Ah, this must be Nikki Finke’s month.
First a candid photo of the famously camera-shy blogger in her car -- and posted on Murdoch’s new The Daily -- turned out not to be Finke after all. Now HBO has passed on the comedy “Tilda,” in which Diane Keaton plays a Finke-alike – and over which Finke insisted she had no control.
The news broke, of course, on Finke’s own Deadline.com. The site's Nellie Andreeva made it clear that “Tilda” “was conceived and written and developed without Finke's knowledge or involvement.”
But, Andreeva claims, the network isn't closing the door on Finke. It's “still interested in a show about her, this time with her on board from the beginning.” (Sigh.)
HBO confirmed to TheWrap that it has decided "not to move forward with 'Tilda.' Despite everyone's best efforts ultimately this was not the right show for us at this time."
So what happened?
According to Andreeva, “a rift between (co-writers Bill) Condon and (Cynthia) Mort during the production of the pilot became messy and ultimately public.” Though HBO tried to save the show by adding new writers and ordered additional scripts, it decided to pull the plug because the option on actors was up in March, Andreeva said.
Indeed. As TheWrap reported in August, Mort was removed after she sent a heated email criticizing Keaton and Condon.
Mort had repeatedly clashed with both Keaton and Condon and apparently decided to vent her frustrations in writing, an individual close to the production said.
“Tilda,” which also would have starred Jason Patric, Wes Bentley and Ellen Page, was the subject of industry gossip, with the belief widespread that Finke was in on the gag – and getting paid handily for it.
She finally wrote on her blog: “[T]here is an agreement now in place among myself, Deadline's parent company MMC, and Watski Productions (which is producing the 'Tilda' pilot) negotiated solely on my behalf by attorney Tal Vigderson. I still have no creative or consulting involvement with the show nor wanted any. I still won't write about the show. And Deadline.com journalists can still write whatever they want about the show.”