The Writers Guild of America has announced its nominations for outstanding achievement in screen in 2002.
Antwone Fisher, Bowling for Columbine, Far From Heaven, Gangs of New York and My Big Fat Greek Wedding have been nominated for the WGA's best original screenplay award.
About a Boy, About Schmidt, Adaptation, Chicago and
The Hours meanwhile will contend for best adapted screenplay.
Antwone Fisher, Written by Antwone Fisher; Fox Searchlight
Bowling for Columbine, Written by Michael Moore; United Artists/Alliance Atlantis/Salter Street Films/Dog Eat Dog Films
Far From Heaven, Written by Todd Haynes; Focus Features
Gangs of New York, Screenplay by Jay Cocks and Steven Zaillian and Kenneth Lonergan, story by Jay Cocks; Miramax Films
My Big Fat Greek Wedding, Written by Nia Vardalos; Gold Circle Films/HBO/MPH Entertainment/Playtone
About a Boy, Screenplay by Peter Hedges and Chris Weitz & Paul Weitz, based on the novel by Nick Hornby; Universal Pictures/Studio Canal/Working Title Films/Tribeca Productions
About Schmidt, Screenplay by Alexander Payne & Jim Taylor, based on the novel by Louis Begley; New Line Cinema
Adaptation, Screenplay by Charlie Kaufman and Donald Kaufman, based on the book The Orchid Thief by Susan Orlean; Columbia Pictures
Chicago, Screenplay by Bill Condon, based on the musical play, book by Bob Fosse and Fred Ebb and the play by Maurine Dallas Watkins; Miramax Films
The Hours, Screenplay by David Hare, based on the novel by Michael Cunningham; Paramount Pictures/Miramax Films
Animation--any length--one airing time (new category)
"The Bart Wants What It Wants" (The Simpsons), Written by John Frink & Don Payne; Gracie Films in association with 20th Century Fox Television; Fox
"Blame It on Lisa" (The Simpsons), Written by Bob Bendetson; Gracie Films in association with 20th Century Fox Television; Fox
"Godfellas" (Futurama), Written by Ken Keeler; 20th Century Fox Television; Fox
"Jaws Wired Shut" (The Simpsons), Written by Matt Selman; Gracie Films in association with 20th Century Fox Television; Fox
"My Own Private Rodeo" (King of the Hill), Written by Alex Gregory & Peter Huyck; 20th Century Fox Television Productions in association with Deedle-Dee Productions, Judgmental Films and 3 Arts Entertainment; Fox
Santa Baby! Written by Peter Bakalian & Suzanne Collins; Rankin/Bass; Fox
Original Long Form--over one hour--one or two parts, one or two airing times
Dor to Door, Written by William H. Macy & Steven Schachter; Turner Pages, Inc.; TNT
The Gathering Storm, Teleplay by Hugh Whitemore, Story by Larry Ramin and Hugh Whitemore; a Scott Free Production in association with HBO Films; HBO
Sins of the Father Written by John Pielmeier, based on the magazine article that appeared in Texas Monthly by Pamela Colloff; Artisan; FX
Strange Relations, Written by Tim Kazurinsky; Showtime; Granada Entertainment; Showtime
Adapted Long Form--over one hour--one or two parts, one or two airing times
"Batogne" (Band of Brothers), Written by Bruce C. McKenna, based on the book by Stephen E. Ambrose; DreamWorks/Playtone/HBO; HBO
Hysterical Blindness, Teleplay by Laura Cahill, based on the play by Laura Cahill; Hysterical Films, Inc.; HBO
Last Call, Screenplay by Henry Bromell, based on the memoir Against the Current: As I Remember F. Scott Fitzgerald by Frances Kroll Ring; Room 520/Barnstorm Films; Showtime
Mark Twain's Roughing It, Teleplay by Steven H. Berman, based on the book Roughing It by Mark Twain; Larry Levinson Productions; Hallmark Channel
