Actress Tracey Gold booked for DUI after car accident
Actress Tracey Gold Marshall, best known for playing Carol Seaver on the hit sitcom Growing Pains, was booked for investigation of felony drunken earlier this month after her sport utility vehicle flipped on a highway in Los Angeles, injuring her husband and two of their three children, The Associated Press reports. Gold Marshall wasn't hurt, but her husband, Roby Marshall, 39, suffered neck injuries, the officer said. The couple's 7-year-old son suffered a broken collarbone and a 5-year-old son was cut, but their 4-month-old son wasn't hurt, California Highway Patrol officer Steve Reid told AP. The actress, 35, spent five hours in jail and was released on $50,000 bail the following day. A court date wasn't immediately available, the highway patrol said.
Baywatch actor charged with DUI
Former Baywatch actor Michael Bergin, who wrote a book about the affair he had with late Carolyn Bessette Kennedy, John F. Kennedy Jr.'s wife, less than a year after she was married, was charged Tuesday with a felony for driving under the influence, AP reports. Bergin was charged in connection with a July 16 incident in Los Angeles in which a professional inline skater, Jennifer Armstrong, was allegedly struck by Bergin's sport utility vehicle and seriously injured. The actor/model was charged with one felony count of DUI causing injury and one misdemeanor count of driving with a blood alcohol level of more than the legal limit of .08 percent. Both counts alleged great bodily injury to the victim, AP reports.
DreamWorks defends Shark Tale
DreamWorks SKG on Tuesday found themselves on the defensive after their upcoming animated film Shark Tale was criticized for ethnic slurs against Italian-Americans, Reuters reports, who say the movie's gangster-like shark characters foster ethnic stereotypes. The New York-based Columbus Citizens Foundation joined an outcry from Italian-American groups condemning the film. "The movie introduces young minds to the idea that people with Italian names--like millions of Americans across the country--are gangsters," Columbus Citizens president Lawrence Auriana said in a statement. Studio spokesman Andy Spahn, however, said the emphasis of the film's humor was on pop culture and Hollywood parodies, similar to DreamWorks' hit storybook satires Shrek and Shrek 2. "It's a family comedy that pokes fun at a number of film genres," Spahn told Reuters. "It doesn't demean anyone, there are no negative stereotypes. There is nothing mean-spirited in the film."
Speaking of Italian-Americans…
Martin Scorsese is being sued for breach of contract by a production company, Hollywood Gang Prods., who claim the director reneged on a promise to undergo a medical checkup as required to obtain insurance coverage during work on an upcoming film, Reuters reports. The lawsuit said Scorsese had agreed in February to "submit to such physical examination" before working on the period drama Silence but had ignored repeated requests to fulfill that commitment. "All we want to do is stick a thermometer in him," Richard Golub, the lawyer for Hollywood Gang, told Reuters on Tuesday.
ABC airs Trump segment alongside The Apprentice
ABC News' newsmagazine show Primetime Live launches its new season with a segment on Donald Trump Thursday at 10 p.m.--smack dab in the middle of the real estate mogul's hit NBC reality show The Apprentice, which will air its supersized episode from 9:20-11 p.m. "I'm a ratings machine," Trump told Reuters Tuesday. "So they figured, hey, we'll do a story on Trump. I do get big ratings, as you know." But Trump is worried the Primetime Live segment could be biased because reporter Chris Cuomo might have an ax to grind. Trump has often criticized Cuomo's father, former New York Gov. Mario Cuomo. "I've openly said to anyone who wants to listen that he's the worst governor in the history of New York," Trump said. ABC, meanwhile, said the segment is fair.
Chubby B-listers take Body Challenge
Former Brady Bunch stars Christopher Knight and Susan Olsen, who portrayed Peter and Cindy Brady respectively, will join Erik Estrada (ChiPS' Ponch) and Charlene Tilton (Dallas' Lucy) in Discovery Health Channel's Body Challenge: Hollywood, a 12-week health and fitness competition. The participants were given personal trainers and nutritionists to help in their transformation. Reuters reports the 47-year-old Knight lost 50 percent of his fat mass during the competition, and is now considering working in the entertainment industry again. The four-episode Body Challenge: Hollywood, which was filmed last December, premieres Sept. 14.
