Liza Minnelli and new husband David Gest are looking to adopt a baby girl by early January. The couple told NYPost.com that the little girl, whose name will be Serena, is "a little more than 3. Adoptions often take years, but ours was only a four-month process. The situation was somebody who couldn't provide for her." Even with their VH-1 musical comedy/reality series airing Nov. 3, David and Liza said they plan on focusing most of their attention on the newest addition to the family. Serena will not be appearing on the show.
Sean "P. Diddy" Combs told New Yorker magazine that, even though he is wealthy, he is still exposed to too much violence in his life. "Nearly every black man faces an unacceptable level of violence in this society," he said. "I'm not different." Combs was acquitted of weapons and bribery charges stemming from a New York nightclub shooting in 1999 in which three people were injured.
Harrison Ford wants to do a movie with his girlfriend, Calista Flockhart. Isn't that sweet? Ananova.com reports Ford told the press at the premiere of his film K-19: The Widowmaker in Cologne, France, he could see the two of them working together, "but there are no set plans as yet."
British director J. Lee Thompson, who directed over 50 films including the original Cape Fear, The Guns of Navarone and Planet of the Apes sequels, died Friday of congestive heart failure in British Columbia. He was 88.
The Montreal World Film Festival had a definite international flavor when it handed out its top honors Monday. Italian director Cristina Comencini's Il piu bel giorno della mia vita (The Best Day of My Life) won the Grand Prix of the Americas, the festival's main prize, while Turkish director Tayfun Pirselimoglu's Hicbir yerde (In Nowhere Land) nabbed the Special Grand Prix of the Jury.
Columbia Pictures has picked up the comedy script Prizonaz of War from writers Robert LoCash and Nick Creature. The story centers on four clueless criminals who escape from a chain gang by hopping into an Army truck and wind up in Afghanistan. Good times.
The Jerry Lewis Labor Day Telethon, the annual drive to raise money for the Muscular Dystrophy Association, reached an all-time record Monday, receiving $58.3 million in pledges. "I asked for their talent and energy, and they brought it all out on that stage for me and my kids," Lewis said of his various co-hosts. "This was the most successful show we've ever done, and I couldn't have done any of this without them."
The London Evening Standard reports the eccentric Icelandic singer Bjork, pregnant with her second child, was robbed in her London flat Monday while she and her American boyfriend, Matthew Barney, were sleeping. The thieves took off with valuable recording equipment, the paper reported.
Grace is getting a new boyfriend.
Emmy-winning Woody Harrelson has signed on to do four episodes of the NBC hit sitcom "Will & Grace," playing the boyfriend of Grace (Debra Messing).
Everyone on the show is very excited about Harrelson joining the cast. "[We] here at "Will & Grace" had a woody over Woody," said series creator/executive producer David Kohan. "It feels like a real coup."
Harrelson will play a new resident of Will (Eric McCormack) and Grace's building, who at first antagonizes Grace but eventually forms a romantic attachment.
The role wasn't initially written for Harrelson because the producers held out little hope of landing him for the part. Now it is being tailored specifically for him, and writers are adding more sex appeal. "[Harrelson] can generate heat between himself and an actress without even trying," said Kohan. The story arc will air during the May sweep.
Harrelson has made some rare TV appearances since his days on "Cheers," doing guest spots on "Frasier," "Ellen" and "Spin
"ENOUGH" FOR LOPEZ & LEWIS: Juliette Lewis ("The Way of the Gun") is co-starring with Jennifer Lopez in Columbia Pictures' "Enough," directed by Michael Apted ("The World is Not Enough"). Principal photography is slated to start March 12.
The story is being described as a cross between "Sleeping with the Enemy" and "Double Jeopardy": A woman (Lopez) who marries the man of her dreams (Billy Campbell), only to see her life turn into a nightmare of domestic abuse. She tries to escape with her daughter, but eventually must take matters into her own hands to save her life and that of her child. Lewis plays the part of Lopez's best friend and confidant who has also been victimized by abuse.
Lewis recently finished shooting the independent feature "Claire's Hat" for Canadian producer Robert Lantos, and Lopez can currently be seen in the hit film "The Wedding Planner."