Episodic Drama--any length, one airing time
"Game On" (The West Wing), Written by Aaron Sorkin & Paul Redford; John Wells Productions in association with Warner Bros. Television; NBC
"In Place of Anger" (Six Feet Under), Written by Christian Taylor; Six Feet Productions; HBO
"Nino Del Polvo" (Resurrection Boulevard), Written by Robert Eisele; Showtime; Viacom Productions, Inc.; Patagonia House; Showtime
"On the Beach" (ER), Written by John Wells; Constant C Productions; Amblin Television; Warner Bros. Television; NBC
Pilot (The Education of Max Bickford), Written by Dawn Prestwich & Nicole Yorkin; 20th Century Fox Television; CBS
"Whoever Did This" (The Sopranos), Written by Robin Green & Mitchell Burgess; Soprano Productions, Inc.; HBO
Episodic Comedy--any length, one airing time
"Change of Address" (Sex and the City), Written by Julie Rottenberg & Elisa Zuritsky; Darren Star Productions in association with HBO Original Programming; HBO
"I Heart NY" (Sex and the City), Written by Michael Patrick King; Darren Star Productions in association with HBO Original Programming; HBO
Pilot (The Bernie Mac Show), Written by Larry Wilmore; Regency Television in association with 20th Century Fox Television; FOX
"My First Day", (pilot, Scrubs), Written by Bill Lawrence; Touchstone Television Productions; NBC
"Plus One is the Loneliest Number" (Sex and the City), Written by Cindy Chupack; Darren Star Productions in association with HBO Original Programming; HBO
"Rooms With a View" (Frasier), Written by Dan O' Shannon & Lori Kirkland & Bob Daily; Grub Street Productions in association with Paramount Pictures; NBC
"The Wedding" (Ed), Written by Rob Burnett & Jon Beckerman; Viacom Productions in association with Worldwide Pants, Inc. and NBC Studios; NBC
Comedy/Variety---Music, Awards, Tributes--Specials--any length
The Kennedy Center Honors Written by Don Baer and George Stevens, Jr., Film Sequences Written by Sara Lukinson; A George Stevens Jr. Presentation - Kennedy Center Television Productions, Inc.; CBS
NBC 75th Anniversary Special, Written by Doug Abeles, James Anderson, Robert Carlock, Tina Fey, Charlie Grandy, Steve Higgins, Lorne Michaels, Paula Pell, Herb Sargent, Michael Schur, Michael Shoemaker; Broadway Video in association with NBC Studios; NBC
Comedy/Variety--(including talk) Series
Dennis Miller Live, Written by Eddie Feldmann, Jose Arroyo, Richard Dahm, David Feldman, Jim Hanna, Rob Z. Kutner, Kirsten McFarland, Dennis Miller, Jacob Sager Weinstein; Happy Family Productions; HBO
Late Night With Conan O'Brien, Written by Mike Sweeney, Chris Albers, Andy Blitz, Kevin Dorff, Jonathan Glaser, Michael Gordon, Brian Kiley, Michael Koman, Brian McCann, Guy Nicolucci, Conan O'Brien, Andrew Secunda, Allison Silverman, Robert Smigel, Brian Stack, Andrew Weinberg; Broadway Video; NBC
Mad TV, Writing Supervised by Scott King, Written by Dick Blasucci, Garry Campbell, Lauren Dombrowski, Bryan Adams, Bruce McCoy, Michael Hitchcock, Steven Cragg, Chris Cluess, John Crane, Jennifer Joyce, Tami Sagher, Devon Shepard, Rich Talarico, Jim Wise, Kal Clarke, Sultan Pepper, Bill Kelley, Maiya Williams, Dino Stamatopoulos; QDE/Girl Group; FOX
Saturday Night Live, Written by Tina Fey, Doug Abeles, Leo Allen, James Anderson, Max Brooks, James Downey, James Eagan, Hugh Fink, Charlie Grandy, Jack Handey, Steve Higgins, Erik Kenward, Dennis McNicholas, Lorne Michaels, Corwin Moore, Matt Murray, Paula Pell, Matt Piedmont, Ken Scarborough, Michael Schur, Frank Sebastiano, T. Sean Shannon, Eric Slovin, Robert Smigel, Emily Spivey, Andrew Steele, Scott Wainio, Jerry Collins, Tom David; Broadway Video in association with SNL Studios; NBC