NYC renames street for Law & Order
New York City yesterday renamed a short road that heads to Pier 62 on Manhattan's West Side "Law & Order Way," in honor of the NBC show's 15th anniversary, AP reports. The location is where the show's offices are located and many of its episodes shot. "New York City is as much a part of every Law & Order ensemble as the actors," series creator Dick Wolf said. Veteran actor Dennis Farina, a former police officer, is joining the show's cast this season as actor Jesse L. Martin's detective partner, replacing Jerry Orbach. Orbach is heading to the drama's new spinoff Law & Order: Trial By Jury, which is scheduled to begin shooting next month for a possible January premiere.
Snoop Dogg hosts VGAs
Hip-hop star Snoop Dogg will host Spike TV's second annual Video Game Awards on Dec. 14. Snoop has appeared as himself in several video games, including True Crime: Streets of L.A. and NBA Live 2003, and will appear in the Def Jam: Fight for NY, which hits stores Sept. 20. The rapper and other celebs will pass out awards that include the categories Best Games Based on Movie, Best Music, Best Performance by a Human, Most Anticipated and Most Addictive.
Top Story: Another Screener Surfaces on Web
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced that a second movie sent to Oscar voters has turned up on the Internet--the Tom Cruise epic The Last Samurai, The Associated Press reports. According to the Academy, Warner Bros. had not identified the source of the Internet copy of the film, which opened in theaters Dec. 5. The finding comes a day after the MPAA announced a probe into an unauthorized copy of Something's Gotta Give, which surfaced on the Internet some time last week.
Nugent's Texas Chainsaw Accident
Was Leatherface lurking somewhere on the set of rocker Ted Nugent's new reality series? The hard-driving guitarist received 40 stitches to mend a gash in his leg that resulted from a chainsaw accident on the Texas set of his new show and has been fitted with a leg brace, the AP reports. Nugent, 55, is currently taping the reality series Surviving Nugent: The Ted Commandments for VH1. In the show, Nugent invites a group of city slickers to live in the woods outside his sprawling, multi-acred compound just outside of Waco and become rugged outdoorsmen. The top prize is $100,000. Nugent didn't miss any time on the series, which is scheduled to air in April.
Rosie: Do You Really Want To Hurt My Career?
Taboo, the Boy George musical brought to Broadway by Rosie O'Donnell, will close Feb. 8, the AP reports. The show opened Nov. 13 to largely negative reviews and has since struggled to reach its weekly break-even point, reportedly more than $400,000. According to the League of American Theatres and Producers, Taboo grossed $281,333 last week, filling only half the seats at the Plymouth Theatre. The show also lost all of O'Donnell's $10 million investment.
Brittany Murphy Gets Engaged
Brittany Murphy and talent manager Jeff Kwatinetz became engaged Jan. 9 at a silent movie theater in Los Angeles, People reports. According to the magazine, the two started dating after Murphy's breakup with her Just Married co-star Ashton Kutcher. The 26-year-old actress also appeared in Girl, Interrupted and Uptown Girls.
Sundance Film Festival Kicks Off
The Sundance Film Festival, which is backed by actor Robert Redford and his Sundance Institute for movies, kicks off Thursday in Park City, Utah. Organizers expect some 40,000 attendees at the fest, which will feature 255 short and feature-length films--including the premiere of Ashton Kutcher's supernatural thriller The Butterfly Effect and the smaller-budget pic November, starring Courteney Cox. Sundance 2004 will also feature several films from black directors such as Vondie Curtis Hall's Redemption and Mario Van Peebles' Baadasssss!, which recounts the making of his father's landmark 1971 film, Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song. Sundance's increasing popularity over the years is attracting big names to the festival, with Nelly, Jason Mraz and Macy Gray expected to perform. Filmmakers, celebrities and industry VIPs in attendance will receive a gift bag valued at $5,000 that includes a Nautica woman's puffy jacket with fur-lined hood, a Microsoft wireless mouse, Junkfood Heather vintage T-shirts and a one-year membership to Crunch Fitness. The 2004 Sundance Film Festival ends Jan. 25.
OutKast, White Stripes To Perform at Grammys
OutKast, Justin Timberlake, Christina Aguilera and the White Stripes are among the first performers confirmed for the 46th annual Grammy Awards ceremony, which will take place in Los Angeles Feb. 8. According to Billboard.com, OutKast's Big Boi and Andre 3000 will take part in a segment dedicated to funk, which will include George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic, Earth, Wind & Fire and Robert Randolph & the Family Band. The Grammys will be broadcast live from Staples Center on CBS beginning at 8 p.m. ET (tape delayed on the West Coast).
