WNET owed $500,000 by Vine Talk production company, paper says

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A couple big show-biz names are owed money for their participation in the pubTV program Vine Talk, the New York Times is reporting. Actor Stanley Tucci serves as host of the wine gabfest, sipping and chatting with celebs such as writer Nora Ephron and actors John Lithgow and Rosie Perez. The show is produced by Jersey Wooly Productions at WNET’s Lincoln Center studio, although, the newspaper reports, the station has not yet been paid $500,000 for this first season. Joe Locarro, the program’s director and an executive producer, said he was owed “in the six figures.” Tucci declined to comment through his publicist, “on the advice of counsel.” Tucci’s partner in Olive Productions, actor Steve Buscemi, said through a spokesperson that the two have withdrawn from the project.

Bruce Marcus, Jersey Wooly c.e.o. and a former s.v.p. at Chicago’s WTTW, declined to tell the Times how much money was outstanding. “We’re still in the process of Season 1 and still bringing money into the project,” he said. “We do have payables still getting paid, slowly but surely. There’s no doubt the economy has impacted our ability to bring in money over the past year.”