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On The Lot: Joel McHale, runaway film production, Kevin Spacey and more

100th Annual White House Correspondents' Association Dinner

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Comedian Joel McHale speaks at the annual White House Correspondent's Association Gala at the Washington Hilton hotel May 3, 2014 in Washington, D.C. The dinner is an annual event attended by journalists, politicians and celebrities.

It's Monday, which means its time for On The Lot with Rebecca Keegan of the LA Times, our weekly look at the movie business.  

Far from Brentwood and Sunset Boulevard, a big event Saturday night drew a few Hollywood celebrities: The White House Correspondents Dinner, also known as Nerd Prom. It used to be a hot ticket for stars, but nowadays not so much. Why is that?

The headliner was Joel McHale, from the NBC TV show, "Community," and the consensus on his performance? Biting. He was funny, but even he joked that he was there because Jimmy Fallon declined. You have to stand up there and tell a lot of jokes that mostly offend people. How can this be good for your career as an actor?

If the big name stars weren't going to Washington this weekend, it may have been because they were in New York, instead. The Big Apple is taking a big bite out of Hollywood production. They're breaking records for film and TV projects, while Hollywood is struggling to keep the lights on here.

What has New York done to set the stage for this big comeback in production?

Producer Harvey Weinstein is well known for being headstrong with his directors, and now he's in a big spat with another one. It involves a movie about Grace Kelly, that stars Nicole Kidman, and it's turning into a real feud. At least as described in the press, Weinstein's version is rosy, and the director's cut is a lot darker. What's your best guess? Which version ends up in theaters?

There's more trouble for the already troubled film production "Midnight Rider."


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