News Roundup: April 23


Top Story

Ms. I-can’t-keep-my-name-out-of-the-press Rosie O’Donnell will be hosting CBS’ Survivor: Marquesas reunion special May 19, after the final episode of the current Survivor saga airs in New York’s Central Park. She’ll be taking over the job from Bryant Gumbel, who has done the honors for the past three Survivor reunion specials.

The show’s executive producer, Mark Burnett, told The Associated Press that Rosie “is a fan of the show, she knows all the players and her infectious enthusiasm will add an unbelievable amount of excitement to the event.” No doubt.


In the ongoing case against actor Robert Iler, AP reported Officer Brian O’Donnell (no relation to Rosie) testified at a pretrial hearing Monday that he found marijuana and a pot pipe in Iler‘s pockets when the young man was arrested for second-degree robbery last July 4. Iler, who plays the delinquent A.J. on HBO’s The Sopranos, has pleaded innocent to the charges.

Actor Jason Priestley of Beverly Hills, 90210 fame escaped injury when his speedboat collided with another during the Fountain Miami Super Boat Grand Prix on Sunday. Priestley told the Miami Herald it was “just part of racing.” Sure.

Mel Gibson was on hand Tuesday to celebrate the opening of a new theater at his alma mater, the National Institute of Dramatic Arts in Sydney, Australia. Gibson had donated a chunk of change to help build the theater, and AP reported the actor advised students there to “keep your nose to the grindstone and don’t stop dreaming.” Words to live by.

Wanna own a piece of Jerry and the gang from Seinfeld? Well, you can if you hurry over to Sotheby’s in New York. The New York Post reports Sotheby’s will be auctioning off 110 items from the hit NBC show, including props, scripts and costumes, mostly around the $2,000 range. Proceeds will benefit Hollywood Cinema Production Resources.

Someone get this girl some help. Former figure skater and new Celebrity Boxing champ Tonya Harding was arrested for drunk driving Saturday in Battle Ground, Wash., after she crashed her truck into a ditch. No injuries were reported, and Harding pleaded innocent in court on Monday. By consuming alcohol, she has also violated her probation stemming from a charge of disorderly conduct and malicious mischief after attacking her boyfriend with a hubcap in May 2000. Harding could very well see some more jail time.

In the Biz

The immortal line “Book ’em, Danno” may once again be heard by all–that’s right, a big-screen version of Hawaii Five-O may be on its way. In an intense bidding war, DreamWorks emerged as the big winner on Monday, snatching up the exclusive rights to the classic ’70s cop series, which ran on CBS for 12 years. It starred Jack Lord as the determined Det. Steve McGarrett, who, along with his trusted sidekick Det. Danny Williams (James MacArthur), fought organized crime and corruption on the beaches of Waikiki.

The next Marvel comic book hero to hit the big screen will be The Punisher. Marvel Enterprises, which is riding high on the wave of Spider-Man and Blade, will team up with Artisan Entertainment to make a film about Frank Castle, an ex-soldier not necessarily endowed with super powers but rather a single-minded determination to hunt down the crime syndicate that killed his family. No one has been cast as yet.

Casting Call

Actor Jim Caviezel (High Crimes) will be starring as the legendary American Revolution figure Ethan Allen in Rebels. The historical drama will center on a group of young New England rebels, including Allen, who become the first colonists to stand up against British rule. Most importantly, we’ll finally find out the exact time Ethan Allen started making furniture.

In Memoriam

Linda Boreman, better known as Linda Lovelace, who starred in the classic 1972 porn film Deep Throat and later became an anti-porn advocate, died Monday in Denver, Colo., of injuries she sustained from a car crash April 3. She was 53 and is survived by her two grown children.