REESE GOES WILDE: "The Importance of Being Earnest," Oscar Wilde's brilliant comedy of errors, is getting another big-screen treatment, with Reese Witherspoon ("Little Nicky") in negotiations to star. The Miramax production starts shooting April 23 in London and has a budget of $15 million.
For the first time in her career, Witherspoon will be adopting a British accent in this 1890s period piece about mistaken identity in English high society. The film will also star Rupert Everett as Algernon, Colin Firth as Jack Worthing and Judi Dench as the Lady Bracknell.
LIGHTS…CAMERA…ACTION!: Directors Harold Ramis ("Bedazzled") and Wes Craven ("Scream") are both taking on new projects. Ramis will be directing the action comedy "Rule #3" for Fox 2000. In the film, an arrogant billionaire and firearms tycoon bullies a man he assumes is just an average Joe; unfortunately, the man turns out to be a hit man who teaches the tycoon a lesson. Sources say Sean Connery is being sought after to star. And in a completely different vein, horrormeister Craven has decided to take a stab at the classic Robert Louis Stevensen story "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde," adding a few twists to the original tale. No stars are attached as yet.
Troubled rapper Eminem pleaded no contest Monday to two gun-related charges stemming from an incident last year involving the Insane Clown Posse's road manager.
Eminem, whose real name is Marshall Mathers III, was charged with carrying a concealed firearm and brandishing a weapon during an argument with road manager of the rival band Insane Clown Posse outside a Royal Oak, Mich., stereo store in 2000.
The plead comes less than two weeks after Eminem received two years probation on a separate charge of carrying a concealed weapon during a brawl outside a Detroit-area nightclub. He also allegedly pistol-whipped a man he saw kissing his then wife, Kimberly Mathers. They are now divorcing.
Sentencing was schedule for Tuesday, June 5. He faced up to five years in prison, but he will now receive probation for pleading no contest.
VH1 moving beyond the music
VH1, known for its music videos, seems to be replacing the music with more original programming--comedies and dramas, to be exact.
The cable network has announced plans for a full slate of series, reality shows and feature-length films.
"We tried really hard to make sure that all our new shows are fundamentally about music," Lauren Zalanick, VH1's head of original programming, told The Associated Press.
Among some of the new programs is the drama Pulling the Strings, starring James Brolin as an entertainment mogul on the verge of a nervous breakdown. His wife, Barbra Streisand, will co-produce.
VH1 also plans to develop TV movies about MC Hammer and heavy metal rockers Def Leppard.
Looking for Bond
Little-known Scottish actor Gerald Butler may enjoy a license to kill as and when Pierce Brosnan hangs up his Walther PPK.
Several actors have been considered as the new James Bond, including British pop star Robbie Williams, but Butler may be the one to become the sixth actor to portray 007, as reported by Scotland's Daily Record newspaper.
Series producer Barbara Broccoli would like to cast a Scottish actor. The most famous Bond remains Sean Connery, a Scot.
"Gerard is one of the two people Barbara has appointments with," a source told the paper. "They are meeting to discuss replacing Pierce after his final movie."
Brosnan's contract expires after his fourth installment, which will go into production in January 2002.
Butler, who took up acting after earning a law degree from Glasgow University, was seen in last year's Wes Craven's Dracula 2000.
Braxton goes to the chapel
R&B singer Toni Braxton married her love of four years, Keri Lewis, the keyboardist for the group Mint Condition, on Saturday during a private outdoor ceremony.
Former Atlanta Mayor Andrew Young officiated the ceremony, as Braxton, 32, and Lewis, 28, exchanged vows in front of 250 guests at the 60-acre Dean Gardens estate in Atlanta.
Guests included singer Monica, rapper Mack 10, Tionne "T-Boz" Watkins and Rozonda "Chilli" Thomas of the R&B group TLC.
The bride wore an ivory satin gown with a notched and beaded bodice, and a beaded train and matching veil designed by Vera Wang. She also wore diamond-crusted gems designed by Stephen Russell, as reported by The Associated Press.
