Today in Hollywood: Brad Grey is selling Frank Sinatra's house, Kevin Costner passes on another Tarantino movie, and NBC institution Rick Ludwin is stepping down as head of late-night programming.
- Frank Sinatra's old house is back on the market, less than a year after Paramount Pictures chairman and avowed Sinatraphile Brad Grey purchased the 2.3-acre Holmbly Hills property for $18.5 million. His real estate agent Steven Shapiro says Grey and wife Cassandra Huysentruyt have "fallen in love" with a property he owns in Bel-Air and have decided to stay there, possibly because it isn't in need of a major overhaul like the Sinatra property. "At 8,631 square feet," The Hollywood Reporter noted after last year's sale, "the red brick Mediterranean home is considered by some to be small for the size of property and the neighborhood." Last year, Shapiro told The Wall Street Journal that the house was "stuck in another era as far as the kitchens and bathrooms," and he tells The Reporter that Grey considered doing "a signifigant remodel" or just building an entirely new house, which would have taken three years. Sinatra paid $250,000 for the house in 1948 before wife Nancy Barbato Sinatra kicked him out in 1950. Grey's asking price today is $23.5 million. [The Hollywood Reporter]
- The days of Martin Lawrence making $20 million a picture--which is what he earned on Bad Boys II and National Security, both released in 2003--are over, so the comedian's returning to the small-screen, signing an overall talent deal with CBS. He and the network will work together to devise a sitcom, which the network undoubtedly hopes will be more like his succesful mid-1990s Fox sitcom Martin, and less like the disastrous, obscene SNL monologue he delivered in 1994 that got him banned from ever appearing on NBC. [Variety]
- Rick Ludwin is departing as head of NBC late night programming after 22 years in the position and 31 years with the network. He'll be replaced by NBC reality czar Paul Telegdy. Ludwin's been involved in his fair share of NBC history--he commissioned the pilot for Seinfeld, was running the late-night division when Jay Leno was chosen to replace Johnny Carson as Tonight Show host. He also hired Conan O'Brien to host Late Night in 1993 and emerged as one of his fiercest defenders at the network during the show's uncertain early weeks. He also helped nudge Jay Leno aside so O'Brien could (briefly) take over the Tonight Show in 2009. That may have proved to be his undoing, writes The New York Times' Bill Carter, who says Leno held the executive's support of O'Brien against him and "stopped communicating with [Ludwin] after he returned to 'Tonight.” [Media Decoder]
- Kevin Costner has passed on playing the plantation-owning bad guy in director Quentin Tarantino's upcoming spaghetti western/Reconstruction-set revenge thriller Django Unchained because of scheduling conflicts, tweets Variety's Justin Kroll. Filming is set to start in October, and the movie has already been given a plum Christmas 2012 release date. [Justrin Kroll]