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Hollywood Digest

By PAT NASON, UPI Hollywood Reporter   |   May 16, 2002 at 5:23 PM   |   Comments

FALLEN 'ANGEL'

"Dark Angel" has had its wings clipped on Fox, which has decided to drop the James Cameron-produced show after just two seasons.

Fox will replace "Dark Angel" on its Friday prime time schedule with "Firefly" -- described as a Western in space, created by Joss Whedon ("Buffy the Vampire Slayer"). "Firefly" will be followed by another new show, "John Doe."

The network's prime time schedule for 2002-03 will also feature "The Cedric Show," a sketch comedy show starring Cedric the Entertainer.

Fox will be operating without "The X-Files" on its Sunday schedule for the first time since 1993.

The network has also canceled the first-year comedies "Greg the Bunny," "That '80s Show" and "Undeclared," as well as the longer-running "Titus." "Andy Richter Controls the Universe," which made its debut this spring, is expected to return as a midseason backup.


UPN BRINGS BACK 'TWILIGHT ZONE'

UPN will introduce two new dramas and one new comedy to its 2002-03 prime time schedule.

The network will present a new version of "The Twilight Zone," hosted by Forest Whitaker ("Panic Room"). The updated version will air 43 years after Rod Serling's creation first aired on CBS, before going on to become a TV classic.

The other new drama is "Haunted," starring Matthew Fox ("Party of Five") and Russell Hornsby ("Gideon's Crossing"). The show synthesizes two currently popular trends in TV programming, with stories of crime investigations that are aided by inexplicable links with the supernatural.

The network will also offer a new comedy, "Half and Half," starring Rachel True ("The Craft") and Essence Atkins ("Smart Guy") as half-sisters who grew up apart, leading separate lives until they wound up as neighbors in a San Francisco apartment building.

UPN will bring back six of its prime time shows from last season -- "One on One," "The Parkers," "Girlfriends," "Buffy the Vampire Slayer, "Enterprise" and "WWE Smackdown."


HARTNETT'S NEXT

According to a report in Daily Variety, Josh Hartnett has agreed to star an the upcoming action picture "Wish You Were Here" about four friends who scheme to smuggle a fortune out of Morocco -- until something goes terribly wrong.

Hartnett reportedly has plans as well to star in "The Rum Diary," based on Hunter S. Thompson's novel about a young writer trapped in a dead end job in Puerto Rico, and worried that he is losing his chance to fulfill his dream of hitting the big-time.


MORE NOSTALGIA

CBS programming executives seem to have decided to throw in their lot with the current nostalgia wave -- with plans to produce several projects for the upcoming TV season based on past hits.

With a working title of the "I Love Lucy Movie," one project will examine life behind the scenes at the classic Lucille Ball-Desi Arnaz comedy.

Another project will reteam Adam West and Burt Ward -- the stars of the 1960s camp classic "Batman" -- in "Back to the Batcave: The True Adventures of Adam West and Burt Ward."

Plans also call for a TV movie about the collapse of Enron, a biography of legendary entertainer Jackie Gleason starring Brad Garrett ("Everybody Loves Raymond") and an updated version of the Broadway musical "Once Upon a Mattress."


NOT EXACTLY ROB AND LAURA

Gossip columnist Liz Smith reported that Dick Van Dyke and Mary Tyler Moore will reteam for a stage version of going to team to star in "The Gin Game" -- a two-person play by D.L. Coburn that was a hit on Broadway in 1977 for Jessica Tandy, Hume Cronyn and director Mike Nichols.

The play -- set in a retirement home -- features two elderly people discussing life over a game of Gin Rummy.

Van Dyke and Moore starred as Rob and Laura Petrie in the classic '60s TV comedy "The Dick Van Dyke Show."

© 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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