Top Story: Police Call Off Search for "COPS" Producer
A search for the body of reality TV producer-director Paul Stojanovich has been called off, Variety reports. Stojanovich, who created the hit Fox show COPS, is presumed dead after he slipped and fell from a cliff in Oregon and into the Pacific Ocean on Saturday. He was posing for a picture for his fiancée, Kim Srowel, when he fell. After developing and serving as a producer of COPS and producing the ABC series American Detective, Stojanovich executive produced a wave of reality shows modeled on the COPS genre, including World's Wildest Police Videos, World's Scariest Police Chases and Ultimate Police Challenge. Stojanovich, 47, moved to Oregon about 10 years ago. He is survived by his fiancée and two sons from a previous marriage, Paulie, 20, and Chet, 18.
Gandolfini and HBO Back on Track
After dropping his lawsuit against HBO, James Gandolfini agreed Tuesday to fulfill the terms of his original contract, meaning that a fifth season of the mob drama The Sopranos will be filmed as scheduled, The New York Times reported Wednesday. HBO, which had filed a counterclaim against Gandolfini, said it would drop its lawsuit once both conditions were met. According to the Times, the agreement between HBO and Gandolfini, who won Emmy Awards in 2000 and 2001 for his role as Tony Soprano, came with no change in the salary offer.
Construction Company Wants Minnelli To Pay Up
A New York construction company is asking the Manhattan Supreme Court to order the sale of an Upper East Side apartment owned by Liza Minnelli and her husband David Gest so it can recover $138,000 the couple allegedly owes them for renovations, Reuters reports. The suit alleges that Minnelli and Gest agreed to pay the construction company $250,000 for major renovations when they signed the January 2002 contract, but were only paid $112,148, leaving a balance of nearly $138,000. On top of the balance owed, the company is seeking interest and $50,000 in legal expenses.
Paul Reubens Appeals Porn Charge
Paul Reubens is appealing a judge's refusal to throw out a misdemeanor child pornography possession charge, The Associated Press reports. Attorneys for Reubens argued Monday that a February ruling by Superior Court Judge Carol H. Rehm was flawed because a 1989 statute does not apply to material produced before the law was enacted. Reuben's attorney's also argued that the statute of limitations for a misdemeanor crime expired before the city filed the charge last November. The charge resulted from a search of Reubens' home in November 2001, when police seized the actor's collection of vintage erotica.
Dixie Chicks' "Travelin' Soldier" Takes a Hit
The Dixie Chick's No. 1 hit "Travelin' Soldier" dropped 15 percent on the country singles charts to No. 3 as more radio stations are dropping the band from their playlists, USA Today reports. The depth of anger displayed by the Chicks' country fans is one the most dramatic to date in the backlash against artists and celebrities who comment on the nation's divisive policies toward Iraq. The trio is set to begin a U.S. tour May 1 in Greenville, S.C.--expected to be one of the marquee events in country touring for the year--but it is unclear now how the tour will play out.
Presley Belts Out Tunes for Record Execs
Lisa Marie Presley quietly made her first singing appearance at an industry trade show Tuesday in Orlando, Florida to promote her soon-to-be-released first album. Presley performed three songs before 1,000 enthusiastic record label executives and music sellers at the National Association of Recording Merchandisers' annual convention. According to the AP, convention attendees surmised that Presley's Capitol label is hiding her quiet voice behind the music as she starts her career. Music Universe's Alan Josef Kaplan told the AP, "She's a little shy, but she's new. Give her six months, and she's going to get much more comfortable."
Sharon Osbourne Suffers Heat Exhaustion
Sharon Osbourne was admitted to an undisclosed Las Vegas hospital after she was overcome by heat exhaustion Friday during her husband Ozzy's concert at the Hard Rock Hotel, People.com reports. According to spokeswoman Lisa Vega, Osbourne complained of feeling faint, and because of her medical condition, was taken to the hospital. "It was nothing serious. We were there for about 20 minutes," Vega confirmed. Ozzy had finished playing by the time the ambulance arrived, and accompanied his wife to the hospital. Osbourne was diagnosed with colon cancer last year and has since undergone chemotherapy treatment.
Role Call: Queen Latifah's "Just Wright," Paramount Nabs Clancy's "Red Rabbit"
Disney has purchased screenwriter Michael Elliot's pitch Just Wright as a starring and producing vehicle for Queen Latifah. The pic is a modern-day Cinderella tale set in the world of pro basketball ... Paramount Pictures has acquired the rights to Tom Clancy's latest thriller, Red Rabbit. Scribe Robert Rodat (Saving Private Ryan) will adapt the book for just under $2 million.
