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The Business

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Lively banter about entertainment industry news and in-depth interviews with directors, producers, writers and actors, hosted by award-winning journalist Kim Masters of The Hollywood Reporter.


926 Episodes
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Kim Masters and Matt Belloni discuss the Paramount-Skydance merger. They also look at CNN’s digital future after the company lays off 100 employees, and weigh in on Kevin Costner’s sad “Horizon” rollout.  Plus, Masters speaks to Muta’Ali, director of the HBO documentary “MoviePass, MovieCrash.” The filmmaker talks about his desire to center the story of the company’s two Black founders, while detailing the complex business dealings that led to MoviePass’s meteoric rise and fall.  
Kim Masters and guest Banterer Lucas Shaw of Bloomberg News discuss the latest twist in the Paramount saga: Just after billionaire Barry Diller raised his hand as a potential buyer, the Skydance-Paramount deal is resurrected from the dead. Plus, Masters returns with an encore of her 2021 interview with Paul W. Downs and Jen Statsky, two of the three showrunners behind the award-winning HBO Max series "Hacks." Downs and Statsky talk about how lead actress Jean Smart insisted the cameras keep rolling when her husband passed away with a week of shooting the first season left.
Kim Masters and Matt Belloni discuss the tentative deal reached by the major Hollywood studios and IATSE, the union representing below-the-line workers. They also break down NBC’s effort to boost streaming numbers with Olympics recaps from an A.I.-generated version of sports broadcaster Al Michaels. Plus, Masters speaks to Lance Oppenheim, director of the new HBO docu-series Ren Faire, about honing his intimate, uniquely collaborative style of filmmaking, and his interest in subjects who become “entombed” by their own fantasies. The filmmaker also talks about how he cold emailed his way into director Darren Aronofsky’s inner circle. 
Kim Masters and Matt Belloni examine the dissolution of the Paramount-Skydance merger after Shari Redstone calls it quits on the deal. They also discuss Sony’s purchase of Alamo Drafthouse theaters. Plus, Masters speaks to Rob Reiner and Albert Brooks about Reiner’s HBO documentary, Albert Brooks: Defending My Life. The legendary filmmakers talk about their early years in the industry and they talk about the drastically changing landscape of entertainment. 
Kim Masters and Matt Belloni examine the complicated situation developing at Paramount as controlling shareholder Shari Redstone determines the future of the company.  Plus, Eric Deggans speaks to comedian and Chappelle’s Show co-creator Neal Brennan about his Netflix standup special, Crazy Good. Brennan talks about what he and friends Dave Chappelle and Chris Rock have taught each other about their craft over the years, and he argues that people shouldn’t always care what comedians have to say.
Kim Masters and Matt Belloni break down the latest NBA news at Warner Bros. Discovery. They also discuss activist investor Nelson Peltz’s decision to sell his entire stake in Disney, and why Netflix CEO Ted Sarandos thinks last summer’s biggest theatrical hits would have fared as well on the streamer.  Plus, Masters speaks to the head of domestic distribution at Paramount, Chris Aronson. The long-serving executive explains why he believes that movie theaters will survive despite industry-wide gloom over waning box office numbers, and he argues that the lack of consensus about the length of the theatrical window isn't helping consumers or studios.
A frighteningly lackluster summer box office, human ScarJo dukes it out with OpenAI’s ‘definitely-not-supposed-to-sound-like-ScarJo’ ScarJo, and the movies making noise at this year’s Cannes Film Festival–not necessarily in a good way. Kim Masters and Matt Belloni break down this week’s news in a special Spring Megabanter episode of The Business.
Kim Masters and Matt Belloni break down the biggest stories to come out of the 2024 Upfronts. They also take a look at the latest streaming bundle announcement between Netflix, Apple TV+, and Peacock. Plus, Masters speaks with Jane Schoenbrun about their film, I Saw the TV Glow. The director talks about how growing up in the suburbs was the inspiration for the sinister setting in their A24-backed film, produced by Emma Stone and husband Dave McCary. Schoenbrun also shares why the nuances of gender and identity play a major role in their work, and how they realized they were transgender after taking a mushroom trip with friends.
Kim Masters and Matt Belloni discuss the latest at Warner Bros. Discovery following the company’s Q1 earnings report. They also dive into the announced streaming package bundling Max, Disney+, and Hulu. Plus, Eric Deggans speaks to writer Russell T Davies about the new season of Doctor Who on Disney+. Davies talks about casting Sex Education’s Ncuti Gatwa as the latest Doctor, why having Disney on his side is such a big deal, and he explains why he thinks writing Doctor Who is one of the hardest jobs in television.
Kim Masters and Matt Belloni discuss why Comcast’s proposed bid for NBA TV rights put Warner Bros. Discovery in a tight spot. They also get into the latest at Paramount as a potential merger inches closer.  Plus, Eric Deggans speaks to legendary actress Pam Grier about her storied career in filmmaking and appearing in Prime Video’s horror anthology series, Them. The pioneering female action star explains the origins of the term “Blaxploitation” and shares how she accidentally left Quentin Tarantino hanging for three weeks after he sent her his script for Jackie Brown.
Kim Masters and Matt Belloni examine the surprising decision made by the New York State Court of Appeals to overturn Harvey Weinstein’s 2020 rape conviction.  Plus, Masters speaks to writer Justin Kuritzkes about the rollout of his first effort at writing a movie, Luca Guadagnino’s Challengers. He talks about how the Zendaya-led film was inspired by a particular US Open match that turned him into a tennis obsessive. And he shares how he and his wife, Celine Song — known for her Oscar-nominated Past Lives — manage to keep their work separate from their relationship.