Deadline for Oscar Ballots Looming
The deadline is looming for Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences Oscar nomination ballots to be submitted. According to Variety, ballots must be received by PricewaterhouseCoopers, the company that will tabulate the ballots, in Los Angeles by 5 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 17. Nominations will be announced Jan. 27. The 76th Annual Academy Awards will be presented at the Kodak Theatre in L.A. and will be televised live on ABC beginning at 5:30 p.m. (PST), with a half-hour arrivals program preceding the presentation ceremony.
CBS Rules in Ratings Again
Once again, CBS ruled in the ratings last week, according to primetime viewership numbers compiled by Nielsen Media Research for the week of Jan. 5-Jan. 11. The Top Ten shows, their networks and viewerships were: CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, CBS (27.5 million); NFC Playoff Postgame, Fox (27.1 million); AFC Divisional Playoff: Tennessee at New England, CBS (25.9 million); Friends, NBC (25.5 million); ER, NBC (22.8 million); CSI: Miami, CBS (20.4 million); Everybody Loves Raymond, CBS (19.1 million); The Apprentice, NBC (18.5 million); Without A Trace, CBS (18.2 million); and Law and Order, NBC (18 million).
Role Call: Ledger, Gyllenhaal Play Gay Cowboys; Columbus Eyes Dead
Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal are in negotiations to play gay cowboys in director Ang Lee's Brokeback Mountain for Focus Features. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the film revolves around two men who meet one summer in Wyoming and form a loving bond that spans 20 years ... Harry Potter director Chris Columbus is in talks to helm The Brief History of the Dead for Warner Bros. The project is based on Kevin Brockmeier's unfinished supernatural love story. The novel tells the story of a blind man who arrives in a new city and tells a story of having traveled across a desert after his death.
The Disney Channel began an on-air campaign Thursday to help children cope with the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, with the first lady, Laura Bush, talking about her feelings on the situation, The Associated Press reports. The network designed the campaign to target children aged from 6 to 14 and plans to bring in Hollywood celebrities to join.
The attacks on New York have not changed PBS' plans to air the final episodes of New York: A Documentary Film on Sunday and Monday at 9 p.m. The film, compiled by filmmaker Ric Burns eight years ago, details another period in the city's history when it faced challenges that seemed insurmountable, like the post-World War II and its fiscal crisis of the 1970s. "The message, of course is that the city is simply too strong, too resilient, too important," Burns told Reuters. He also plans an eighth installment looking at the impact and meaning of the World Trade Center tragedy.
Rolling Stone magazine has compiled a roundup of rock star reactions to the tragedies, relating stories of how some interrupted their daily lives to help out on Ground Zero. Ozzy Osbourne sought solace in a Manhattan with wife Sharon after witnessing the attacks from the roof of their midtown hotel. Alanis Morissette clung to her boyfriend all day in Los Angeles. Beastie Boy Adam Yauch delivered food and socks to volunteers at the scene.
Los Angeles detectives served a search warrant at boxer Mike Tyson's mansion after a woman accused him of rape last week. "We obviously don't consider Mr. Tyson a threat to the community, otherwise we would have done something immediately," Las Vegas Police Capt. Dennis Cobb told Reuters. Tyson was said to be "cooperative" during the search. Details of the allegation were not available.
Jonathan Glazer's gangster film Sexy Beast, the London comedy South West Nine and the indie film Jump Tomorrow lead the pack with five nominations at the fourth British Independent Film Awards, to be held Oct. 24 at London's Park Lane Hotel. Sixteen prizes will be handed out at the ceremony, Reuters reports, including the Daily Variety Personality of the Year Award, which goes to scribe Richard Curtis, of Four Weddings and a Funeral and Bean.
India's popular film star, Amitabh Bachchan, will play the lead role in the Indian version of Hollywood's legendary The Godfather, Reuters reports. The film, starring Marlon Brando and Al Pacino, was based on Mario Puzo's bestseller and traced the rivalry between Italian Mafia families in the United States, Amitabh, who was voted actor of the millennium in a BBC poll will play Vito Corleone, producer A.G. Nadiadwala told Reuters on Friday.
