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News from Hollywood

By PAT NASON, UPI Hollywood Reporter   |   Nov. 6, 2001 at 6:52 PM
'SHREK' POSTS MORE GIGANTIC NUMBERS

"Shrek" -- already the biggest box-office attraction of 2001 -- has added another $110 million to its plus column with sales of the new home video, including more than 2.5 million copies of the DVD.

The DVD sales continue a trend of mega-sales this fall, following the performance of "The Mummy Returns," "Star Wars: Episode I -- The Phantom Menace" and "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs."

"Shrek" grossed $267 million in U.S. theaters this spring and summer, becoming the 13th biggest box-office hit of all time.

More big titles are on the way to home video -- including "Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas" and "Park III."


BASEBALL BEATS EMMYS

Baseball and the Emmy Awards had distinctively different ratings on Sunday night -- with the seventh game of the World Series delivering the largest audience for baseball in 10 years, while the Emmy Awards delivered its lowest ratings in 11 years.

For Fox, the climactic game -- in which the Arizona Diamondbacks beat the New York Yankees, 3-2, to win the world championship -- delivered the biggest audience the network has ever had , not counting football.

For CBS, the anti-climactic Emmy Awards not only had to compete with the World Series finale, but also with "Toy Story 2" on ABC and the first night of the miniseries, "Uprising," on NBC.

According to early Nielsen numbers, the ball game drew an average of audience of 39.1 million viewers -- the largest baseball audience since Game Seven of the '91 World Series between the Minnesota Twins and the Atlanta Braves.

The Emmy Awards settled for an average audience of 17.1 million viewers, down something like 22 percent from last year's telecast on ABC.


BRAD'S ANXIETIES

Brad Pitt, who by most standards pretty much has it all, remembers a time when he didn't feel so hot about himself -- and even went through therapy to deal with his issues.

In the new issue of Vanity Fair, Pitt said the decision to seek help was complicated by his Missouri upbringing "where you had to be crazy to go to a doctor."

He wouldn't say when he underwent therapy, but he said the decision came at a low point in his life.

"I crashed and burned," he said, "so I wanted to understand how I operate."

The magazine also quoted Pitt as saying he has "thought about pulling a Mariah Carey" -- a reference to the singer's well-publicized nervous breakdown earlier this year. But Pitt quickly added: "I was just joking."

Pitt is on the promotion trail to plug two new movies.

He stars with Robert Redford in "Spy Game," directed by his "Se7en" and "Flight Club" director, David Fincher. In December, Pitt shares the screen with George Clooney and Julia Roberts in Steven Soderbergh's remake of the 1960 Rat Pack comedy-caper, "Ocean's Eleven."


LEO'S NEXT

According to a report in Daily Variety, Leonardo DiCaprio is planning to star in "Johnny Eck" in a dual role -- playing a legless man and his otherwise identical twin brother.

The movie will tell the story of Robert and Johnny Eckhardt. Johnny -- who was born without he lower half of his body -- was featured in Tod Browning's 1932 movie "Freaks."

"Johnny Eck" is being written by Caroline Thompson, who wrote the freaky screenplays for "Edward Scissorhands" (1990), "The Addams Family" (1991) and "The Nightmare Before Christmas" (1993).

Thompson has a lighter side, though. She wrote "Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey" (1993), and she wrote and directed "Black Beauty" (1994) and "Buddy" (1997).


BROOKS WILL DELIVER THREE CONCERT SPECIALS FOR CBS

CBS has signed country star Garth Brooks to appear in one-hour concert specials on three consecutive Wednesday nights in November, beginning Nov. 14 -- the day after Brooks' new CD hits record stores.

The CD, "Scarecrow," is the singer's first new album in four years.

The series -- titled "Garth Brooks: Coast to Coast Live" -- will run from 10-11 p.m. hour, replacing "Wolf Lake," which CBS canceled last week. Shows will be televised from different venues with different guest stars each week.

The first show will be televised from the Great Western Forum in Los Angeles. The second will originate aboard the aircraft carrier USS Enterprise, after the ship returns to port in Norfolk, Va., from a tour in the Middle East.

CBS has not announced the venue for the third concert. The network also has not announced who Brooks' guest stars will be.


LAYOFFS AT PBS

The Public Broadcasting Corp. has announced that it will lay of 10 percent of its work force of 565, and close its Midwest programming office, because of sagging economic fortunes.

PBS president-CEO Pat Mitchell said the job cuts were necessary "in order to bring operating costs to levels more sustainable in difficult times."

Mitchell said the cuts came after a months-long review, and that "a high number" of the jobs involved "are accounted for in vacancies that will not be filled."

© 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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