Cancer-stricken Patrick Swayze is already planning his return to work--he's hoping his new TV series The Beast will be commissioned by a cable channel.
The actor revealed earlier this week that he is responding well to treatment for pancreatic cancer.
And now TV network A&E is so pleased with the news of the star's wellbeing, bosses have hinted they may pick up the pilot for the series, which was filmed last year.
Network spokesperson Michael Feeney says, "We're delighted to hear the news that he's doing well.
"He completed a phenomenal pilot in December, and it remains in strong contention to become a series. It's one of several pilots we have in development to become a series on A&E. But the network has not made a decision yet."
Annett Wolf, Swayze's publicist, adds, "He's doing well. We're waiting to hear about the pilot."
If picked up, production on The Beast would begin in the summer or early fall, according to the New York Daily News.
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Dunst, Gyllenhaal end romance
Hollywood's young couple Kirsten Dunst and Jake Gyllenhaal have gone their separate ways, Gyllenhaal's publicist Annett Wolf confirmed to The Associated Press. Wolf would not provide details of why they stopped dating, but confirmed they broke up "some time ago." "It's been a while, but they have remained the best of friends," Wolf said. The 22-year-old Spider-Man 2 star and 23-year-old Day After Tomorrow star began dating about two years ago after being introduced by Gyllenhaal's sister, Maggie Gyllenhaal, who appeared with Dunst in Mona Lisa Smile.
Mary-Kate Olsen going home soon
After six weeks at a treatment facility for a health-related issue, reportedly an eating disorder, Mary-Kate Olsen is "doing well" and her fans can "expect her to return home soon," her publicist, Michael Pagnotta, told AP Tuesday. People magazine also reported that Mary-Kate will be released this weekend, return home to her family and begin preparing for college in the fall. Mary-Kate and her twin sister, Ashley, turned 18 in June. They plan to attend New York University in the fall.
Spears' soon-to-be-hubby is daddy for second time
Britney Spears' fiancé, Kevin Federline, became a father for the second time when his ex-girlfriend, actress Shar Jackson, gave birth to their baby Tuesday in Los Angeles, according to People magazine. It was the second child for Federline, a 26-year-old dancer, and Jackson, 27, who appeared on the UPN series Moesha. The ex-couple have a 2-year-old daughter. Spears and Federline announced their engagement in June, after dating for a few months.
Stern gets slapped with countersuit
Clear Channel Communications Inc. on Wednesday plans to file a countersuit against Howard Stern and his distributor, Infinity Broadcasting, claiming the controversial radio talk show host breached his contract by airing indecent programs, a source close to the company told Reuters. Stern and his company One Twelve filed a $10 million lawsuit against Clear Channel, citing that the corporation had broken its contract with Stern when it dumped the shock jock's show from six stations it owns following fines against Stern by the Federal Communications Commission. Clear Channel says Stern's license agreement with all six stations required the program to conform to all applicable laws and regulations, the source told Reuters.
P. Diddy encourages youth to vote
Sean "P. Diddy" Combs has organized a new nonpartisan voting initiative to entice young people and minorities to vote in the presidential election, AP reports. Called Citizen Change, Combs plans to link up with MTV, BET, Clear Channel and other media outlets to increase voter awareness, as well as have registration drives and education initiatives on college campuses. "For the first time in history, we're going to make voting fashionable," Combs said in a statement. The organization will hold functions tied to both the Democratic and Republication conventions and will ask both President Bush and Democratic challenger John Kerry to participate in Citizen Change events.
Just for Laughs festival yuks it up
Tim Allen, Sinbad, Drew Carey, Caroline Rhea and Triumph the Insult Comic Dog are just some of the acts in the diverse lineup of this year's Just for Laughs comedy festival in Montreal, which starts Wednesday. "We have our most diverse programming lineup ever, so there should be something interesting for everyone in the industry," Just for Laughs chief operating officer Bruce Hills told Reuters. One of the festival's most-anticipated alternative productions is The Evil Dead 1&2--The Musical, which one Los Angeles agent called "one of the shows a lot of people already talk about because it is so unusual." The comedy festival runs through Sunday.
