The critics have had their chance, now it's time for the people to give their two cents.
Pretty woman Julia Roberts, who carried last year's "Erin Brockovich" to the top of many a critics' lists, was chosen as favorite female movie actress by the People's Choice Awards on Sunday night.
And "The Patriot" and "What Women Want" star Mel Gibson proved to be what the whole nation wants as he was named favorite male movie star.
Funnyman Jim Carrey continues to charm audiences as the "Me, Myself and Irene" and "Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas" star was given the favorite star in a comedy.
Interesting, though, as the people seemed to have gotten a bit behind the times as they picked "The Green Mile" -- yes, that's the 1999 prison drama with Tom Hanks and Michael Clarke Duncan -- for both favorite film and favorite motion picture drama.
On the tube front, comedian Drew Carey -- who stars in his eponymous ABC sitcom and hosts the improv gem "Whose Line Is It Anyway?" was the People Choice's favorite male TV performer.
The favorite female TV star went to Jennifer Aniston for her work as Rachel in the NBC veteran sitcom "Friends" and actor Brad Pitt's wife. The NBC comedy series also walked away with favorite TV comedy, as did "ER," which won favorite drama series.
Erstwhile "Roseanne" guy John Goodman was named best performer in a new TV show for his swiftly extinguished "Normal, Ohio." The Fox sitcom was dumped by Fox in December after only six episodes.
In the music categories, Garth Brooks and Faith Hill were named best male and female musical performers, respectively.
And sorry Backstreet Boys, rival boy band 'N Sync was chosen as favorite musical group or band.
The People's Choice Awards -- which was broadcast live on CBS from the Pasadena Auditorium -- are chosen by a nationwide Gallup telephone poll. The "people" involved in are actually just 1,200 individuals chosen at random, which are given no nominees and can vote for any person or program they choose for each category.
There's a new player in Disney's executive game of musical chairs. Chief Michael Eisner has named ABC chief Robert Iger as president, filling the hole left by Michael Ovitz when he jumped ship in 1996, says The Associated Press.
Iger's appointment, along with other managerial promotions, is expected to help the entertainment giant overcome its recent troubles, which included sagging stock prices and the departure of Disney studio chief Joe Roth. Seems things are already in turnaround: Disney also announced a 7 percent jump in first-quarter earnings.
INDUSTRIAL COUPLE: Time Warner, which already seems to own everything, is making another deal -- this time with British music giant EMI. It was announced today that the two would merge music businesses to create a new monster -- er, company, worth $20 billion.
Time Warner, whose labels include Warner Bros., Elektra, Atlantic and Rhino and is home to Madonna and Alanis Morissette, will now be able to add EMI's Garth Brooks, the Beastie Boys and legacies such as The Beatles and Frank Sinatra to its family.
The new giant will be called Warner EMI Music, according to Daily Variety. The deal is expected to close in the second half of this year. No word if this marriage will result in some new duets: for instance, guitar crooner Jewel giving props with rapper Master P, or the Spice Girls with that other seasoning group, the Red Hot Chili Peppers.
GOLDEN COUPLE? The most intriguing pair at Sunday's Golden Globes was Jodie Foster and Russell Crowe, who arrived at the ceremony cozily hand-in-hand. Those who watched the broadcast through its credits also caught a glimpse of Crowe, 35, pointing and smiling at the camera, then pulling Foster, 37, in for a whisper or nuzzle, we couldn't tell. Was it staged?
"That was the intention," the best dramatic actor nominee ("The Insider") told the New York Daily News of the sensation they created. Foster joked, "He paid me."
For the record, Foster's rep says the two are friends and might be pairing up for a film. Well, let's hope it's a love story, because they did look mighty fine together.
GOLDEN COUPLE, PART II: We told you last week the rumor about Jim Carrey, 37, giving Renée Zellweger, 30, a $200,000 diamond "friendship ring." The couple was asked about the ring -- and their status -- at the Golden Globes. "Yeah, wasn't it nice?" Zellweger said on the red carpet, holding out her hand -- only to show no ring in sight. The two laughed about it but would only say that they're "friends." Still, 22 million people saw the Golden Globe winner (for "Man on the Moon") give his "friend" a big smooch on the lips before accepting his award.
