Kevin Spacey's bing-eve L.A. premiere competes with real D.C. politics. Plus, a sneak peek at Comedy Central's other hot new business, besides Dumb Starbucks
On the night before Valentine's Day, people were ready to binge on more than just small chocolates.
Before Netflix's “House of Cards” season 2 starts streaming Friday, after three Emmys, a Golden Globe, a WGA award, and an AFI award, Thursday night's premiere at the DGA and after party at the Chateau Marmont further solidified the show's cultural and industry prominence.
Netflix's creative chief Ted Sarandos held down a choice couch with Robin Wright and “Cards” EP David Fincher at the Chateau Marmont after party. (pictured above)
Meanwhile, EP Dana Brunetti, Kevin Spacey posed with actual U.S. Congressman from the Bakersfield area, Kevin McCarthy.
Earlier at the screening at the DGA, writer-executive producer Beau Willimon with Spacey, Sarandos, Wright, and one of the people everyone wants a pitch meeting with: Netflix's original series VP Cindy Holland. (Fortune magazine named her 2013's “Tech Businessperson of the Year”)
Rare HBO-Netflix crossover star Constance Zimmer, who recently appeared in “The Newsroom” and has been working on the “Entourage” feature, hit the carpet at the DGA for the screening earlier in the night.
“President” Michael Gill, “Criminal Minds'”Jayne Atkinson, and Wright huddle up at the Chateau.
Sarandos and wife Nicole Avant.
Meanwhile over on Melrose, there were actual D.C. politics in L.A., and I'm not talking about Joel McHale taking on the highwire gig of White House Correspondents’ Dinner host.
Washington D.C. “shadow senator” Paul Strauss (elected, but not a voting member of the Senate) was the star draw at a Creative Coalition dinner promoting D.C. statehood.
Cinedigm CEO Chris McGurk, Sen. Paul Strauss, Jamie McGurk, Tim Daly and Hacer Bozkurt at Mari Vanna, the site of a few recent Creative Coalitions gatherings in L.A.
Politically active producer Harry Thomason, Creative Coalition CEO Robin Bronk, and a guy who is getting close to his summer vacation, “The Big Bang Theory” EP Bill Prady.
Everyone who missed the genius of Nathan Fielder and his Comedy Central show “Nathan for You” in its first season got a wake-up call with “Dumb Starbucks,” and now two of his comedy cousins are breaking through as well.
Jonah Ray and Kumail Nanjiani have quietly started porting their weekly “The Meltdown” standup comedy show to Comedy Central.
I stopped in on the first of eight episodes they've been taping over recent days, and it's coming right from their usual home — the back of a comic book store.
More specifically, it's Chris Hardwick's Nerdmelt Theatre, an open space in the back of Nerdmelt Comics on Sunset where Jonah and Kumail had a line snaking out past figurines and around bookshelves for the past three years.
Hardwick, the space's godfather, has been owning twitter's globally trending topics nightly himself since his own Comedy Central show “@Midnight” relaunched last month.
On the first night of “The Meltdown” taping, Jonas Larsen (SVP, Talent and Specials) and Toni Magon (Director of Talent) were on hand keeping an eye as I caught Tom Wilson (Biff from “Back to the Future”) and Kyle Kinane score the best crowd reactions. The show is slated for this fall.
Shhh…It's Fashion Week
With Fashion Week in New York, Oscar week still two weeks away, and no major televised award show last weekend or this one, it was a quieter week on the party circuit in L.A., before Thursday night's events.
One trend that did emerge in the Super Bowl's wake: on-and-off field winners finding Mickey less fun than Calvin Harris. They're not all taking their victory laps at Disney World, but seem to be choosing Hakkasan in Vegas instead.
Minka Kelly (who scored a prime slot in Bud Light's campaign alongside Arnold Schwarzenegger, Don Cheadle, and One Republic) slid in to the downstairs restaurant with pal Mandy Moore this week (below right), while wide receiver Sidney Rice threw his own football-team sized party upstairs in the club.
Next week, the “magic” comes to Vegas, but still no funny ears. The Magic fashion convention invades.
All Ladders, No Chutes
Two familiar faces on the event scene are now in new places.
Former industry-facing face for STK/The One Group Devon Mosley has gone out of house, launching AgencyIMD. As an “integrated marketing partner”, he's working with Nobu Las Vegas and The Beverly Hills Wine & Food Festival, as well as old pals STK/The One Group. I spotted him feeding and gifting 6,000 VIPs (like Les Moonves and family) at DirecTV's events over Super Bowl weekend.
Taylor Anderson, a former Angeleno who strung together lots of events for Brandlink Communications, relocated to Chicago last year and is now with Henson Consulting. She'll make a homecoming here with a post-Oscars brunch with Chicagoan Giuliana Rancic at the SLS a few days after the big show, a branded event with her client Crystal Light.
Photo credits: “House of Cards” photos by Eric Charbonneau for Netflix; Creative Coalition photos by Angela Weiss/Getty Images; Meltdown by Jesse Grant; Sidney Rice by Al Powers; Minka Kelly by Denise Truscello.