Guiding Light, Written by Millee Taggart, Lucky Gold, Christopher Dunn, Tita Bell, Jill Lorie Hurst, Penelope Koechl, David Kreizman, Eleanor Labine, Alan Madison, Danielle Paige, A.J. Pierce, Janet Reed Ahearn, Susan Rice, David Rupel, Melissa Salmons, Eddie Sanchez, Lisa Seidman, David Smilow; Procter & Gamble; CBS
The Young and the Restless, Written by Kay Alden, Trent Jones, John F. Smith, Jerry Birn, Jim Houghton, Natalie Minardi, Janice Ferri, Eric Freiwald, Joshua McCaffrey, Michael Minnis, Rex M. Best; Columbia TriStar; CBS
Elmo's World: Happy Holidays!, Written by Christine Ferraro; Sesame Workshop; PBS
Off Season, Written by Glenn Gers; Showtime Networks, Inc.; Showtime
Our America, Teleplay by Gordon Rayfield, Based on the book "Our America: Life and Death on the South Side of Chicago" by Lealan Jones, Lloyd Newman and David Isay; Joseph Stern Productions; All Media, Inc.; Showtime
The Red Sneakers, Teleplay by Mark Saltzman, Story by Jeffrey Rubin; Lynch Entertainment, Tom Lynch Company, RS Productions, Ltd., Showtime Networks, Inc.; Showtime
Bioterror (Nova), Written by Matthew Collins; A Nova Production by the New York Times/ Granada Factuals USA and Lone Wolf Pictures, Inc., for WGBH/ Boston in association with Channel 4 Television; PBS
The Man Who Knew (Frontline), Written by Michael J. Kirk, Kirk Documentary Group; PBS
9/11, Written by Tom Forman & Greg Kandra; Goldfish Pictures, Inc.; CBS
Rollover: The Hidden Story of the SUV (Frontline), Written by Marc Shaffer & Barak Goodman; 10/20 Productions; PBS
Documentary--Other Than Current Events
America's First River, Part One, Written by Tom Spain; WNET/Educational Broadcasting Corp.; Public Affairs Television; PBS
Empire State Building Ironworker (A Day in their Lives), Written by Peter Hankoff; Termite Art Productions; History Channel; History Channel
Evolution of a Revolution (Founding Brothers), Written by Kelly McPherson and Melissa Jo Peltier & Allison MacEwan; MPH Entertainment Inc.; History Channel; History Channel
Monkey Trial (American Experience), Written by Christine Lesiak; WGBH Educational Foundation; PBS
News--Regularly Scheduled, Bulletin or Breaking Report
Attack on America Written by Jerry Cipriano, Paul Fischer, Thomas Harris, Hugh Heckman, Bruce Meyer; CBS Evening News; CBS
September 11th Controllers, Written by Jonathan W. Kaplan; CBS
On Wednesday, CBS announced the names of the next set of contestants confined to Nuka Hiva, an island neighboring Tahiti in the South Pacific, for the next installment of Survivor.
The new group is, on average, the youngest thus far. Of the 16 contestants vying for the $1 million jackpot, all but four are under the age of 40, and six are in their twenties.
Two of the contestants, Robert DeCanio, a limo-driver from Queens, and Sean Rector, a Harlem-born schoolteacher, were introduced on yesterday's Early Show with Bryant Gumbel and Jane Clayson.
DeCanio, 38, was born and raised in Flushing and worked for the U.S. Postal Service before becoming a driver. Rector, 30, now lives in Los Angeles and acts as well as teaches. Rector has appeared in the Negro Ensembles Company's North 17th Street, The Absolution of Willie Mae and A Family Ever on the Verge of Emotion.
