumes (everything from ball gowns to the dwarf expando-stilts to ridiculous pirate ship hats with working canons) whimsical sets and a pitch-perfect score by Disney-mainstay Alan Menken. The world is a storybook and even its monsters look like illustrations rather than photo-real creations. But what makes it all click is the actors. Collins holds her own against the legendary Julia Roberts who relishes in the fun she's having playing someone despicable. She delivers every word with playful bite and her rapport with Lane is off-the-wall fun. Armie Hammer riffs on his own Prince Charming physique as Alcott. The only real misgiving of the film is the undercooked relationship between him and Snow. We know they'll get together but the journey's half the fun and Mirror Mirror serves that portion undercooked.
Children will swoon for Mirror Mirror but there's plenty here for adults — dialogue peppered with sharp wisecracks and a visual style ripped from an elegant tapestry. The movie wears its heart on its sleeve and rarely do we get a picture where both the heart and the sleeve feel truly magical.
Emmy Award-winning actor Peter Boyle died at the New York Presbyterian Hospital last night. He was 71.
Boyle, best known in recent years for playing Frank Barone in Everybody Loves Raymond, had been suffering from multiple myeloma--a form of cancer--and heart disease.
Boyle was a versatile and talented actor, excelling in both comedy and dramatic roles. He famously played it straight as Robert Redford's campaign manager in 1972 film The Candidate before switching to farce by playing the monster in Mel Brooks horror spoof Young Frankenstein two years later (1974).
Boyle's TV career earned him 10 nominations--seven for Everyone Loves Raymond--and one win in 1996, as Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series for a role in The X-Files.
He leaves behind wife of 29 years, Lorraine, a former Rolling Stone magazine reporter, and two daughters Lucy and Amy.
Former Beatle John Lennon was best man when the pair married in 1977, after becoming close friends with Boyle through Lorraine and Yoko Ono.
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The Academy of Television Arts and Sciences announced nominations for the 56th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards today from the Leonard H. Goldenson Theatre in North Hollywood, Calif.
As expected, the unusual suspects received the most nominations. HBO's mob drama The Sopranos led the pack with 20 nods, including a nomination for best drama. HBO's now-defunct series Sex and the City, meanwhile, was the most-nominated sitcom, with nods in 11 categories, including best comedy series.
The late John Ritter, who died Sept. 11, 2003, received a nomination for best comedy actor for 8 Simple Rules.
New shows and exclusions, however, added some excitement to an otherwise predictable slate of nominees. Most notably, NBC heavy hitters Friends and Frasier failed to receive nods for best comedy series, despite it being each show's final season. Fox's Arrested Development, however, beat out the two powerhouse sitcoms to grab a best comedy nomination.
The 56th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards, hosted by Garry Shandling, will be broadcast live on ABC from the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles on Sept. 19. For a complete list of nominees, please visit Emmys.com. Nominees in the top categories follow:
Outstanding Drama Series
CSI: Crime Scene Investigation
Joan of Arcadia
The West Wing
Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series
James Spader as Alan Shore, The Practice
James Gandolfini as Tony Soprano, The Sopranos
Kiefer Sutherland as Jack Bauer, 24
Martin Sheen as President Josiah Bartlet, The West Wing
Anthony LaPaglia as Jack Malone, Without a Trace
Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series
Jennifer Garner as Sydney Bristow, Alias
Amber Tamblyn as Joan Girardi, Joan of Arcadia
Mariska Hargitay as Detective Olivia Benson, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
Edie Falco as Carmela Soprano, The Sopranos
Allison Janney as C.J. Cregg, The West Wing
Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series
Victor Garber as Agent Jack Bristow, Alias
Brad Dourif as Doc Cochran, Deadwood
Michael Imperioli as Christopher Moltisanti, The Sopranos
Steve Buscemi as Tony Blundett, The Sopranos
John Spencer as Leo McGarry, The West Wing
Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series
Robin Weigert as Calamity Jane, Deadwood
Tyne Daly as Maxine Gray, Judging Amy
Drea de Matteo as Adriana La Cerva, The Sopranos
Janel Moloney as Donna Moss, The West Wing
Stockard Channing as Dr. Abigail Bartlet, The West Wing
Outstanding Comedy Series
Curb Your Enthusiasm
Everybody Loves Raymond
Sex and the City
Will & Grace
Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series
Larry David as Himself, Curb Your Enthusiasm
John Ritter as Paul Hennessy, 8 Simple Rules
Kelsey Grammer as Frasier Crane, Frasier
Matt LeBlanc as Joey Tribbiani, Friends
Tony Shalhoub as Adrian Monk, Monk
Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series
Patricia Heaton as Debra Barone, Everybody Loves Raymond
Jennifer Aniston as Rachel Green, Friends
Bonnie Hunt as Bonnie Malloy, Life with Bonnie
Jane Kaczmarek as Lois, Malcolm in the Middle
Sarah Jessica Parker as Carrie Bradshaw, Sex and the City
Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series
Jeffrey Tambor as George Bluth, Sr., Arrested Development
Brad Garrett as Robert Barone, Everybody Loves Raymond
Peter Boyle as Frank Barone, Everybody Loves Raymond
David Hyde Pierce as Niles Crane, Frasier
Sean Hayes as Jack, Will & Grace
Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series
Doris Roberts as Marie Barone, Everybody Loves Raymond
Kim Cattrall as Samantha Jones, Sex and the City
Kristin Davis as Charlotte York, Sex and the City
Cynthia Nixon as Miranda Hobbes, Sex and the City
Megan Mullally as Karen, Will & Grace