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in this issue

2 min
sidney poitier — as committed a humanitarian as he was an actor

I loved the opening line of Tim Gray’s endearing tribute to Sidney Poitier on Jan. 7, one day after the beloved actor died at age 94: “Every artist hopes to make the world a better place. Sidney Poitier actually did.” As many have written, Poitier not only had a tremendous impact on Hollywood and the culture at large; his immeasurable contributions to the civil rights movement and other humanitarian causes were equally poignant and inspirational. In late August of 2005, I witnessed one of his many acts of kindness up close, one that gave me a personal glimpse of someone I had grown up adoring and admiring for all his incredible work on the silver screen. I came across Poitier that summer just after Hurricane Katrina had ripped through New Orleans and the…

5 min
the brutal economics of broadway’s omicron shutdowns

“It just turned into triage.” That’s how Anne Quart describes the past few weeks on Broadway. As senior VP of production and co-producer at Disney Theatrical, Quart saw first-hand the chaotic spate of disruptions, cancellations and closings prompted by the surging omicron variant, not just in New York but around the world, during the crucial holiday period. “You wake up in the morning, and you brace yourself as each company’s daily test results start to come in,” says Quart, who has day-to-day oversight of Disney’s global portfolio of 24 productions. “For about a week there, it felt like a tsunami.” So did the onslaught of unsettling news that came out of Broadway during what is usually the industry’s most profitable time of year. With omicron ripping through the Broadway community, the majority of…

3 min
variety names ramin setoodeh co-editor-in-chief, bolsters editorial teams

Ramin Setoodeh will be elevated to co-editor-in-chief of Variety in the coming months, working alongside Co-Editor-in-Chief Cynthia Littleton to lead the editorial operations of the venerable entertainment business news brand. Littleton and Setoodeh will co-run the newsroom and oversee editorial activities across all Variety platforms. Littleton and Setoodeh will report to Michelle Sobrino-Stearns, Variety president and group publisher. Littleton has been co-editor-in-chief of Variety since October 2020, when it was announced that she would move into the top editorial post in 2022. Previously, she served in the role of business editor, based in New York, from 2017. One of the most respected reporters in the field, Littleton has covered the television beat for more than 25 years and has written several books about the entertainment industry. Prior to her rejoining Variety in 2007,…

3 min
‘peter loved and understood film better than anyone’

In “The Last Picture Show,” Peter Bogdanovich vividly captured life in a dusty Texas town circa 1951 with an honesty and sexual candor that still feels bracing today. Bogdanovich, who died last week at the age of 82, received two Oscar nominations for the 1971 film and went on to make commercial hits such as “Paper Moon,” but never again scaled the same cinematic heights as he did with his early feature, which won statuettes for Ben Johnson and Cloris Leachman. Ellen Burstyn, who received an Oscar nomination for her performance as Lois Farrow, spoke to Variety about her experiences making the film and Bogdanovich’s legacy. “They sent me the script for ‘The Last Picture Show’ and told me to look at the part of the waitress — that was one…

3 min
rained-out parade

Clinging to its annual awards ritual after a year of censure, the Hollywood Foreign Press Assn. made it incredibly awkward for superstar talent and major studios to publicly celebrate a 2022 Golden Globe win. Following the dramatically scaled-down Jan. 9 ceremony at The Beverly Hilton — closed to the media and boycotted by talent and executives over questionable business practices and a lack of diversity in the HFPA’s membership — almost all the winners and the trophy-hungry media giants behind them stayed mum. In a typical year this would be unheard of, especially given the tradition of campaign strategists using Globe wins to build momentum for the Oscar race. “Being the Ricardos” star Nicole Kidman’s surprise win over Kristen Stewart of “Spencer” would’ve been touted in congratulatory print ads and TV spots.…

3 min
how bob saget became america’s dad

Every generation has their own TV dad who becomes so familiar, he’s like a real member of the family. In earlier eras, it may have been Andy Taylor on “The Andy Griffith Show” or Carl Winslow on “Family Matters.” For me, growing up in the 2000s, it was Danny Tanner on “Full House.” I wasn’t born when the sitcom first aired in 1987, but watching reruns on TBS became as essential a part of my after-school routine as homework and dance classes. I’ll admit I wasn’t a “Full House” loyalist because of Bob Saget, who died on Jan. 9 at 65 and played Danny Tanner, the wholesome clean freak and father of three girls — D.J. (Candace Cameron), Stephanie (Jodie Sweetin) and Michelle (Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen). I was unapologetically obsessed…