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The Business


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.


Santa Monica, CA




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.






1900 Pico Blvd. Santa Monica, CA 90405 310-450-5183


Serving up ‘Waitress,’ streaming BroadwayHD, and Bob Iger on Disney’s future

Disney CEO Bob Iger talks about the company’s many struggles, including his succession, selling ABC, and Marvel troubles during the New York Times’ DealBook Summit. Then, we’re taking it to Broadway: Contributor Jeff Lunden speaks to Tony-winning producers Stewart F. Lane and Bonnie Comley about their streaming platform, BroadwayHD. Lunden also talks with Waitress star Sara Bareilles and producer Jessie Nelson about the live capture and theatrical distribution of their hit musical show.


Justine Bateman, Duncan Crabtree-Ireland on AI contract language; Hollywood’s lean holiday box office

Kim Masters and Matt Belloni discuss what’s shaping up to be a lean holiday box office and what success for movies looks like — and how it’s perceived — when it comes to theatrical versus streaming releases. Then, filmmaker and SAG-AFTRA generative AI advisor Justine Bateman joins to share her concerns over the union's new contract, while Chief Negotiator Duncan Crabtree-Ireland explains why it’s the best deal possible.


Kristoffer Borgli on the “Dream Scenario” of directing Nicolas Cage; The saga of “Coyote vs. Acme

WBD is looking for a buyer for its Coyote vs. Acme film. Can it find one? Plus, an AI-generated Édith Piaf biopic is in the works at Warner Music. Filmmaker Kristoffer Borgli talks with Kim Masters about his Nicolas Cage-led film, “Dream Scenario,” directing commercials, and how the Norwegian Film Institute unknowingly funded his projects conceived in LA.


Inside the end of the actors’ strike; James Burrows on the return of ‘Frasier’

SAG-AFTRA reaches a tentative deal with studios after 118 days on strike. Was the deal a win? What is in it? Plus, WBD and Disney earnings news. Legendary sitcom director James Burrows talks with Eric Deggans, NPR TV critic and guest-host on The Business, about the revival of Frasier, his directing career, and whether sitcoms can endure on streaming services.


Comedian-actress Leslie Jones bares it all in raw memoir; HBO trolls critics

First, HBO CEO Casey Bloys asked staffers to create fake Twitter accounts to fight critics of the network. What’s all the attention about? Plus, Disney is finally buying Hulu. Actress-comedian Leslie Jones discusses her tell-all memoir, overcoming personal and career obstacles, and her relationship with ‘SNL’ creator, Lorne Michaels.


Robert Kirkman on ‘Invincible’ Season 2; Israel-Hamas conflict’s impact on Hollywood

The actors’ strike forges on as Hollywood reckons with the impact of the Hamas-Israel conflict and streamers raise prices — again. NPR TV Critic Eric Deggans talks with comic-book-author-turned-showrunner Robert Kirkman about the new animated adaptation of his print series Invincible, modernizing the superhero genre, and why he’s not worried about comic book adaptation fatigue.


Agency heads feud, Ken Burns takes the (long) road less traveled with ‘American Buffalo’

The CEO of Endeavor, Ari Emanuel, attacked rival Bryan Lourd, head of the talent agency CAA, at Bloomberg’s Screentime conference. What’s behind the feud? Documentarian Ken Burns talks about his latest project, The American Buffalo, his career, financing projects, and controversies, including a recently surfaced photo of him posing along Clarence Thomas and David Koch.


Encore: Creating ‘Reservation Dogs’ with Indigenous cast and crew; Swift’s concert hits theaters

Taylor Swift’s The Eras Tour concert film is out in theaters. Was this a good deal for Swift and AMC? And will this become a trend with other artists? This week on The Business, Kim Masters revisits an interview with Sterlin Harjo, co-creator of the hit comedy series Reservation Dogs on FX.


Oscar-winner costume designer reflects on career in new book; Netflix price hike

As the actors’ strike continues, Netflix announces a price hike. What does this mean for subscribers and the streamer? Then, Oscar-winning costume designer Ruth E. Carter talks about her new book, collaborating with Spike Lee and Steven Spielberg, and the joys and challenges of costume designing for Black Panther.


Gareth Edwards’ ‘The Creator’ zeroes in on AI tension as WGA leaders make a deal

WGA leaders reached a deal this week with Hollywood studios, ending 148 days of work stoppage. What did they get? Where did they compromise? And will SAG-AFTRA be next? Plus, director Gareth Edwards discusses his new AI-centric film The Creator and its timeliness within our current cultural climate. He also gets real about behind-the-scenes drama on Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.