Other contestants include:
Gabriel Cade, 23, a bartender from North Carolina
John Carroll, 36, a nurse from Nebraska
Gina Crews, 28, a nature guide from Florida
Neleh Dennis, 21, a student from Utah
Hunter Ellis, 33, a pilot from California
Paschal English, 57, a judge from Georgia
Peter Harkey, 45, a bowling alley and wine shop owner from Massachusetts
Patricia Jackson, 49, a truck assembler from South Carolina
Sarah Jones, 24, an accounts manager from California
Tammy Leitner, 29, a reporter from Arizona
Rob Mariano, 26, a construction worker from Massachusetts
Vecepia "Vee" Towery, 36, an office manager from Oregon
Kathy Vavrick-O'Brien, 47, a real estate agent from Vermont
Zoe Zanidakis, 35, a fishing boat captain from Maine
The eight women and eight men will start the game in two tribes, called Maraamu and Rotu. The setting is similar to the original Survivor, which took place on Borneo with a tropical climate, white sandy beaches and aquamarine water.
The show's producers are trying to bring back the legions of loyal of fans that ditched the tribe after the first season. For the first time in the show's history, the contestants will begin the 40-day adventure with no rations.
Survivor: Marquesas premieres on Feb. 28.
In other Survivor news, Lex van den Berghe will make his first celebrity appearance since appearing on Survivor: Africa--at a polling booth.
Van den Berghe, one of the last three remaining players on the most recent edition of Survivor, will man one of the polling stations in California's Santa Cruz County in the state's upcoming election, Reuters reports.
Election officials however will not reveal where van den Berghe, a local resident, will be. Like all poll clerks, he will be responsible for issuing ballots to eligible voters and assisting them--and get paid $60 for his time.
Meanwhile, original Survivor winner Richard Hatch was found innocent on Tuesday of assaulting his ex-boyfriend in a ruling that overturns an earlier conviction.
Hatch won the $1 million grand prize on the inaugural edition of Survivor. In September, a judge found the 40-year-old Hatch guilty of domestic assault after he got into a fight with his former lover on the steps of Hatch's home in Middletown, R.I.
Who would have guessed that Bud Selig is a revolutionary thinker?
(Who would have guessed that Bud Selig of all people would give me fodder for an article?)
Baseball's commish has ratified the owners' vote to drop two Major League Baseball teams before the start of next season. (Never mind the myriad legal battles that stand in his way.)
Now that the nation's downsizing trend has made its way to baseball burgs, Hollywood.com has taken the "drop-two" concept to entertainment groupings that might need a trim.
And, unlike baseball, we're not afraid to name our two, either.
Group: Harry Potter characters
Which Two Get Canned: Professor Dumbledore and Hermione Granger
Why: Both are stuck-up, righteous, know-it-alls. Who needs 'em?
Group: ABC primetime shows
Which Two Get Canned: Dharma & Greg, America's Funniest Home Videos
Why: True, the whole lineup deserves to be canned, but these shows rotted on the vine a long time ago.
Group: 'N Sync
Which Two Get Canned: Lance and Joey
Why: For one, they can't sing. For two, they starred in that God-awful movie, On the Line.
Group: James Bond movies
Which Two Get Canned: The Living Daylights, License to Kill
Why: Even George Lazenby was a better Bond than the wooden Mr. Dalton.
Which Two Get Canned: Ross and Monica
Why: The other four--especially Chandler--are actually funny at times.
Group: Destiny's Child
Which Two Get Canned: The two who aren't Beyonce
Why: Because we don't even know the names of the two who aren't Beyonce.
Group: Jackson 5
Which Two Get Canned: Marlon, Randy
Why: As if we'd ever get rid of Tito...
Group: Star Trek
Which Two Get Canned: Sulu, Transporter Chief Kyle
Why: They're the first two to go when a recession finally hits the Federation.
Group: Star Trek: The Next Generation
Which Two Get Canned: Commander Riker, Wesley Crusher
Why: Extraneous. Captain Picard needs Riker like he needs a third leg, and the young Mr. Crusher is just a skinny snot rag.