In the spring, ABC will mark the 50th anniversary of American Bandstand with a two-hour primetime special. Host Dick Clark, 71, will show classic moments from the shows and introduce performances by music superstars spanning five decades, AP reports. WFIL-TV in Philadelphia began broadcasting the show in 1952, which eventually moved to Los Angeles before ending its long run in 1989.
Michael Jordan's leap into NBA basketball has failed to fire up advertisers, as many wait on the sidelines to see whether the basketball player's comeback will be successful, analysts told Reuters on Wednesday. Media buyers and sports consultants believe Jordan's decision to come back and play for the Washington Wizards, a team he partly owns, should help jump-start the team and draw fans into the sport.
The week of Dec. 14 proves to be yet another with less than usual fanfare as the holiday season continues its approach. The wave of Disney animated offerings takes a week off while the majors decide which sprinklings of recent films will make the grade with the usual catalog backdating.
Leading the relatively small list of major recent offerings is Paramount's special edition of Simon West's ("Con Air") "The General's Daughter" ($29.99 SRP). Featuring a running audio commentary by director West, as well as deleted scenes, trailers and a making-of featurette, the film about an army investigator's (John Travolta) search for the persons responsible for the rape and murder of a prominent base commander should be another big step in the right direction for Paramount DVD. With so many great films in its vast archive, many of its releases would do well to receive such treatment.
New Line hopes to knock out audiences when it issues the Michael Patrick Jann-directed "Drop Dead Gorgeous" ($24.98 SRP). Essentially the story of a small-town beauty pageant that turns mean and vicious, "Drop Dead Gorgeous" features a hot, young cast, including Kirsten Dunst and Denise Richards. New Line's DVD includes a script-to-screen screenplay as a DVD-ROM feature, as well as the original theatrical trailer.
If the concept of Dunst and Richards willing to do anything to be beautiful isn't your thing, one can always pick up her other DVD release of the week, "Dick" ($24.95 SRP). Teamed with Michelle Williams ("Dawson's Creek"), Dunst plays one half of a clueless pair who wind up as official White House dog walkers after a routine field trip to Washington, D.C., during the Nixon administration finds them witness to dirty deeds that the federal government would like to cover up as quickly as possible. Columbia/TriStar's special edition of "Dick" features a running commentary by director Andrew Fleming and screenwriter Sheryl Longin, as well as a making-of featurette, deleted scenes and an isolated music score.
Though few films are really indie anymore (considering the majors own the vast majority of the formerly indie studios), a host of quasi-indie features hits shelves this week.
Leading the way is director Francois Girard's highly praised picture "The Red Violin" ($29.98 SRP). Starring Samuel L. Jackson and Greta Scacchi (among others), the film follows the magical path of the world's most perfect violin --an instrument that brings with it obsession and passion as it travels around the world over miles and ages. As it should be, the music-critical feature offers the obligatory isolated soundtrack, as well as the original theatrical trailer.
Director Alain Berliner's 1997 feature "Ma Vie En Rose ("My Life in Pink")" ($27.95 SRP) hits stores this week. The Golden Globe-winning story of a young boy who believes he is a girl trapped in a boy's body stars Michele Laroque, Jean-Philippe Ecoffey, Helene Vincent and Georges Du Fresne. The film garnered a number of award nominations and positive reviews culminating in its Best Foreign Language Film nod at the 1998 Golden Globes.
Not to be confused with the John Frankenheimer film of the same name, Mario Bava's 1960 horror epic "Black Sunday" ($24.99) hits shelves in an uncut European edition. The story follows the unfortunate decision of two doctors to dig up the crypt of a 17th century witch, resulting in her resurrection and a host of horrific deeds. Image Entertainment's special edition includes a running audio commentary by Bava scholar Tim Lucas, as well as the original theatrical trailer, a photo and a poster gallery.
If suspense is the item of the day, director Philip Noyce's extraordinarily visceral "Dead Calm" ($19.98 SRP) will more than hit the spot. Starring Nicole Kidman, Billy Zane and Sam Neill, the film follows two grieving parents (Kidman and Neill) who hit the open seas in an attempt to get over the loss of their dead child. Instead, they come across a mysterious shipwreck and its sole survivor (Zane). Over the course of its 96 minutes, "Dead Calm" will do a wonderful job of creating unbearable tension and features some of Zane's best work to date.