Colombian soap opera saying adios
Wildly popular Colombian soap opera Betty La Fea is winding down after a 1 ½-year run. The show revolves around an accountant, Betty, who wears braces, glasses, has a snorting laugh and facial hair. In a country that prides itself on its beautiful women and beauty contests, the show's success was phenomenal.
After more than 300 episodes, the writers and actors are extremely exhausted and glad to have a break, but fans are worried.
"I'm going to miss it, because it's been a lot of fun," Elkin Tovar, a 35-year-old chauffeur told The Associated Press. "But it will also be a bit of a break, because watching the show so often has become a form of slavery."
The show claimed 80 million viewers worldwide across Latin America and as far away as Hungary and Israel. Betty almost single-handedly rescued the Colombian TV network RCN from financial ruin, even as the country's unemployment is at an all-time low and violence is ripping through the nation.
Robin Hood lives on
USA Network is nearing production on a new reality series, based on super spies, which would bring a modern-day Robin Hood to television.
The series, tentatively called Break-In!, will feature two teams in a race to recover stolen artwork or government secrets and return them to their proper owners. The first to do so wins. The prize is yet to be determined.
The show takes its inspiration from such films as The Pink Panther or Mission: Impossible, during which protagonists execute elaborate plans to retrieve stolen items, Chris Sloan, USA Network's senior VP of reality programming, told Variety.
But the show won't show people how to pull off a crime, he said.
"That's why we're doing the fairly fantastical type of things-we're not breaking into someone's house. You're not going to hear us saying here's how you break in to steal the Oscars."
XFL's painful journey
The fate of the XFL has yet to be determined, but NBC Sports and the World Wrestling Federation are treating the low-rated series as a bad skin blemish they are trying to hide.
The XFL should make it to the 2002 season because "Vince [McMahon, chief of World Wrestling Federation] has the leverage to keep the weekly games on UPN Sunday night and TNN Sunday afternoon," David Carter, a principal in the Los Angeles-based Sports Business Group, told Variety.
The leverage is the Thursday-night WWF Smackdown, which is UPN's highest-rated series by far, and the Monday night Raw Is War on TNN, which is killing the competition on basic cable.
On NBC, the XFL averaged a 3.3 rating, 27% below the network's guarantees to advertisers.
NBC may stay on as an investor, but any idea that the network would switch the XFL Saturday night games to its sister network, CNBC, is just not going to happen.
"CNBC's demographic is the upscale white male executive in his 50s." Carter said. "The only two people in that category who watch XFL games are Vince McMahon and Dick Ebersol," chairman of NBC Sports.
Whatever the series has to do to make it, its going to have to prove it can generate revenues: it lost $40 million during its 2001 season, according to industry estimates.
WGA: Waiting to the last minute
With only nine days left before their contract expires, the Writers Guild of America and the Producers Alliance have yet to reach an agreement. Many insiders are saying the serious negotiations will happen in this final week before the contract expires.
Writers and many others are anxious about a strike because the talks, which resumed April 16, did not extend over the weekend. Companies are preparing to stop taking work from writers beginning next week.
There is a chance that the contract expiration may be extended to coincide with the Screen Actors Guild contract, which expires June 30. Although neither side will comment, other scenarios include the contract being extended only a few days-and only if the negotiations are moving forward in a significant way.
The agreement still boils down to around $100 million over three years, including WGA demands for boosted residuals in cable, video/DVD and foreign TV.
"Dances With Wolves" again
Pacifica Film Development has acquired the motion picture and television rights to Michael Blake's novel Holy Road, his sequel to the 1990 Dances With Wolves. Blake also will pen the screenplay, as he did with Wolves.
Holy Road continues the story of Lt. John Dunbar, now known as Dances With Wolves, who has, after 10 years, become a tribal warrior. When the white man invades once again, abducting his wife and youngest child, he embarks on a daring mission to rescue them.
No word on director or casting, but the novel is scheduled for a Sept. 15 publication. The screenplay should be finished by the end of the summer, depending on the potential strikes.