Group: Led Zeppelin
Which Two Get Canned: John Bonham, John Paul Jones
Why: They aren't Robert Plant or Jimmy Paige. This was essentially a two-man band.
Group: The Brady Bunch
Which Two Get Canned: Jan, Sam
Why: Their names have three letters. And Jan is just a whiny little snot rag. Hmm, maybe she should date Wesley Crusher.
Group: Rocky Franchise
Which Two Get Canned: IV, V
Why: Five was way too many Rocky movies. Even Sugar Ray Leonard didn't un-retire this many times.
Group: Late night TV hosts
Which Two Get Canned: Conan O'Brien, Charles Grodin
Why: Can't get rid of Jay or David; they have too much money. And we like Craig Kilborn and Charlie Rose too much.
Group: Star Wars movies
Which Two Get Canned: Return of the Jedi, Phantom Menace
Why: Jedi was the weak link of the first trio, and Attack of the Clones--despite the inane title--will be infinitely better than Phantom Menace.
Which Two Get Canned: Chloe, Luka
Why: Both of them have lost that lovin' feeling.
Which Two Get Canned: Ringo, George
Why: (See comment above, re: Led Zeppelin.)
Group: The Simpsons
Which Two Get Canned: Skinner's mom, Rod Flanders
Why: Agnes had sex with the Comic Book Guy, which is unforgivable. Rod, the elder Flanders son, has already left the straight-and-narrow path set by his dad: How boring.
And an honorable mention goes to The Sopranos, who don't need to be on this list. They do a good enough job of contraction all by themselves.
The mood was somber and celebrity little more than a means to an end when tonight's telethon, America: A Tribute to Heroes, was shown on every major network and most of the major cable channels. There was no audience applauding; there was no audience, period, except those at home. There were no introductions; that wasn't the point, as celebrity speakers made clear throughout the night by telling the stories of the many heroes who lost their lives and saved the lives of others.
To commemorate Sept. 11, a day that could easily be thought of as "the day the music died," talented and famous faces came together for an evening of songs, stories, and yes, the occasional call for contributions.
The speeches tonight came in all varieties, all impassioned, some tearful, others awkward. A clearly nervous Jim Carrey spoke of Winston Churchill, then told the story of heroes who saved a woman by carrying her down 68 flights of stairs. George Clooney spoke of John Perry, a New York City policeman who'd filed his retirement papers the morning of Sept. 11, but heard of the tragedy and went to help. He never came back, Clooney said.
Cameron Diaz told stories of teachers who saved children at schools near the World Trade Center. Robin Williams talked of a hero who'd saved lives in the 1993 bombing and again this time, only last Tuesday he didn't make it out himself. Jimmy Smits spoke of police heroes, "cops who are willing to sacrifice their lives in an instant, for people they do not know." Julia Roberts spoke tearfully of heroes at the Pentagon, and the flying of the flag and the applause that greeted it.
Kelsey Grammer, who lost a co-worker aboard one of the flights that crashed, quoted words of strength from John F. Kennedy. Clint Eastwood talked gruffly of a day that would live in infamy.
Tom Hanks, Tom Cruise, Calista Flockhart, Conan O'Brien, Sarah Jessica Parker, Ray Romano, Jane Kaczmarek, Sela Ward, Chris Rock and Dennis Franz also spoke.
With some of the biggest names in music on the bill, America: A Tribute to Heroes was bound to be good. Bruce Springsteen opened with a candlelit acoustic performance of "My City of Ruins." Willie Nelson closed the two-hour event with "God Bless America," backed by an all-star cast of celebs who had been manning the phones all night. Does it get any better than that? Cut the album; give the proceeds to charity. We're there.
Of course, there were those who pointed out the reason for the event in their songs. Stevie Wonder, who followed The Boss, sang, "Love's in Need of Love Today," with the rather pointed line, "Don't delay, send yours in right away." Wyclef Jean's version of "Redemption Song" was peppered with cries of "Brooklyn" and "New York City" and "we've got to full-fill that book," which he sang while pointing to the phone bank.
