Life in the Fast Lane: Stacy Hollins and the Hollywood Headache

11 Pages Posted: 30 May 2017

See all articles by aaron peters

aaron peters

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Jenny Mead

University of Virginia - Darden School of Business

Andrew Wicks

University of Virginia - Darden School of Business

Abstract

Stacy Hollins, president of Warner Bros. Television, had a big problem with Kevin Tanner, creator and show runner of the hit comedy program It's a Man's World. After nearly six years of sobriety following two DUI arrests, a divorce, and a suicide attempt, Tanner had relapsed, and Hollins was worried about both Tanner's welfare and the future of a show that was a huge money-maker for her studio. When Hollins had suggested that It's a Man's World could go on production hiatus while Tanner entered a rehabilitation facility, Tanner's agent had stated that his client would rather end the program for good—stopping one of Warner Bros. most successful and valuable sources of income—than face the embarrassment of having his creation suspended or run by someone else. Should Hollins simply fire Tanner, allow the show to remain in production with Tanner unchecked for two more months, or should she insist—despite the chance of losing It's a Man's World—that Tanner get help immediately? This case fosters quality discussions in leadership, organizational behavior, or business ethics courses that deal with sensitive personnel issues.

Excerpt

UVA-E-0386

Rev. Oct. 9, 2013

LIFE IN THE FAST LANE:

STACY HOLLINS AND THE HOLLYWOOD HEADACHE

The atmosphere was buoyant on the set of the NBC sitcom It's a Man's World, which had just finished taping its 116th episode (17th of a 24-episode order for 2011 to 2012, the show's sixth season). The production staff was gathered on the historic Stage 5 at the Warner Bros. Studio lot in Burbank, California, for its traditional postshow party, complete with chocolate fondue fountain, DJ, and full bar. After a week of 18-hour workdays, last-minute changes from the network and studio, and the standard pressures of staging a comedy show in front of a live studio audience, the staff deserved a respite. It's a Man's World, a comedy about three men raising one of the men's teenage son, was an extremely well-received show, having spent five straight seasons in the Nielsen top 20, having averaged more than 15million viewers per episode, and having won several Primetime Emmy Awards. (See Exhibits 1 and 2.)

But Stacy Hollins, president of Warner Bros. Television—the studio backing the show—knew all was not well with the show. As she stood listening to the NBC executives rave about how funny the shoot had been, her thoughts shifted to Kevin Tanner, the program's volatile creator and show runner. After six years of sobriety, Tanner had recently relapsed, and his personal life was spiraling out of control. His previous three months had been littered with increasingly disturbing incidents: hospitalizations for alcohol-related injuries, drug-fueled romps with strippers, and his car having been found mysteriously abandoned on the 101 freeway.

. . .

Keywords: business ethics, ethical issues, decision making, entertainment, leadership, substance abuse, Hollywood, stakeholder management

Suggested Citation

peters, aaron and Mead, Jenny and Wicks, Andrew, Life in the Fast Lane: Stacy Hollins and the Hollywood Headache. Darden Case No. UVA-E-0386. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2974185

Aaron Peters (Contact Author)

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Jenny Mead

University of Virginia - Darden School of Business ( email )

P.O. Box 6550
Charlottesville, VA 22906-6550
United States

Andrew Wicks

University of Virginia - Darden School of Business ( email )

P.O. Box 6550
Charlottesville, VA 22906-6550
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.darden.virginia.edu/faculty/wicks.htm

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