"Trap" continues on
Those pesky, adorable twins from The Parent Trap are back for more mischief.
Writers Derek Guiley and David Schneiderman will pen the Walt Disney Co.'s straight-to-video sequel to the hit film The Parent Trap, originally released in 1961 and remade in 1998.
This time around, the matchmaking girls have to deal with the perils of high school.
The week's biggest breakup is also, naturally, the week's biggest tab story. The three major tabs,- the National Enquirer, the Star, and the Globe, all have their own scoop behind the split-up of Anne Heche and Ellen DeGeneres last Saturday. And the three versions, believe it or not, do not differ vastly.
All three tabs agree that the breakup either had something to do with Heche's renewed attraction to men (and they seem to think that Vince Vaughn is somehow the man) and DeGeneres's desire to have a baby, which ex-girlfriend Heche was not ready for.
With that taken care of, here’s the weekly Top 10 from the tabs:
1. "Behind the Scenes on ‘Survivor’" (Enquirer, p. 41) Jenna reputedly said that doctor Sean had propositioned her for sex three times; Jenna also stated that Colleen and Gervase always went buck naked on the island; and lastly, Jenna wants the world to know that Rudy and Romana were really lazy.
2. "Whitney & Enrique!" (Globe, p. 5) The latest from the home front: Bobby Brown reputedly got pretty sore over Whitney’s infatuation with Enrique Iglesias.
3. "Vegetarians Are Eating Themselves to Death, Reveals New Research" (Weekly World News, p. 8) Also, there is "growing evidence [that] says red meat is the best food for humans!" Go carnivores!
4. "Many People Who Think They’re Going Crazy Are Actually Hearing the Voice Of God" (Weekly World News, p. 72) The interesting question is: can we turn this around, and say that people who think they’re hearing the voice of God are actually going crazy?
5. "Phyllis Diller Falls For Younger Man!" (Globe, p. 7) This makes headlines? Aren't all men younger than Phyllis Diller?
6. "Camryn Manheim: I’ll Pay $1G to Find a Man" (Star, p.33) A mere thousand bucks? Guess prime-time stardom doesn't pay like it used to.
7. "Jerry Lewis Telethon Could Kill Him – Pals Fear" (Globe, p. 6) And it ain’t because of the boredom. The 74-year-old comic’s friends are afraid that the stress of the telethon could further tax Lewis’ health.
8. "Martha Stewart: Too Perfect For Love!" (Globe, p. 37) The TV decorum queen’s insistence on living life like it's one big New Hampton dinner party has allegedly been driving Mr. Right away.
9. "The Bigger Your Buns, the Higher Your I.Q." (Weekly World News, p. 66) Ah, so there is such thing as a "smart ass."
10 . "Dumped Kitty Goes From Death Row to Movie Star" (Enquirer, p. 10) The moving story of a Persian cat that escaped the pound to become the on-screen kitty in "Stuart Little."
Hollywood types hope their best work will be remembered when that other awards show announces its nominees Tuesday. But unfortunately, their worst work won't be forgotten either, not if the Golden Raspberry Awards Foundation has anything to say about it.
At least "Wild Wild West" knows it won't walk away honor-less. Last summer's Will Smith stinker, along with the blockbuster "Star Wars: Episode I -- The Phantom Menace", topped the nominations for the 20th Annual Razzie Awards, announced today.
"Wild Wild West" and "Phantom Menace" are up for eight Razzies each. The digs at "West" include nods for Worst Picture, Worst Actor (Kevin Kline), Worst Screen Couple (Kline and Smith), Worst Director (Barry Sonnenfeld), Worst Supporting Actor (Kenneth Branagh) and two nods for Worst Supporting Actress (Salma Hayek and Kline as a prostitute).
The flick will duke it out for Worst Picture dishonors with "Phantom Menace," as well as "Big Daddy," "The Haunting" and "The Blair Witch Project.".
The Golden Raspberrys also announced nominations for the worst actor and actress of the entire blinkin' 20th century. The uncoveted races will pit the likes of Kevin Costner against Pauly Shore, and Madonna against Brooke Shields.
