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Entertainment Today: Showbiz news

By United Press International   |   Jan. 24, 2002 at 4:45 AM   |   Comments

INDY 4

Harrison Ford made it plain Sunday he's ready for another Indiana Jones adventure whenever producer George Lucas and director Steven Spielberg are -- and Spielberg sounds like he's ready, too.

A spokesman for the Oscar-winning director told E! Online that Spielberg and Lucas have come up with a story. FoxNews.com has reported that Spielberg said at a post-Golden Globes party that: "We have a title, but we're not ready to announce it yet."

Spielberg was apparently ready to announce some casting, however. "I will give you one clue, though," he said. "Kate is in it."

Kate would be Mrs. Spielberg, Kate Capshaw, who played the female lead in "Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom." Asked whether she would show up in flashbacks in the next Indy movie, Spielberg said, "No, she'll be in the present."

Spielberg -- whose recent workload has included "A.I. Artificial Intelligence," "Minority Report" with Tom Cruise and "Catch Me If You Can" with Leonardo DiCaprio -- also has been quoted as saying he was always ready to revisit Indiana Jones as soon as he finished work on "Catch Me If You Can."

A spokesman for Spielberg told E! Online Spielberg has not put Indy 4 on his schedule yet. "It's not his next picture," said Levy. "We don't know what his next picture's going to be."


DGA NOMINEES

More kudos for "A Beautiful Mind." It's director, Ron Howard, is among this year's nominees for the Directors Guild of America's feature film directing award.

The other nominees, announced Wednesday, are Peter Jackson ("The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring"), Baz Luhrmann ("Moulin Rouge"), Christopher Nolan ("Memento") and Ridley Scott ("Black Hawk Down") -- installing them as frontrunners for the directing Oscar.

Since the guild established the award in 1949, the directing Oscar has gone to a DGA nominee every year. In all but five years, it has gone to the DGA winner.

Howard's third DGA nomination -- he was previously recognized for "Cocoon" in 1985 as well as for 1995's "Apollo 13" -- adds another honor to the growing list of accolades for his movie about the schizophrenic Nobel Prize-winning mathematician John Nash.

The picture won the Golden Globe for best drama last weekend and was named best picture by the Broadcast Film Critics Association. It is one of five nominees for the Producers Guild of America's Darryl F. Zanuck Producer of the Year Award -- the PGA's top honor for best picture.

The DGA will announce the winner on March 9.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will announce this year's Oscar nominations on Feb. 12, and will present the 74th Annual Academy Awards on March 24.

(The above two items thanks to UPI Hollywood Reporter Pat Nason)


MORE ON 'A BEAUTIFUL MIND'

Director Ron Howard and producer Brian Grazer will be honored with the National Mental Health Awareness Campaign's "Awareness" Awards for their film "A Beautiful Mind."

The awards will be presented Jan. 30 at an event hosted by Jack Valenti, president and CEO of the Motion Picture Association of America, in Washington, D.C. They recognize individuals who've helped destigmatize mental illness and broaden awareness and understanding.

"A Beautiful Mind" -- starring Russell Crowe and Jennifer Connelly -- was inspired by the life of John Forbes Nash Jr., the mathematical genius who battled schizophrenia and eventually went on to win the Nobel Prize. The screenplay was based in part on the biography "A Beautiful Mind" by Sylvia Nasar.


SIDNEY POITIER

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences says it will present an honorary Oscar to Sidney Poitier.

The academy said it is recognizing Poitier for "extraordinary performances and unique presence on the screen" and for "representing the motion picture industry with dignity, style and intelligence throughout the world."

Academy president Frank Pierson made the announcement. "When the academy honors Sidney Poitier," said Pierson, "it honors itself even more."

According to a release issued by the academy, so many members of the Board of Governors made comments seconding Poitier's nomination for the honorary Oscar that Actors Branch Gov. Tom Hanks finally had to utter a wisecrack in order to cut off the kudos and bring the matter to a vote.

"When I was a young actor, I worked as a bellboy," said Hanks. "I carried Mr. Poitier's bags once, and he tipped me five bucks!"

Poitier joins a list of previous honorary Oscar winners that includes Michelangelo Antonioni, Henry Fonda, Akira Kurosawa, Sophia Loren, Paul Newman and James Stewart. He will receive the statuette at the 74th Academy Awards Presentation on March 24 at the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood.


CONNIE CHUNG

Gone are the days when network anchors were tied to a single network. Of course, during his long career, even Lowell Thomas switched affiliations.

Now comes word that anchorwoman Connie Chung has been snagged by CNN to do a prime-time news show. The network says the 55-year-old reporter will leave ABC to join the all-news network. She had reportedly also been courted by Fox News.

This will be the third major network gig for Chung. At one time she shared the anchor desk with Dan Rather at CBS. Chung's arrival at CNN will allow that network, in the words of People online, to "patch up the vacancy left when ... Greta Van Susteren jumped ship to go to Fox."

In recent years, Chung's visibility at ABC had faded because she had been relegated to reporting assignments and newsmagazine formats. CNN is likely to put her front and center.

(Thanks to UPI Feature Reporter Dennis Daily)


TV RATINGS

FCC Commissioner Katheleen Abernathy says she supports the idea of networks regulating themselves when it comes to adult-oriented content.

Abernathy told a morning session of the National Association of Television Program Executives Wednesday that the Federal Communications Commission's concerns over sex and violence on network television remain constant regardless of whether or not an election year is approaching. Enforcement of existing rules on such content is critical, she said.

"It's a privilege to own a (TV) license, and I'm not going to go out and tell licensees what to put on," Abernathy said. "I do think it's important for them to appreciate the impact they have on society ... and so responsible programming means appreciating the need for quality programming for children and periods where the shows are family friendly."

Asked if this attitude translated to self-regulation for the industry, Abernathy said, "Absolutely."

The aftermath of Sept. 11, combined with the economic downturn, has created a difficult revenue situation for the industry, Abernathy acknowledged. The FCC must work to avoid rulemakings and other regulation that unnecessarily drives up costs for broadcasters, she said.

Some have questioned the role liquor ads should play in providing TV revenue, but Abernathy said that discussion is in the Federal Trade Commission's court.

Abernathy gave U.S. networks very high marks for their performance in dealing with the terrorist attacks, especially their decisions to forego advertising to provide the public with the most information possible. Those moves helped maintain calm, she said, and the lack of government intervention in the decisions is particularly noteworthy.

© 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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