Top Story: Crowe Tying the Knot on 39th Birthday
Australian actor Russell Crowe plans to marry longtime girlfriend Danielle Spencer on his 39th birthday April 7 in Australia, The Associated Press reports. The actor's publicist, Wendy Day, said Sunday that the Crowe and Spencer would tie the knot at the family chapel on his property in New South Wales. "It's definitely April 7 on his property at Nana Glen," Day said. "It's not a Hollywood, star-studded affair...it's a family and friends affair for about 80 guests." The couple met during the filming of the 1990 film The Crossing. They had an on-again-off-again relationship until Crowe publicly declared his love for her and proposed last November.
"COPS" Producer Feared Dead
Paul Stojanovich, a field producer for the long running show COPS and the creator of the reality TV series World's Wildest Police Videos, fell 300 feet from a cliff into the Pacific Ocean and is feared dead, AP reports. Stojanovich, 47, and his fiancée Kim Srowel were hiking Saturday on a bluff at Treasure Cove in Oregon when he slipped while stopping to pose for a picture. Officers searched for three hours but found no sign of Stojanovich, Sgt. Mike Zimmerman of the Tillamook County Sheriff's Office told the AP Sunday.
Scorsese Deplores Oscar Campaigning
Director Martin Scorsese told Time magazine that Hollywood has grown increasingly aggressive in campaigning for Academy Awards. "If one of the actors from your film is not talking on that screen in the middle of the night, there will be five other actors from five different films talking," Scorsese said, adding that he feels obligated to be interviewed about his Gangs of New York. "The reality is if I don't do PR, I'm hurting the picture. And as many things as I did, that's as many things as I turned down." The film was nominated for was nominated for 10 awards, including Best Director and Best Picture.
Bonnie Hunt, Brad Garrett to Sub for Ailing Letterman
The Late Show With David Letterman has announced a slate of guest hosts for the week of March 17 as Letterman continues to recuperate from shingles. According to Variety, Everybody Loves Raymond's Brad Garrett will take the reins on Monday night, followed by comedian Tom Dreesen on Tuesday and Bonnie Hunt from Life with Bonnie on Wednesday. The show will be in repeats the final two nights of the week due to previously scheduled CBS coverage of college basketball.
Gandolfini and HBO May Resume Negotiations
The Sopranos star James Gandolfini and HBO are considering a deal to drop their dueling lawsuits and proceed with contract negotiations, the AP reports. Network executives involved in the negotiations told The New York Times that Gandolfini, who had previously sought a $20 million annual salary, has now lowered his request to about $16 million a year.
Minnelli and Gest Postpone Anniversary Party
Looks like the looming war in Iraq may put a damper on Liza Minnelli and David Gest's first anniversary party. "We held off sending our invitations out because we want to have our party when the world is at peace and people can come and enjoy themselves," Minnelli said. The party was set for April 15 at New York's Marriott Marquis hotel in Times Square. Spokesman Warren Cowan told Reuters, "With the threat of war imminent and considering more than 1,200 guests would be traveling from many different parts of the world, Liza Minnelli and David Gest have decided to postpone their anniversary party."
Country Music Fans Irate Over Dixie Chicks' Comment
Radio stations nationwide are boycotting the Dixie Chicks because singer Natalie Maines, a native of Lubbock, Texas, told a London audience last Monday: "Just so you know, we're ashamed the President of the United States is from Texas." Maines apologized Friday, saying, "As a concerned American citizen, I apologize to President (George W.) Bush because my remark was disrespectful. I feel that whoever holds that office should be treated with the utmost respect." But the apology seems to have come too late for some irate protesters. On Saturday in Bossier City, Louisiana, protesters used a 33,000-pound tractor to destroy Dixie Chicks CDs and other items, while Two Dallas stations took Home off their playlists and one station in Kansas City held a Dixie "chicken toss" party to trash the group's CDs.
Superman's "Curse" Plagues Casting
Josh Hartnett didn't want it, and neither, it turns out, does Paul Walker. Walker is the latest star to drop out of the running for the title role in Warner Bros. new Superman movie for director Brett Ratner, Variety reports. Perhaps the "Curse of Superman" is to blame for why the pic is having trouble casting the Man of Steel. The so-called "curse" is based on the misfortune many stars connected to Superman TV series and movies have encountered, such as Christopher Reeve's paralysis, Margot Kidder's nervous breakdown, Richard Pryor's multiple sclerosis and George Reeves' death. Reeves, who played Superman in the 1950s, was found dead of a single gunshot wound to the head in 1959.