ICYMI: CAA/ICM, Nikki Finke and Netflix – The Ankler.

Hello! Thanks for joining us again for our Sunday list of great things you may have missed in The Ankler. We continue to be grateful that so many of you are enjoying our blend of uncompromised reporting, analysis and commentary. Here’s a selection of some of the best from our recent issues.

This is the sort of tale we’ll be hearing a lot in the coming years as Hollywood moves towards consolidation. Our story by Peter Keifer got a lot of attention this week, chronicling the awkward days inside the Death Star as it seeks to absorb 425 holdovers from what was until recently, one of its chief rivals. As with any agenting story, this one is full of maneuvering and watch-your-back tension. You can read the story here, and listen to Peter talk about the piece and what lies ahead on our podcast roundtable here.
Other recent pieces:
CAA’s Project Idaho
Erasing ICM without a trace
CAA/ICM Done Deal
KISS, MARRY, DITCH: ICM Agents in Limbo

One of our most discussed pieces of the week was Richard’s farewell to Nikki Finke and his clear-eyed remembrance of her era and its legacy. He wrote: “This is the story of a very troubled writer who used the megaphone of ‘journalism’ to work out her insecurities and issues in a hellstorm of performative rage, all while hiding — ailing, agoraphobic, sick — behind an online persona. An OG troll. And this is the story of the industry that enabled that, elevated it and created a monster in its own image. I’d argue no other ‘real’ industry would ever have given such a person oxygen.” Read it all.

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Our ESG dove into what the Glass Onion release may reveal about Netflix’s internal metrics and what’s coming. He writes, “It looks like Netflix may finally be catching on to what everyone has been shouting at them: theatrical releases make for bigger streaming movies.” Read it here.
Among ESG’s many tell-tale charts in his analysis:


On his podcast, showrunner Rob Long explains why attracting audience to a movie or TV show works the same way as dating apps (minus swiping). And why writers must always serve the dessert first in their scripts, no matter how “important” the message. So please, don’t bury the fun. Listen here.
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Sean McNulty’s daily morning briefing is fast becoming the industry’s big habit. His A.M. synopsis of the day’s news is quick, breezy and insightful and brings you up to speed on the headlines shaping our world in a few quick minutes — always with a bonus of some of the smartest analysis out there (in this issue, check out his very detailed breakdown of Netflix’s ad tier). If you’re not already opening it, check out the last few issues here, here and here.
A little while back, John August and Craig Mazin gave The Optionist, our standalone newsletter about intellectual property finds, a shoutout on their excellent Scriptnotes podcast. Yesterday, more subscribers kept rolling in after Substack also recommended The Optionist. The newsletter is on a roll, with its author, Andy Lewis, learning of yet another of the properties he highlighted is on its way to the screen (so far, it’s more than a dozen and counting). Writes Andy, “An agent let me know that one of my favorite Optionist finds — a James Bond spoof series where the main character may be a spy, a crazy person or both — was picked up by U.K.-based Avalon Entertainment for development as a series.” Keep reading and here are this week’s new picks to peruse to find your next great project.
From Substack:
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Janice made another visit to CNBC this week to talk Netflix’s new ad tier and what it means in the latest turn of the Great Streaming Wars. Check out her chat here. More to come from The Ankler on this topic this week after Netflix reports its Q3 earnings on Tuesday.
Thanks and have a great week! We hope The Ankler continues to help illuminate this industry for you during these tumultuous days. As ever, if you have any questions, comments or concerns, drop us a line, we’d love to hear from you at [email protected] or [email protected]
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