TV STUFF: Dave’s Special Friends

David Letterman or no, CBS is determined to milk those “Late Show” reruns and famous guest host offers for all they’re worth.

The network has announced that another week of Letterman reruns is in store for the “Late Night” time slot — albeit with some special star-power favor. Starting tonight until Friday, famous people — in the caliber of Jerry Seinfeld, Danny DeVito, Bruce Willis, Bill Cosby, and others — will recount personal “Late Show” memories and Letterman-related special moments that would serve as openers to each show until the end of the week.

“Late Show” fans need not worry about the whereabouts of their favorite talk show host. The weirdly eulogistic nature of these “backstage” conversations has nothing to do with the availability of the convalescing Letterman. Dave‘s slated to come back to the late-night talk show as early as next Monday.

Tonight’s show will feature Julia Roberts, Regis Philbin and a John Malkovich-voiced Top 10 countdown titled, “Top 10 Things That Sound Creepy When Said By John Malkovich.”

CAREER PATH EXAMINED: Where do movie stars go after they’re no longer really movie stars?

To TV, naturally.

And so Mary Stuart Masterson, the late-1980s-early-1990s-era star of oeuvres such as “Some Kind of Wonderful,” and “Benny & Joon,” is slated to make her TV series debut as the star of the CBS drama “The Further Adventures.”

Set for a fall 2000 premiere, the drama follows a single mom (Masterson) as she struggles through economic hardships and such to provide for her two sons.

RECESSION HITS “TWENTY-ONE”: The folks from the NBC show “Twenty-One” have decided that it’s just a bit too easy to be rich nowadays.

The Hollywood Reporter says that the Maury Povich-hosted game-show revival is slashing the first-time prize-money pot from $100,000 to $25,000 beginning Wednesday. Under the new rules, the bounty will increase incrementally with each consecutive win: $50,000 for the second win, $100,000 for the third win and up to $1 million for contestants who win seven matches in a row.

It “has nothing to do with saving money,” NBC Studios exec Ted Harbert says of the prize-cutting move in the trade paper. “We have done research, and people have been saying that it was too easy to win a lot of money.”

No word on who precisely NBC polled for its research — billionaires, top studio execs or corporate CEOs?

MOVE OVER, ROGER EBERT: Chris Gore, the brains behind Film Threat (www.filmthreat.com) and film reviewer for FX’s “The X Show,” will expand his special brand of uncensored movie commentaries on anew weekly, half-hour show called, “The New Movie Show with Chris Gore.” It’s set for a March debut on FX.

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