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Actress Kate del Castillo wanted to make a movie about El Chapo. Sean Penn wanted to write an article about the infamous drug lord. They thought they were on the same page when they traveled to go and meet him, but as journalist Robert Draper tells us, both parties claim they didn't know what the other one wanted. He tells us how the glamorous Mexican actress came to be the liaison between Penn and El Chapo. And, Michael Schneider sits down with Ilene Chaiken, executive producer of Fox's Empire and Michelle Ashford, executive producer of Masters of Sex on Showtime to talk about how they broke into the industry and grew their careers.

Photo: (L-R) Michael Schneider with executive producers Michelle Ashford from Masters of Sex and Ilene Chaiken from Empire at the National Association of Television Program Executives gathering. 

Hollywood News Banter 9 MIN, 33 SEC

Matt Belloni, executive editor of the Hollywood Reporter joins Kim Masters to discuss top entertainment news stories of the week.

  • Matt Belloni talks about his cover story for the Hollywood Reporter, a much-coveted interview with WME-IMG’s Ari Emanuel and Patrick Whitesell. Everyone is waiting to see if their $2.4 billion wager in acquiring IMG will pay off. The talent agency is no longer just an agency, but an entertainment conglomerate, and it looks like they might be preparing for an IPO.
  • Cannes will open with the Woody Allen film Cafe Society this year. That's not news in itself, but this is the film that Amazon Studios paid $15 million for -- a very high price for an indie. It’s strange to think about an Amazon movie opening the famous festival. Everyone is waiting to see whether Amazon and Netflix will be able to successfully distribute movies theatrically.
  • Empire came roaring back in the ratings here in the US, but it’s not had the same success overseas. Foreign TV executives are still trying to figure out how to get television with diverse casts to succeed in Europe.

Matthew Belloni, Hollywood Reporter (@THRMattBelloni)

Journalist Robert Draper on Kate del Castillo 8 MIN, 25 SEC

Earlier this year actor Sean Penn became mired in controversy when Rolling Stone published his secret interview with then-fugitive Joaquín Guzmán Loera, the murderous Mexican drug lord known as El Chapo.

The two men were brought together by an unlikely liaison, Mexican actress Kate del Castillo. Though del Castillo has yet to break through in English-language television, she is widely adored for her defining role in the Telemundo telenovela La Reina del Sur.

Four years ago, del Castillo sent out a long, free-form Tweet, in which she spoke favorably of El Chapo, saying she trusted him more than the Mexican government.

Then, she got a phone call from El Chapo's lawyers. They told her El Chapo was a fan of hers and wanted to give her his life rights so she could make a movie about him.

Del Castillo recruited two Argentine producers, who in turn connected her with Sean Penn. According to del Castillo's account, she expected Penn to help her figure out how to bring an El Chapo film to the big screen. Penn has said his only intention was to write an article based on an interview with the drug lord.

Journalist Robert Draper recently profiled del Castillo in the New Yorker. He spoke to KCRW's Madeleine Brand about the many apparent misunderstandings between the actress and Sean Penn.

Robert Draper, New York Times Magazine / National Geographic / GQ (@DraperRobert)

Showrunners Ilene Chaiken and Michelle Ashford 9 MIN, 4 SEC

Fox's hit series Empire has just resumed its second season with a ratings bang. That means Taraji P. Henson and Terrence Howard are back as Cookie and Lucious Lyon, now trying to regain control of their record label.

We're bringing you a conversation with two showrunners -- Ilene Chaiken of Empire and Michelle Ashford, creator of Showtime's Masters of Sex. The two sat down to talk about their different paths to success, how they deal with the daily pressures of putting out strong shows, and the state of diversity in television with Michael Schneider at this year's meeting of the National Association of Television Program Executives.

Ilene Chaiken, television producer, director and writer (@ilenechaiken)
Michelle Ashford, writer and producer

Listen to more of Schneider's conversation with Chaiken and Ashford on KCRW's 'The Spin-off'


Kim Masters

Kaitlin Parker

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