Hollywood: On the Road to Recovery

It looks like the entertainment world is starting to rebound from last Tuesday’s terrorist attacks in New York and Washington.

The 53rd annual Primetime Emmy Awards have been rescheduled for Oct. 7, three weeks later than the original date of Sept. 16. Ellen DeGeneres will still host the television awards ceremony at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles.

Perhaps in need of an escape, moviegoers headed to theaters this weekend.

While business on Friday was slow because of memorials and candlelight vigils, Paramount’s baseball drama Hardball starring Keanu Reeves grossed $10.1 million for the three days starting on Friday. Ticket sales in New York alone were particularly strong.

“I looked at Hardball on Friday night and the screen average in L.A. was $2,000 and the number two market was New York at $1,800 (per theater for Friday). And usually that’s the normal pattern,” Warner Bros. distribution president Dan Fellman told Martin Grove.

Ticket sales by key films were approximately $61.2 million, up about 29 percent from the comparable weekend last year’s total of $47.4 million.

These actions signify much more than the fact that Americans are ready to be entertained again. Hollywood–and the nation–seem to be ready to begin the healing process and do what it takes to return to a “normal” life.

Television networks are leading the way.

Back to Normal. Sort of.

Rosemary Keenan, a spokeswoman for The Late Show with David Letterman told The Associated Press that taping would resume Monday at the Ed Sullivan Theater in midtown Manhattan. The show, along with other late-night entertainment shows, stopped taping after the attacks on Sept. 11.

“Both the mayor and the president have asked America to get back to business,” Keenan said. “Therefore, we will be back on the air Monday night.”

CBS’ Late Late Show with Craig Kilborn will also resume taping on Monday in Los Angeles. The show, however, will not include Kilborn’s comic monologue and is eliminating its satirical news segment.

Conan O’Brien‘s Late Night and Jay Leno‘s Tonight Show will begin taping Tuesday.

Broadway producers, meanwhile, have said that all 23 shows did, in fact, go on Sunday night after a moment of silence.

Lending a Hand

Plans are also underway for networks to help in relief efforts.

After airing non-stop commercial-free news coverage in the days following Tuesday’s attacks, major networks are talking about the possibility of airing an industry-wide telethon Friday to raise money for relief and recovery from the terrorist attacks. According to AP, the show would last two or three hours and would be broadcast on as many cable networks as possible.

George Clooney and Jim Carrey have reportedly agreed to participate; other performers have not been confirmed, but organizers don’t believe it will be difficult to get cooperation.

In fact, many artists have shown a great willingness to help by paying tribute to the victims of this week’s terrorist attacks at concerts and donating to different relief funds.

At a concert at the Staples Center in Los Angeles Friday, Madonna led a prayer for peace and pledged proceeds from Thursday’s performance to disaster victims and their families.

The Backstreet Boys also asked audiences to observe a moment of silence for the victims at a concert on Wednesday and announced it was donating $1 from each concert ticket to a relief fund established by the tour’s sponsor, ClearChannel.com.

Other artists such as Sade, Earth, Wind & Fire, Lynyrd Skynyrd and the Robert Clay Band have agreed to donate $10,000 from their respective concerts on Sept. 12. Singer Dave Navarro will have mobile units for blood at his upcoming shows in Charlotte, N.C., and Atlanta, Ga., on Sept. 15 and 21.

Even Vivendi Universal, parent of the Universal Music Group (Interscope, Geffen, A&M, Island Def Jam) said it will donate $5 million to relief efforts.

The “King of Pop” Michael Jackson also announced plans to put together an ensemble recording to raise $50 million for the survivors and families of victims of Tuesday’s attacks.

The song, “What More Can I Give?” is currently being recorded and will feature Destiny’s Child, Backstreet Boy Nick Carter, Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake of ‘N Sync.

“I believe in my heart that the music community will come together as one and rally to the aid of thousands of innocent victims,” Reuters reported Jackson as saying. “There is a tremendous need for relief dollars right now and through this effort each one of us can play an immediate role in helping comfort so many people.”

Closer to the heart of the tragedy, soprano Heidi Grant Murphy, baritone Thomas Hampson, the New York Choral Artists and The American Boychoir will join the New York Philharmonic in a Sept. 20 memorial concert for victims of the terrorist attack.

At the urging of Mayor Giuliani and the commissioner of cultural affairs Schuyler G. Chapin, New York’s theaters and museums opened their doors Sunday.

At Lincoln Center, the New York City Opera is also working to arrange a benefit in October.