Rupert Murdoch steps down, hip-hop femmes shine in the Dream Hampton produced docuseries ‘Ladies First’

First, Rupert Murdoch has announced that he is stepping down as the head of both Fox Corp. and News Corp. What will this mean for the Murdoch family line of succession? Plus, Warner Brothers Discovery announces a new paid tier to offer live sports coverage on Max. Then, Ladies First executive producer Dream Hampton talks to NPR’s Eric Deggans about why she doesn’t hesitate to call out misogynists by name in her new documentary series spotlighting women in hip-hop. Plus, she gets real about initially not wanting to do the project at all.


Assessing the strike’s damage, plus an encore with ‘Navalny’ director Daniel Roher

First, what lasting damage to the entertainment industry will the extended impasse between striking Hollywood creatives, and the Alliance of Motion Pictures and Television Producers leave in its wake? Then, in an encore interview, Navalny director Daniel Roher and investigative journalist Christo Grozev discuss how they came to pursue a film about Alexei Navalny, Russian opposition leader. They also talk about the risks they faced to make the Oscar-winning documentary, and the eventual arrest and sentencing of the politician in Russia.


‘Reservation Dogs’ director on Indigenous representation, Disney exits Spectrum

First, the Walt Disney Co. has pulled all programming from Charter Spectrum in early September. What ripples does this create for Disney, other networks, and the cable industry? Then, Reservation Dogs director Danis Goulet talks about working on the final season of the FX hit, representation in Hollywood, and Taika Waititi’s integral role in creating a platform for Indigenous stories.


‘Telemarketers’ unpacks systemic scamming, CNN gets a new CEO

First, Warner Bros. CEO David Zaslav hires former New York Times executive Mark Thompson to head CNN. Will Thompson turn the struggling network around? Then, directors Sam Lipman-Stern and Adam Lough talk with NPR TV critic Eric Deggans about their HBO documentary, Telemarketers and share how their work helped investigate fraudulent charitable organizations. They also discuss how the Safdie brothers came on board to executive produce the series, and how HBO came to be at the helm.


Encore: Steve Martin can't imagine 'Only Murders in the Building' without Selena Gomez

First, the AMPTP released its latest offer to the WGA in a press release this week. Will the studio’s move work or backfire? Then, actor, comedian, musician, and producer Steve Martin and co-creator of Only Murders in the Building, John Hoffman, explain how they met and what it took to get this idea from paper onto the screen.


Blumhouse CEO breaks down real Hollywood horror as strikes rage on

First, Hollywood strikes throttle on, despite recent talks between AMPTP and WGA, complicating industry plans for the season ahead. What will this mean for upcoming film festivals and fall television? Then, Jason Blum, founder and CEO of Blumhouse, discusses the latest on the work stoppages, and the (spooky) current state of Hollywood. But it’s not all horror talk with one of our leading experts on the genre — the powerhouse producer has advice on amplifying profitability across the industry.


Bill Kristol on Fox Corp. accountability, Emmys postponed

The 2023 Emmy ceremony has been rescheduled for January 2024. How will it contend with the NFL playoffs? And Disney presents more changes via its latest investor call. Political analyst Bill Kristol joins to break down an FCC petition to deny a Fox Corp. affiliate’s license renewal and his larger role in seeking accountability for the organization.


Sam Pollard on making ‘The League,’ AMPTP reopens negotiations

After months of stagnation, the AMPTP has asked the Writers Guild back to the negotiating table. Is there a deal to be made? Plus, Disney re-hires some familiar faces as consultants. Then, director Sam Pollard discusses his new doc The League, which pairs his love of baseball with his ongoing examination of Black history, and discusses working with producer Questlove and the “uphill climb” of documentary filmmaking.


Gloria Calderón Kellett calls for equitable storytelling, ‘Barbenheimer’ wins the box office

Barbie and Oppenheimer have proven to be massively successful at the box office, but where does that leave the comparatively underwhelming performance of Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One and other tentpole hopefuls? Then, The Horror of Dolores Roach Executive Producer Gloria Calderón Kellett talks to NPR TV critic Eric Deggans about the challenges of making a screen adaptation of a hit podcast. She also explains the significant impact of residuals throughout her career, and why she thinks writers need a better deal in the streaming age.


Hollywood VFX expert weighs in on AI, studios and guilds dig in

On the strike lines, rhetoric from studios and guilds makes it difficult to reach a resolution, while Disney’s CEO digs in. Plus, Netflix and streaming services face growth challenges. Then, Emmy-nominated VFX specialist and AI expert Mike Seymour talks about the various ways Hollywood has benefited from AI. He discusses the risks of human misuse of the technology and the need for regulation, and explains how AI can be harnessed — and in some cases, already is — to help rather than hurt creatives.