The much-maligned Mariah Carey sang the only song she could under the circumstances, "Hero," of which she said, "When I wrote this song," she said, "it had a lot of meaning for me, and tonight it has even more meaning." Well said.
U2 appeared from London. Billy Joel tossed off a powerful rendition of "New York State of Mind" with a firefighter's helmet perched atop the piano. Faith Hill, Enrique Iglasias, Alicia Keys, a bearded and shaggy Tom Petty (with requisite Heartbreakers), a cowboy-hatted Neil Young performed as well. The Dixie Chicks were spot on, and Dave Matthews did an impressive solo acoustic tune.
Jon Bon Jovi did "Living on a Prayer"; Sting dedicated his performance of "Fragile" to a friend who died in the attacks. Sheryl Crow performed, and Paul Simon sang "Bridge Over Troubled Water."
Robert De Niro, Jack Nicholson, James Woods, Meg Ryan, Cuba Gooding Jr., Whoopi Goldberg, Goldie Hawn, Kurt Russell, Ben Stiller, Penelope Cruz, Danny DeVito, Halle Berry, Adam Sandler, Mike Myers, Benicio Del Toro, Cindy Crawford, Sylvester Stallone, Mark Wahlberg, Michael Keaton, Brad Pitt, Sally Field and other famous faces were seen answering phones at the telethon bank or singing backing vocals on the finale of "God Bless America."
The stars also took the time to make a point about the evils of racism and hate. Several Arab children spoke of the tragedy and its affect on their lives, then Will Smith appeared on stage, with Muhammad Ali, whom he'll be portraying in the forthcoming Ali.
"It was hate, not religion that motivated the attacks," Smith said.
Then Ali spoke. "I'm here because of the troublin' thing that happened the other day. I'm a Muslim, and I've been a Muslim for 20 years…. I think people should know the real truth about Islam. You know me, I'm a boxer…and a man of truth, and I wouldn't be here defending Islam if it was really like the terrorists made it look…. Islam is peace."
Later in the show, Lucy Liu said "America's greatest enemy is hatred itself."
The telethon was Hollywood's effort to generate contributions for the September 11th Telethon Fund, which is administered by the United Way and guaranteed to be distributed 100% to the victims of the terrorist attacks on America last week and their families.
Napster, the wildly popular Web site that allowed users to swap music files for free, will finally have a pay version ready this year despite its legal pummeling by the record industry. Thomas Middelhoff, chief executive of media giant and Napster backer Bertelsmann, said in his speech at the two-day Babelsburg 2001 conference, "Out of the onetime pirate, a business will be born. Of course, Napster will be put into a legal form that protects the rights of artists and producers." Napster will be joining other fee-based music services such as Pressplay, backed by Vivendi Universal and Sony and independent distribution companies FullAudio and Uplister.
Anne Heche, the former girlfriend of comedian Ellen Degeneres, will marry cameraman Coley Laffoon on Saturday. A friend of Anne's told a British news service, "Anne's days as a lesbian have been purged from her memory...Anne's wedding is a celebration of her re-entry into the world of heterosexuality."
One of Spain's best-known actors, Francisco Rabal, died in Bordeaux, France, Wednesday after the plane he was traveling in made an emergency landing to allow him to receive medical treatment. He was in his 70s. The cause of death has not been released.
American Pie star Tara Reid testified Tuesday in the grand jury hearing against publicist Elizabeth Grubman, who allegedly backed her sport utility vehicle into a crowd of people outside a trendy nightclub in the Hamptons on July 7, injuring several. The 26-year-old Reid was reportedly with Grubman at a party right before the crash. Grubman is being charged with assault and reckless endangerment.
The lawsuit filed by the American Italian Defense Association against the popular HBO series The Sopranos was brought to a Cook County Circuit courtroom Wednesday. The lawyer for the AIDA urged the judge to issue a declaratory judgement condemning the show as a violation of a clause in the Illinois Constitution guaranteeing individual dignity. AOL Time Warner, Inc.'s attorney, however, urged the court to dismiss the case on the grounds that "courts are not suppose to adjudicate the content of television programs," according to Reuters.