Top Story: More Evidence Surfaces in Jackson Case
Investigators in New Jersey have seized memorabilia of pop star Michael Jackson, including Calvin Klein briefs, as evidence in the child molestation case against the singer, authorities told Reuters Monday. The owner of the items, Henry Vaccaro, told investigators he obtained the memorabilia as part of a default judgment in a lawsuit and found the items as he was repackaging the collection for resale, said Robert Honecker, a New Jersey prosecutor. Reuters reports the briefs allegedly could contain trace body fluids that might provide a sample of Jackson's DNA, but Honecker would not confirm. "That's not for me to say. It's for Santa Barbara," he said. Jackson, 45, pleaded innocent last Friday to charges of conspiring to commit child abduction, extortion and false imprisonment in a 10-count indictment handed up by a Santa Barbara County grand jury.
Pitt's Ready for His Mid-Life Crisis
Brad Pitt, starring as the tortured Achilles in the upcoming epic Troy, says he's ready for a mid-life crisis, if it ever hits. In a recent interview with Vanity Fair, the hunky actor admitted there could be a "mid-life crisis on its way," and that he is not sure "it really is in our nature to be with someone for the rest of our lives," claiming he and his wife Jennifer Aniston "always made a pact, that we'll see where this thing is going." Pitt also added, "You keep going as long as you keep growing. When that dies, we do. But it constantly surprises me. Just when you think you've gotten all you can out of it, you get knocked upside the head ... It's complicated but that's what keeps it interesting…I'm not a big proponent of happiness. I think it's highly overrated. I think misery is underrated. There's so much value in that. You can't have one without the other." Profound.
Wayans Files for Divorce
Actor/director Keenen Ivory Wayans, the eldest brother of the Wayans clan, is divorcing his wife of three years, Daphne, citing irreconcilable differences, The Associated Press reports. The couple has been married since June 2001. Wayans is requesting joint custody of his five children.
Priestley Gets Engaged
On the opposite side of that coin, former Beverly Hills 90210 pretty boy Jason Priestley, now starring in Fox's TV series Tru Calling, is getting hitched to his longtime girlfriend Naomi Lowde, AP reports. No other details of the engagement were immediately available, according to Priestley's spokeswoman Annett Wolf. Lowde is a makeup artist.
The Donald Gives Life Advice
With a new radio show, a hit TV show and oodles of money, it makes sense real estate mogul Donald Trump would publish a book handing out advice on how to get rich. AP reports Random House is releasing Think Like a Billionaire, an advice book Trump describes as a fast path to the good life and a follow-up to his current bestseller How To Get Rich. "I'm an ambitious guy," Trump said in a statement Monday. "I want to give readers everything they need to be successful in life in fewer than 300 pages."
Recording Companies To Pay Back Artists' Royalties
Under a settlement being announced today, 10 major recording companies have agreed to return nearly $50 million in unclaimed royalties to thousands of musicians including Sean Combs, Gloria Estefan and Dolly Parton. The AP reports a two-year investigation by the New York state Attorney General's office found that scores of artists were not being paid royalties because the record companies had lost contact with them. Under the agreement, recording companies will make good-faith efforts to track down artists to whom royalties are due. The companies, which include Sony Music Entertainment, Warner Music Group, Universal Music, and EMI Music Publishing, will divert any monies from artists it cannot locate to the state.
Gwen Stefani Says No Doubt Not Breaking Up
No Doubt frontwoman Gwen Stefani told Cosmopolitan magazine in its June issue that the band is not breaking up. "I thought it would be a good publicity stunt to say we were breaking up, but really we're not," she said. "We decided after our album Rock Steady that we were going to take some time apart to pursue independent projects and I really wanted to do a movie." Stefani has a small role as Jean Harlow in director Martin Scorsese's Howard Hughes biopic The Aviator starring Leonardo DiCaprio. Stefani, however, does have a new solo album coming out in August, which she describes as "a fun, '80s-inspired, retro dance album."
Role Call: O'Donnell Rides Bus, Romano Gets Grilled, Schneider Becomes Fearless
Former talk show host Rosie O'Donnell will play a retarded woman in the CBS TV movie Riding the Bus With My Sister, based on a book by Rachel Simon. The novel chronicles Simon's relationship with her mentally retarded sister, who fills her days riding city buses … Ray Romano and Kevin James, who co-starred in early episodes of Everybody Loves Raymond before getting his own show, The King of Queens, will star in the New Line comedy Grilled for director Jason Ensler. Romano and James will play meat salesmen who stop at nothing to make a sale … Rob Schneider, meanwhile, will star in and produce the comedy Fearless for Revolution Studios. The story revolves around a meek soldier (Schneider) who is transformed into a fearless fighting machine when he becomes the subject of a top-secret experiment.
Guylaine Cadorette contributed to this report