Late last week, we received a very nice invitation to a luncheon sponsored by the Magazine Publisher's Association and the American Society of Magazine Editors. It was their annual lifetime achievement awards, and guess who is being honored? Tina Brown. Apparently the former editor of Tatler, The New Yorker, Vanity Fair, and the ill-fated Talk is at that point in her career when the final retrospective is in order. You know, the point in her career that comes at the end. We feel a little bad for Tina. Getting a lifetime achievement award when you are 54 is a little bit like getting the "Most Improved GPA" certificate at college graduation or a magazine cover with the tagline "Sexy at ANY Age": It's an honor and an insult at once. Surely, we thought, Tina must be up to something. She's a legend! For example, there's that HBO development deal that we heard about but HBO exec Sheila Nevins apparently didn't. And after finishing her book The Diana Chronicles in late 2006, she went on to write Um Well, we're not sure, exactly. An insider tells us that she's shopping around two or three new projects. But we haven't heard about them. Does anybody know what Tina's been up to? Or should we start assembling a clip reel for her memorial service award-ceremony montage right now? We'll set it to the tune of "Candle in the Wind."
Related:HBO's Sheila Nevins Is Confused by Tina Brown, Bored by Hillary
So, what exactly is Tina Brown doing at HBO? We asked Sheila Nevins, head of HBO's documentary division, when we saw her at last night's Gucci Tribeca Documentary Fund Launch Dinner. "I don't know!" she said. "You tell me! I thought I'd read it in New York Magazine!" Nope, it was Liz Smith. "Here's the hot skinny on the queen of buzz," Liz wrote yesterday. "The amazing Tina Brown is in a newly struck, first-look deal to bring projects and story ideas to HBO." We can see how you'd confuse us, though. Anyway! Would Nevins be open to discussing ideas with Tina? "I talk to anybody! I like to work with anybody," she said, although she rejected the idea of a Princess Di documentary inspired by Brown's book. "There are too many Diana documentaries," she said. Yeah, people said that about the book, too. How about something on one of the presidential candidates? Hillary? "Well they say Hillary's tough to get good access to," she said. "I think actually what's her name tried. [Alexandra] Pelosi tried. But I don't think she got in the door. Candidates are boring. I think real people are more interesting. I'm into sort of human things, beating the odds. Ordinary people that crawl out of manhole covers. I like to lift manhole covers. And womanhole covers." —Amy Odell