Kim Masters and Matt Belloni take a look at Jeff Skoll’s decision to close Participant Media after 20 years. And the banter partners break down why two congress members sent a letter addressed to the heads of Disney, Fox, and Warner Bros. Discovery about their in-development joint sports streamer affectionately nicknamed “Spulu.”  Plus, Masters speaks to Mary Robertson and Emma Schwartz about their investigative documentary series, Quiet on Set: The Dark Side of Kids TV. The filmmakers talk about working with Business Insider contributor Kate Taylor to uncover years of inappropriate behavior that took place on the sets of Nickelodeon producer Dan Schneider. They also share how Investigation Discovery went from ordering a three episode series to five episodes with more on the way as the cameras continue rolling.
Kim Masters and Matt Belloni dive into the challenges faced by legendary filmmaker Francis Ford Coppola as he struggles to find distribution for his self-financed passion project, Megalopolis. The Banter partners also take a look at the risks behind David Ellison’s bid to acquire Paramount parent company National Amusements. Plus, Eric Deggans speaks to comedian Mike Birbiglia and documentary filmmaker Eddie Schmidt about their new special, Good One: A Show About Jokes. They share how they approached adapting a popular Vulture podcast into their Peacock special, and talk about sticking with the truth in autobiographical comedy following allegations that Hasan Minaj falsified elements of his award-winning special Homecoming King.
Kim Masters and Matt Belloni take a quick look at Ari Emanuel-led Endeavor going private, and the banter partners break down the outcome of the long battle between Nelson Peltz and Disney.  Plus, on this special episode of The Business, Kim Masters speaks to director James Hawes about his film One Life, which tells the story of Sir Nicholas Winton, who saved more than 600 children, including Masters’ own mother, from Nazi-occupied Czechoslovakia. Hawes talks about how after years as a television director, he found his feature directorial debut in One Life, and Masters shares her deeply personal family stories connected to Winton’s rescue efforts.
Kim Masters and Matt Belloni report on the latest in the Disney proxy battle, and the banter partners examine the outrage of NBC staff following the brief, yet confounding, hiring of former RNC chair Ronna McDaniel. Plus, Masters speaks to writers Justin Marks and Rachel Kondo about their FX limited series, Shōgun. The husband and wife creative team talk about how they’ve been granted more control writing for television over feature films. They also explain why the risk FX took on their very expensive—and heavily subtitled—period epic tops any hurdles they experienced on the show’s massive production.
Matt Belloni and Lucas Shaw examine four Disney executives poised to take the throne in 2026 following CEO Bob Iger’s proposed retirement.  Plus, we revisit our conversation with Steven Yeun, who joined Kim Masters to talk about his Emmy winning limited series, Beef. The actor talks about his initial fears of not living up to expectations after being cast in what would become an Academy Award-nominated performance for Minari, why he and his Beef co-star Ali Wong broke out in hives after production wrapped, and how Netflix approached the A24 limited series with an offer that was too good to turn down.
Kim Masters and Matt Belloni discuss the alleged years of abuse and inappropriate behavior on Nickelodeon sets as shown in ID’s new docuseries, Quiet on Set: The Dark Side of Kids TV.  Plus, Eric Deggans talks to actors Andrew Lincoln and Danai Gurira about reprising their breakout roles as Rick and Michonne Grimes on The Walking Dead: The Ones Who Live. Gurira shares why writing an episode of the new spinoff series opened her eyes to the challenges of writing for television, and co-star Lincoln talks about how streaming affected the flagship show’s viewership over the years.  
Kim Masters and Matt Belloni examine the latest developments in the Disney proxy fight. They also take a look at a peculiar lawsuit filed against CBS Studios and Paramount. Plus, Masters speaks to writer Tony McNamara about his Academy Award-nominated screenplay for the Yorgos Lanthimos film, Poor Things. He talks about how he and Lanthimos managed to take a book about Scottish nationalism and turn it into their film, which is nominated for 11 Academy Awards this weekend. He also shares why he likes splitting his time between film and TV, and why the voices he hears in his head dictate how he writes a screenplay.
Kim Masters and Matt Belloni break down the latest executive hires at Netflix and Disney. They also take a look at Kevin Costner’s ambitious plans to theatrically release a four-part film saga set in the Old West.  Plus, NPR contributor Jeff Lunden speaks to composer Laura Karpman about her work on two vastly different 2023 films: the Disney juggernaut The Marvels, and Cord Jefferson’s sharp comedy-drama, American Fiction, which led to her first Academy Award nomination.
PREVIEW: Kim Masters speaks to writer Tony McNamara, who adapted a 1992 Alasdair Gray novel into the Oscar nominated Yorgos Lanthimos film, Poor Things. Tune in to The Business on March 8th to hear the full interview with McNamara, where he shares how his toddler inspired him to write Emma Stone’s favorite line in the Academy Award nominated screenplay.  
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Comments (4)

Strobe

My fav show

Apr 23rd
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Erik L

What a great episode! 😁 More mega banter please!

Dec 26th
Reply

Strobe

My favorite podcast. Kim Masters is such a delight to listen to.

Apr 18th
Reply

InverDarr

Initial 8 minutes of utter gibberish.

Jan 7th
Reply