LITTLE MAN FARROW: Mia Farrow's son might be heading off to college. But she'll have to drive him, since he's only 12 years old. Seamus Farrow has applied to attend Columbia University in the fall and already takes college classes in Massachusetts. But his mother worries about it; not the difficulty level, but the arduous commute to New York City from their home in Bridgewater, Conn.
"It's such a long ride," she told the New York Daily News. "Part of me would like to put it off, but he's intent on going."
CELTIC PRIDE: Gabriel Byrne is proud to be an Irishman -- so proud, in fact, that he's taking shots at everyone else going Irish.
The 49-year-old actor, who last played Satan in the actioner "End of Days," is a bit perturbed about his homeland's use in Hollywood and speaks his mind in an interview in Irish America magazine. "I don't think it's necessarily a good thing that Mel Gibson and Steven Spielberg came to Ireland to shoot 'Braveheart' and 'Saving Private Ryan,'" he said. "Spielberg shot there because it was cheap, and he got to use the Irish Army. I don't like to see the country being used as a cheap location for huge multi-million dollar movies."
He also isn't keen on non-Irish actors playing Irish characters. "There are a lot of really brilliant Irish actors and actresses that never get a chance to do anything." Despite his love for Frank McCourt's book "Angela's Ashes," he fired off about the film adaptation. "An Irish movie?" said Byrne. "It's directed by an Englishman, Alan Parker. The screenplay is by an American writer (Laura Jones). It has a Scottish actor (Robert Carlyle) playing the father and an English actress (Emily Watson) playing the mother." We're just glad no one asked him to rate Brad Pitt's much-criticized brogue in "The Devil's Own." --
Negotiators for TV and film writers and their producer employers resumed talks at noon Wednesday amid speculation that they had already reached a broad agreement on money issues and were now in intense talks concerning "creative rights" issues. Thursday's New York Times quoted one industry exec who attended a 4:00 p.m. session as saying, "If we can resolve the creative rights, then it's a run for the roses." However, Thursday'sLos Angeles Daily News quoted a producer as remarking, "There's no way in hell they were going to strike over the creative issues." Meanwhile, the Writers Guild of America, which agreed with producers to impose a news blackout on the negotiations, dismissed as "incorrect" a report that appeared in Wednesday's Los Angeles Times claiming that "the two sides had a basic outline of a proposed settlement." Among other things the article, which cited unnamed sources briefed on the negotiations, said that, under a new contract, writers would receive no increase in residual payments for reruns on basic cable channels but would for pay-TV outlets like HBO. Thursday'sedition of the Times features a front-page article quoting a source with knowledge of Wednesday's talks as saying, "We got through enough of the underbrush that we can now make a push to the finish."
REEBOK CREATES SPOT FOR "SURVIVOR" FINALE
Reebok has created a special commercial for tonight's Survivor: The Australian Outback finale intended to take its "Defy Convention" campaign one step further. The spot, featuring a sumo wrestler dancing in untied Reebok sneakers, is titled "Defy Reason.' Thursday's Wall Street Journal observed that part of Reebok's deal with CBS for the show called for Survivor contestants to wear Reebok T-shirts, bandannas and shoes. Meanwhile, the New York Post reported today that it appears that Survivor 3 will be set in Kenya. It quoted sources as saying that host Jeff Probst recently visited Nairobi, where he taped a promo for next season that will air on Thursday's finale.
200 EXECUTION WITNESSES; 2 TV REPORTERS
Indiana officials said Wednesday that 45 minutes prior to the scheduled May 16 execution of Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh, they will release a list of TV reporters eligible to serve as observers and that the reporters will then have to decide which two -- one national, one from Oklahoma City -- will serve as serve as press pool witnesses. "The reporters are going to have to talk among themselves - it will be a peer-selection process," Court TV exec Marlene Dann told Thursday's New York Post. Two hundred persons will witness the execution.