Past multiple Razzie winners "Striptease," "Showgirls," "Hudson Hawk," "An Alan Smithee Film: Burn, Hollywood, Burn!" and "The Postman" are all in contention for the title worst picture of the 1990s.
Some of today's picks reveal the Razzies' "pet" performers. Consider the Sofia Coppola worst supporting actress nomination for "Episode I." (Blink and you missed her as one of Queen Amidala's handmaidens. And what were her lines, other than, say, "Yes, your Majesty"?) And what about Sylvester Stallone's nomination for Worst Actor of the Century -- noting he deserves the nod for "99.5% of Everything He's Ever Done." (Ouch.)
The most curious dig: Madonna's nomination for Worst Actress of the Century. According to the Razzies, her bad-movie resume includes 1980's "Endless Love." But, was she even in the film? (No comment yet from the Razzies on that apparent typo.)
Oh well: Like Madonna would show up to the ceremonies, which, for the record, are scheduled for March 25 -- 24 hours before the real-deal Academy Awards -- at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel.
The actual award, a gold-spray-painted plastic raspberry atop a mangled Super 8 film reel, reportedly is worth about $4.27.
Here's the complete nominee list for the 20th Annual Razzie Awards:
"Big Daddy" "The Blair Witch Project" "The Haunting" "Star Wars: Episode I -- The Phantom Menace" "Wild Wild West"
Kevin Costner, "For Love of the Game" and "Message in a Bottle" Kevin Kline, "Wild Wild West" Adam Sandler, "Big Daddy" Arnold Schwarzenegger, "End Of Days" Robin Williams, "Bicentennial Man" and "Jakob The Liar"
Heather Donahue, "The Blair Witch Project" Melanie Griffith, "Crazy in Alabama" Milla Jovovich, "The Messenger: The Story of Joan of Arc" Sharon Stone, "Gloria" Catherine Zeta-Jones, "Entrapment" and "The Haunting"
Worst Screen Couple
Pierce Brosnan and Denise Richards, "The World Is Not Enough" Sean Connery and Catherine Zeta-Jones, "Entrapment" Kevin Kline and Will Smith, "Wild Wild West" Jake Lloyd and Natalie Portman, "Star Wars: Episode I -- The Phantom Menace" Lili Taylor and Catherine Zeta-Jones, "The Haunting"
Worst Supporting Actress
Sofia Coppola, "Star Wars: Episode I -- The Phantom Menace" Salma Hayek, "Dogma" and "Wild Wild West" Kevin Kline (as a prostitute), "Wild Wild West" Juliette Lewis, "The Other Sister" Denise Richards, "The World Is Not Enough"
Worst Supporting Actor
Jar Jar Binks (voice by Ahmed Best), "Star Wars: Episode I -- The Phantom Menace" Kenneth Branagh, "Wild Wild West" Gabriel Byrne, "End of Days" and "Stigmata" Jake Lloyd, "Star Wars: Episode I -- The Phantom Menace" Rob Schneider, "Big Daddy"
Jan DeBont, "The Haunting" Dennis Dugan, "Big Daddy" Peter Hyams, "End Of Days" George Lucas, "Star Wars: Episode I -- The Phantom Menace" Barry Sonnenfeld, "Wild Wild West"
"Big Daddy" "The Haunting" "The Mod Squad" "Star Wars: Episode I -- The Phantom Menace" "Wild Wild West"
Worst Actor of the Century
Kevin Costner The Artist Formerly Known As Prince William Shatner Pauly Shore Sylvester Stallone
Worst Actress of the Century
Elizabeth Berkley Bo Derek Madonna Brooke Shields Pia Zadora
Worst Picture of the Decade
"An Alan Smithee Film: Burn, Hollywood, Burn!" "Hudson Hawk" "The Postman" "Showgirls" "Striptease"
Worst New Star of the Decade
Elizabeth Berkley Jar Jar Binks (voiced by Ahmed Best) Sofia Coppola, "The Godfather Part III," "Star Wars: Episode I -- The Phantom Menace" Dennis Rodman, "Double Team" and "Simon Sez" Pauly Shore