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News from the entertainment capital

By PAT NASON, UPI Hollywood Reporter   |   Jan. 10, 2002 at 3:51 PM   |   Comments

HONORED WRITERS

Five finalists have been named for annual Scripter awards, which honored screenwriters and authors for film adaptations of books.

Several well-known books were made into movies this year, including "A Beautiful Mind," with screenwriter Akiva Goldsmith and author Sylvia Nasar; "Bridget Jones's Diary," written by Helen Fielding and made into a movie by screenwriters Andrew Davies and Richard Curtis; "In the Bedroom"; "The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring"; and the "The Shipping News."

The winner will be named Tuesday.


NEW WAVE OF NOSTALGIA SWEEPING NETWORKS

CBS' ratings success with a recent Carol Burnett reunion special has given the other networks ideas -- NBC already has a reunion special on the "The Cosby Show" ready to go for May sweeps, New York Daily News reports.

"The Cosby Show" was a massive hit on Thursdays for NBC from 1984-92. The paper reports that Cosby contacted the show's producer -- Carsey-Werner-Mandalbach -- not long after the Carol Burnett special knocked it out of the park for CBS, finishing as the No. 1 show for the week.

"Bill always felt it was a landmark series that had a lot of important themes that related to family and how parents should communicate with children," said producer Tom Werner. "So hopefully the special will have some content value above and beyond just the normal clip show."

The paper reported that plans call for taping the "Cosby" reunion show in April in New York, but Werner isn't sure how many of the original cast will be involved.

"We're certainly talking to them all," he said.

NBC also plans to run a two-hour "L.A. Law" movie during the May sweeps, hoping to score killer ratings so they can set advertising rates as high as possible. Networks put their best feet forward during sweeps to get ratings that drive the ad rates.

CBS also is trying to get the cast of "M*A*S*H" together for a reunion special, and ABC has a "Happy Days" reunion in the works. Columbia Tri-Star Domestic TV president Steve Mosko said the industry "saw this coming" when the movie version of the TV hit, "Charlie's Angels," was one of the biggest box-office hits of 2000, the News reports.

"People are still hungry for some of these shows that a lot of us grew up with," he said.


NICOLE WILL WEAR THE CROWN

Nicole Kidman -- already one of the busiest actresses in Hollywood -- has added another project to her to-do list, with a deal to play Eleanor of Aquitaine, queen of France and England in the 12th century.

Before she gets around to making "Court and Spark," Kidman is set to finish work on several other pictures.

She starts filming soon with Lars von Trier ("Dancer in the Dark," "Breaking the Waves") on "Dogville." She's also scheduled to co-star with Anthony Hopkins in writer-director Robert Benton's movie adaptation of Phillip Roth's novel, "The Human Stain."

There also is speculation that Kidman will join Jim Carrey in Gary Ross's

("Pleasantville," "Dave") upcoming project, "Dog Years."


WILLIS WORKING ON ELLROY PROJECT?

According to a report in Daily Variety, Bruce Willis and his production company are in talks with HBO to make a miniseries out of James Ellroy's "American Tabloid" and "The Cold Six Thousand" -- the first two parts of Elroy's planned fiction trilogy set against the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.

Variety reported that Willis is expected to "take a significant acting role in the series."

Ellroy -- whose novel "L.A. Confidential" was turned into the Oscar-nominated 1997 movie of the same name -- is developing a talk show.


'ROMEO MUST DIE' TEAM REUNITING

Action star Jet Li and rapper-actor DMX will re-team with "Romeo Must die" director Andrzej Bartkowiak and producer Joel Silver to make "Cradle to the Grave" -- described as an action picture set against the world of international diamond theft.

Li is also reportedly making plans to star in a movie with fellow Asian action-master Jackie Chan.


NARROWING IT DOWN A LITTLE

Seven films are being considered for an Oscar in sound editing this year.

They are: "A.I. Artificial Intelligence"; "Amélie"; "Black Hawk Down"; "The Fast and the Furious"; "The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring"; "Monsters, Inc." and "Pearl Harbor."

The Sound Editing Award Committee looks 10-minute clip reels from each film then decides which -- if any -- deserve to be nominated for an Academy Award.

According to Academy rules, if the committee decides that two or three of the eligible pictures receive enough votes, they will be included on the list of Oscar nominees.

If only one title gets that kind of support from the committee, it will be recommended to the Academy board of governors for a special achievement award. If no film gets enough committee votes, there will be no Oscar given for sound editing when the 74th Annual Academy Awards are handed out on March 24.

The announcement comes one day after the Academy said eight movies being considered for an Oscar for visual effects. Five movies appear on both lists. "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone" is being considered for a visual effects award, but not for sound editing -- possibly signaling that judges like "Lord of the Rings" better than "Harry Potter."

© 2002 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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