"NIGHTLINE" CARRIES SOUNDS OF EXECUTIONS
Wednesday night aired portions of a radio documentary that features on-the-scene descriptions of prison executions in Georgia between 1983 and 1998. ("When the first surge entered his body, he stiffened and I heard a pop, as if one of the straps broke," a prison official says on one of the tapes. "He is at this time sitting there with clenched fists, with no other movement.") The tapes were assembled by award-winning public radio producer-reporter David Isay. The entire program is being carried by public radio station WNYC in New York and is being made available to other public radio stations. NPR's All Things Considered, which regularly features Isay's work, was offered the tapes originally but declined, published reports said today (Thursday).
CBS HAS THE LATEST MUST-SEE NIGHT
Wednesday night is becoming a stronger night for NBC than its onetime invincible Must-See TV Thursday. All-new episodes of The West Wing at 9:00 p.m. and Law & Order at 10:00 p.m. pulled some of their best ratings for the season, winning their time periods with an 11.9/18 and a 14.1/22 respectively. CBS won the 8:00 hour with a Murder, She Wrote special.
"PRODUCERS" STARS TO HOST TONYS
Nathan Lane and Matthew Broderick, who star in Mel Brooks' The Producers on Broadway, have agreed to co-host the 55th annual Tony Awards, scheduled to air on CBS June 3. Tony nominations -- expected to be dominated by The Producers -- are due to be announced on Monday.
GOSSIP COLUMNIST: "I'M A CLEAN PERSON"
Hollywood Reporter gossip columnist George Christy has denied accepting favors from movie producers in exchange for mentions in his column. In an interview appearing in Thursday's Los Angeles Times, Christy maintained that he had acted in every film for which he had received credit, although, he said, some of his scenes may have ended up on the cutting room floor and others involved work as an extra in which he might not have been recognized. Referring to the national publicity that resulted when the publisher of the Reporter spiked a story about him written by the trade paper's labor reporter, Christy remarked, "I'm a clean person. I really feel I'm being victimized here." The labor reporter, David Robb, resigned last week, sparking the resignation of the Reporter's editor, Anita Busch, and film editor Beth Laski. Asked by the Times about reports that he had received free office space from producers Steve Stabler and Brad Krevoy, Christy commented, "These are friends of mine. I don't think it's a conflict."
ARCHERD: I'M NO CHRISTY
Daily Variety columnist Army Archerd has acknowledged that he, too, has received some 25 credits in motion pictures -- but that he can be seen in each of the films. "Don't try to make any comparison between me and George Christy," Archerd said in an interview with the New York Post's "Page Six" column.
ALL RIGHT, LADDIE, WE'RE GOING TO REDO THE MOVIE
DreamWorks agreed to redo scenes in the animated Shrek featuring a character voiced by Mike Myers when Myers, after seeing a rough-cut, decided that he wanted to redo the voice with a Scottish accent, Britain's Guardian newspaper reported Thursday. The newspaper said that producer Jeffrey Katzenberg agreed to the change after he heard Myers' new take on the character, a grumpy ogre. "It was so good we took $4 million worth of animation out and did it again," he told the Guardian.
CANADA BRACES FOR WORK STOPPAGE
Film crews in Toronto are expecting a jarring slowdown in production during the second half of the year, regardless of whether a strike materializes. (Canadian film and TV unions have agreed to support their U.S colleagues by boycotting U.S. productions, which account for 65 percent of the country's film and TV business.) Toronto production manager Michael Wray told Wednesday's Canadian National Post that U.S. companies scheduled the bulk of their shoots during the first half of the year in anticipation of a strike, so "even if there's not a strike, there will still be a work slowdown." Alex Gill, a spokesman for the Canadian actors' union, observed that there are about 20 U.S. movies of the week now filming in Toronto. "For this time of year, that's very busy," he told the National Post.