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Entertainment Today: Show-biz news

By United Press International   |   Oct. 22, 2001 at 4:45 AM   |   Comments

ELLEN DEGENERES

Ellen DeGeneres says she prayed that the TV academy and CBS would cancel the Emmy Awards telecast set for Sept. 16 when she first learned of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks in New York and Washington, D.C.

In an interview with "Entertainment Tonight," DeGeneres said when the event was rescheduled for Oct. 7 she had a feeling that might not work either.

"I assumed that I was going to get a call that we were not going to do this," she said in recalling her initial reaction to the attacks, "and then when they moved it a little further I thought that's just enough time for something else to happen."

Sure enough, the Oct. 7 telecast was canceled hours before it was scheduled to begin, following the announcement that the United States and Britain had launched retaliatory air strikes in Afghanistan. DeGeneres said she got the word during the middle of a rehearsal.

"The stage manager said to me that we just bombed Afghanistan," she said. "We just kept rehearsing, and I was just devastated. Then all of a sudden at the last minute, I went outside to have a little break before hair and makeup and they said it was canceled. I thought they were kidding."

The Academy of Television Arts and Sciences has decided to take a third crack at televising the 53rd Annual Primetime Emmy Awards on Nov. 4.

(Thanks to UPI Hollywood Reporter Pat Nason)


ALAN ALDA

Likable actor Alan Alda -- former star of "M*A*S*H" and the possessor of first and last names that often show up on crossword puzzles -- is about to make a return to Broadway.

Producers of "QED" say the play will offer previews in the next few days. "QED" is by Peter Parnell and is about Nobel Prize-winning physicist Richard Feynman. Alda plays the leading role of the scientist who played a major part in the development of the atomic bomb.

Alda tells columnist Cindy Adams that it's been tough going on The Great White Way since the events of Sept. 11, but he feels that producers are doing the right thing to go forward, following President Bush's call for a return to business as usual.

"QED" was first performed this past spring in Los Angeles. It's a two-actor venture, with another actor playing a student of the great physicist.

(Thanks to UPI Feature Reporter Dennis Daily)


DABNEY COLEMAN

Dabney Coleman is back on television -- playing Burton Fallin, the father of newcomer Simon Baker, in the TV series "The Guardian."

How many series does that make for the indomitable Coleman?

"Let me see, I've done five or six starting with 'Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman,' 'Apple Pie,' 'Slap Maxwell,' 'Buffalo Bill,' 'Drexell's Class,' "Madman of the People' and this one," he tells UPI Hollywood Reporter Vernon Scott.

"This show, 'Mary Hartman' and 'Buffalo Bill' were a ball. The rest of them were tough; trying to be funny when the material isn't funny is the toughest. I was a victim of that.

"If the material is good as it is in 'The Guardian,' subtle, unpredictable and suspenseful it's nothing but high cotton.

"My character, Fallin, is tough but he's fair, unlike some of the other horses asses I've played. My roles are often tough and mean and I get a kick out of playing them.

"Playing Harry Jeeter in 'Mary Hartman' started me on the road to curmudgeons. I fell into a kind of groove. It's fun to play those guys."

Coleman laments that he hasn't played romantic roles.

"I never get the girl," he said reproachfully. "Never! Jobeth Williams was a guest on the show last week. At least I got to kiss Jobeth and then she ran out on me.


BOX OFFICE

The opening of Victorian murder mystery "From Hell" was the No.1 movie in America this past weekend, taking in an estimated $11.3 million at 2,305 theaters during the Friday-Sunday period.

The 20th Century Fox movie, starring Johnny Depp as a Scotland Yard detective on the trail of Jack the Ripper, was directed by Allen and Albert Hughes and received strong reviews.

"From Hell" edged out Sony's opening of "Riding in Cars With Boys," a domestic drama starring Drew Barrymore and based on the writings of author Beverly Donofrio, with $10.8 million at 2,770 theaters. The film debuted amid mixed notices.

Two-time winner "Training Day" dropped to third place. MGM's second weekend of "Bandits" came in fourth, followed by DreamWorks' opening of the military drama "The Last Castle," starring Robert Redford as a leader of a revolt in a military prison.

Rounding out the top 10 were "Serendipity," "Corky Romano," "Don't Say a Word," "Zoolander," and "Iron Monkey."

© 2001 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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