General News

QUICK TAKES: Keep your eye on the camera

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Apr 26, 2001 | 3:23pm EDT

Traffic came away the big winner Wednesday at the fifth annual PRISM awards, earning the prize for theatrical feature. Director Steven Soderbergh's Oscar-winning depiction of the drug wars beat out Bounce, Pay It Forward, Requiem for a Dream and 28 Days.

The Entertainment Industries Council, the National Institute on Drug Abuse and The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation hand out the awards to encourage the entertainment industry to address drug abuse in America.

NBC earned the Larry Stewart Leadership and Inspiration Award for accurately portraying drugs and alcohol use and addiction.

Other winners include Cosby, for television series episode, and Sex and the City, for television comedy series story line.

Getting "Lost" successfully

Wanted: a sense of direction.

NBC will air a new six-episode reality series that dares contestants to make their way to the Statue of Liberty after being abandoned in the middle of nowhere, according to the Hollywood Reporter. Inspired by an upcoming British series, Lost pits three teams of three people--including a trained camera operator--who are each blindfolded, transported to a remote area and given only $100 to aid their trek to the Big Apple.

NBC expects to put Lost on its fall schedule.

Online music services announced, contemplated

Another day, another round of online music service deals on the bubble. In a bid to supplant the besieged Napster song-swapping service, Internet provider Yahoo! announced Thursday a non-exclusive online music subscription venture with Sony Music Entertainment and Vivendi Universal's Universal Music Group called Duet, according to Reuters.

Also, Reuters reported Thursday that Universal Music Group might have reached a preliminary deal to buy Emusic.com Inc. and its online library of independent music.

Viacom Inc. also announced its MTV and VHI Web sites will make available 10,000 songs for download by the end of the month, Reuters reported.

Earlier this week, AOL, Bertelsmann and EMI Group Inc. joined forces with software company RealNetworks to form an online music subscription service called MusicNet.

WGA: No deal with studios

The Writers Guild of America moved quickly Thursday to squash rumors that writers and the studios had reached an agreement to prevent a threatened strike, according to Variety.

"No tentative agreement has been reached," the guild told Variety.

Talks will resume later this month with the Alliance of Motion Picture & Television Producers, the guild said.

The guild's contract with the AMPTP expires May 2.

Corman in an explosive mood

B-movie maestro Roger Corman made a career out of doing things on the cheap.

So, rather than just move out of his Concorde/New Horizon studios and let the wrecking crew to go to work, Corman decided to memorialize its demolition on film.

On Monday, Corman blew up the remainder of his Venice, Calif., soundstages for a low-budget chiller he wrote especially for the occasion. The demolition occurs in Slaughter Studios when a character takes his hatred of horror films too far and destroys a studio in the process.

"When I say blow it up, I'm making it sound a fraction more dramatic," Corman told the Hollywood Reporter. "We tore down and burned the whole interior and the roof, leaving a lot of the shell still there so that we didn't have to get into major explosives. Almost nothing was left of the interior. We started a fire and then blew the flaming section."

Corman shot more than 100 movies and 22 Black Scorpion episodes at the studios, which he bought in 1979. He sold the studios in 2000 to real-estate developers and now plans to beef up production at his Concorde Anois studios in Galway, Ireland.

Life on "3rd Rock" ends

Those wild and crazy aliens are heading home.

After 138 episodes, 3rd Rock from the Sun will rise one last time on May 22, Reuters reported Thursday. NBC's announcement ended months of speculation that the sitcom would end after its sixth season. Though it scored big ratings immediately following its January 1996 launch, 3rd Rock became the victim of 18 time-slot changes.

Not seen on NBC since Feb. 27, 3rd Rock will return Tuesday, April 17. The final episode will feature John Cleese and Elvis Costello.

The sitcom focuses on the trials and tribulations of a quartet of aliens (led by John Lithgow) who monitor life on earth. During its run, the show managed to secure eight Emmy awards and a Golden Globe for best comedy series.

Birthday boy Hefner to throw party

Playboy founder Hugh Hefner, who turns 75 Monday, will celebrate his birthday two days early in true Hefner-esque fashion: he will throw himself a pajama party at his Playboy Mansion in Holmby Hills, Calif, according to Variety.

The party also will mark the 11th birthday of Hefner's son, Marston, who will celebrate his birthday Monday with a bash for his friends and family.

The guest list includes Hefner's seven girlfriends and daughter Christie.

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