Sunday, June 16, 2024

Books: “Powerhouse,” the Untold Story of CAA Lands With a Thud in Bookstores, Etc


You think the public wants Hollywood gossip. But they want it in a straightforward way, not mixed with bland recollections of Hollywood agents.

And so “Powerhouse: The Untold Story of Creative Artists Agency” is a hit at dinner, and broken up into news bits. But as a book, it’s a dud. It’s number 209 at Amazon, 408 on Barnes and Noble in hardcover, and number 1,001 on Amazon Kindle.

The public, it seems, isn’t so interested in a long Premiere magazine type oral history of a talent agency. Mike Ovitz’s memories and critiques were not clamored for summer reading.

In Malibu and East Hampton? Maybe. But in the summer of Trump, and police demonstrations, and Pokemon Go, not so much in 48 states.

Perhaps a version of “Powerhouse” just with anecdotes from movie stars, or about them. The ones I extracted about Cher and David Letterman were very readable. There was one I didn’t even use about Goldie Hawn wanting to be in “Thelma and Louise.” But otherwise, the machinations of Ovitz, and who liked who and who hated who, and whose mansion was built on what property– didn’t strike a note in the homeland. Or the Bread Basket.

But for entertainment press, and people who work in showbiz, or knew Jay Moloney, the tragic prince of CAA, “Powerhouse” is still a great read.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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