George Harrison's bid to stop his former business manager and partner from declaring bankruptcy was thrown out by Judge Barry Schermer of a St. Louis court circuit who refused the claim that the musician was too ill to give a local deposition. Harrison is trying to protect a settlement of $11 million that he won against Denis O'Brien, his business manager, for alleged mismanagement. Harrison will appeal the ruling.
Superstar Nicole Kidman arrived in style at the Venice Film Festival Thursday, dragging along six bodyguards, 22 pieces of luggage and reportedly getting a speeding ticket on her way to her hotel. The Italian newspapers had a field day as paparazzi pursued Kidman across the canals, desperate to get any tidbits from the redheaded actress about her three-week-old divorce from Tom Cruise. Kidman is at the festival to promote her new film The Others.
To generate excitement for the third installment of its hit reality series, CBS will air an hour-long Survivor special Thursday Oct. 4 at 8 p.m., one week before Survivor 3: Africa bows in the same time slot. Details for the show are still being worked out but apparently the special will focus on how to play the game and will give a preview of Survivor 3.
Michael Jackson's much-anticipated return to the music world with his new single "You Rock My World" has not been getting the wild reaction hoped for, according to many station programmers. Dave Morales, music director for KHKS-FM in Dallas, told Reuters, "We got the single, we heard it and put it on the air...and it was just sort of there. We're not getting any more repeat requests for it." However, for the "You Rock My World" video, Jackson apparently has snagged Marlon Brando and the cast of the The Sopranos. Brando stepped in when actor Robert De Niro had to back out. The video will also feature Benicio Del Toro and Chris Tucker.
The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are making a comeback with a $40-$60 million CGI feature film with John Woo and Terence Chang producing. A new animated Saturday morning TV series, a live-action miniseries to air on the Hallmark Channel and a series of next-generation video games are also expected to be developed.
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences have sent out the ballots for the 73rd Annual Academy Awards - and this time, Academy voters, rest assured. You will get them on time.
In an attempt to avoid a repeat performance of last year, when several thousand ballots were mistakenly mixed in with bulk mail shipments and never sent out, the AMPAS took extra precautions when sending out the approximately 4,300 ballots to voting members on Wednesday. The organization mailed ballots to overseas members and those outside of California early-on Feb. 21.
Oscar organizers traditionally dropped off the ballots in canvas bags at the Beverly Hills post office. This year, according to AMPAS president Robert Rehme, "The post office …came and picked them up [from the Academy]."
Lost ballots were not the only problem the Academy experienced last year. A shipment of 55 Oscar statuettes was stolen off a loading dock, with all but three recovered later, only days before the awards show aired.
Ballots must be returned to the offices of PricewaterhouseCoopers by 5 p.m. on Tuesday, March 20, 2001. The votes are then tabulated by the auditing firm and the winners' names are placed in sealed envelopes to be opened on Oscar Night®.
MORE OSCAR NEWS…: Legendary child actress, Margaret O'Brien, who won her only Academy Award as "special child-actor" for her performance in the 1945 "Meet Me in St. Louis," has pulled her Oscar from a charity auction, officials at the Sacremento AIDS Foundation said.
The award was taken off the block at the request of the AMPAS. "Out of respect for the Academy and all my fellow Oscar winners, I am removing my Oscar from the auction," O'Brien said in a written statement.
The award itself has changed many hands. It was stolen originally in 1954 and found 31 years later, when two collectors found it at a Pasadena swap meet and returned it to O'Brien. According to Academy spokesman John Pavlik, the Academy gave O'Brien a replacement after she signed an agreement stating she would offer the Oscar to the Academy if she decided to sell it.
"We realize it was a good cause but we can't open the door to one good cause and slam it in the face [of another]," said Pavlik. He went on to say, "We struggle to maintain the Oscar as a symbol of excellence in filmmaking and not how much money [someone] has to pay for one."