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Hollywood Digest

By PAT NASON, UPI Hollywood Reporter   |   May 3, 2002 at 3:30 PM   |   Comments

THE WAGES OF DYSFUNCTION

Ozzy Osbourne and family could be collecting $20 million for two more seasons of their breakout reality-comedy hit on MTV.

The cable network is prepared to pay that much to bring back "The Osbournes." MTV did not confirm reports about the dollar amount being offered to the Osbournes, but a report in Daily Variety suggested it might not be an unreasonable price to pay.

"The Osbournes" has become the most-watched series on basic cable. Close to 8 million viewers tuned in two weeks ago, and some episodes of the voyeuristic series have attracted larger audiences of younger viewers than some of the over-the-air broadcast networks.

The Osbournes were paid $200,000 for the first 10-episode season of the show, which is also spawning a soundtrack album.

Commercial success has also raised the celebrity profile of Osbourne, who has been famous since his band, Black Sabbath, crashed into the heavy metal world three decades ago. The Osbournes reportedly will be Fox News Channel's guests of honor this weekend at the annual White House Correspondents Association dinner.

Variety also reported that Osbourne's home was the location Friday for the final day of shooting on "Austin Powers in Goldmember." Mike Myers told Army Archerd the scene was "an extravaganza." Myers said he and director Jay Roach are "huge fans" of "The Osbournes."


REMEMBERING AUDREY HEPBURN

Audrey Hepburn, the Oscar-winning actress who went on to a second career as a global ambassador for UNICEF -- will be celebrated on May 7 with the unveiling of a new sculpture in the public plaza adjacent to UNICEF headquarters in Manhattan.

The event comes on the day before a three-day global summit on children opens at the United Nations. It will feature appearances by celebrities who have followed Hepburn as special representatives of UNICEF around the world.

Roger Moore ("A View to a Kill," "For Your Eyes Only," "Moonraker") will serve as master of ceremonies. Harry Belafonte will unveil the statue. Mia Farrow and Isabella Rossellini are also scheduled to attend.

U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan, will be a featured speaker.

The seven-foot tall bronze sculpture by John Kennedy is called The Spirit of Audrey. Hepburn served as a UNICEF goodwill ambassador from 1988 until her death from colon cancer in 1993.

The statue was originally scheduled to be unveiled last October, but the ceremony was postponed after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

The summit is being billed as a follow-up to the 1990 World Summit for Children. Organizers said participants will evaluate progress made on behalf of young people in the interim.


CASTING NOTES

Luke Wilson ("Charlie's Angeles," "My Dog Skip") will co-star with Kate Hudson in "Alex and Emma" -- a screen adaptation of Fyodor Dostoyevsky's short novel "The Gambler."

Based on Dostoyevksy's own experience as a compulsive gambler, it's the story of a writer who bets the future rights to everything he will ever produce that he will meet a deadline for his current project. Dostoyevsky dictated the book in a few weeks to the star pupil of Russia's first shorthand school, and went on to marry her.

Wilson -- who will join other "Charlie's Angels" cast members for the sequel, "Charlie's Angels 2" -- also has plans to co-star with Bob Dylan, Jessica Lange and Penélope Cruz in "Masked & Anonymous." He's due back in U.S. theaters in September, co-starring with Will Ferrell and Vince Vaughn in "Old School" -- a story about three men who try to relive their college days when they become disillusioned with the way their lives are turning out.


NBC'S DIAMOND JUBILEE

NBC kicked off a celebration of its 75th anniversary Friday, when New York's 49th Street was temporarily renamed "NBC Way" between 5th & 6th Avenues and Bill Cosby was inducted into the NBC Walk of Fame.

Looking at the gold plaque inlaid on the floor of the "NBC Experience" store in Rockefeller Center, Cosby had a down-to-earth reaction.

"Are people going to walk on me?" he said. "Do I have to pay money to scrape gum off me?"

Robert Culp, who co-starred with Cosby in "I Spy," and Phylicia Rashad, who co-starred with him in "The Cosby Show," helped dedicate the plaque.

Cosby joins Michael J. Fox, Kelsey Grammer, Jay Leno and Jerry Seinfeld on Sunday to host a three-hour special on NBC Sunday night -- the centerpiece of the network's month-long diamond anniversary celebration.

It features performers from NBC's past -- including Don Adams ("Get Smart"), Sid Caesar ("Your Show of Shows"), Diahann Carroll ("Julia"), Robert Culp ("I Spy"), Ted Danson ("Cheers"), Angie Dickinson ("Policewoman") Barbara Eden, ("I Dream of Jeannie") David Hasselhoff ("KnightRider"), Peter Falk ("Columbo"), Jack Klugman ("Quincy") and Don Johnson ("Miami Vice") -- as well as the casts of current hit shows including "Friends," "Will & Grace" and "ER."

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