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Entertainment Today: Showbiz news

By United Press International   |   June 20, 2002 at 3:00 AM   |   Comments

COS IS DOWN ON OZ

Do not count Bill Cosby among the legion of fans who get a kick out of watching Ozzy Osbourne and his family live out their lives in front of the camera on MTV.

Cosby, who once headed America's favorite fictional TV family on "The Cosby Show," told "Access Hollywood" he doesn't think "The Osbournes" is entertaining. Worse than that, he thinks it's actually pretty sad.

"Let me tell you something about Ozzy Osbourne," said Cosby, "first of all, all of you (media) need to stop with this Ozzy Osbourne. This is a sad, sad family; it is a sad case. The children are sad and the parents are sad. And this is not entertainment."

Cosby said enjoying the Osbournes' travails is like laughing at Tiny Tim.

"It is the kind of entertainment that you look at, but you wouldn't want it in your home," he said. "And I don't like to look at things like that."


FITTING THE ROCK FOR ANOTHER CROWN

The Rock, who became a movie star this year in "The Scorpion King," is reportedly onboard to play another royal personage -- King Kamehameha, the legendary figure who united the Hawaiian Islands in the 18th and 19th centuries.

"The Scorpion King," featuring the pro wrestler as a hired assassin who becomes king of ancient Egypt, grossed an estimated $90 million at the U.S. box office. The Rock, whose real name is Dwayne Johnson, grew up in Hawaii.


BURSTYN GETS HER 'YA-YA'S'

Ellen Burstyn, one of the stars of the current movie release "Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood," says one big reason she enjoyed playing the free-spirited Vivi in the picture is that she didn't have to wear a gray wig for the part.

"They write parts for women up to about 50," Burstyn told MORE magazine, "and then we all fall off a cliff and become gray-haired grandmothers. It was a relief to get to look my age, but as good as I can look."

The 69-year-old Detroit native, who won the best actress Oscar for "Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore" (1974), said it has meant more to her over the years to be an actress -- as opposed to a movie star.

"If you build a career based on looks," she said, "it's going to be a short career. But if you build a career based on ability, you can go on working. Look at Judi Dench and Vanessa Redgrave!"


REACHING INTO THE VAULTS

Stephen J. Cannell, one of the most prolific and successful creators in TV during the 1970's and '80s, has signed a deal to sell seven of his hourlong action shows for TV distribution.

The deal makes such shows as "21 Jump Street" (1987-92) and "The Commish" (1991-95) available for distribution on U.S. TV. "Jump Street" made a star of Johnny Depp, while "Commish" gave new life to Michael Chiklis' career after the critical drubbing he took as John Belushi in "Wired" (1989).

The deal also makes Cannell creations "Silk Stalkings," "Renegade," "Wiseguy," "Hardcastle & McCormick" and "Greatest American Hero" available for distribution.


PEGGY LEE MUSICAL IN THE WORKS

According to a report in Daily Variety, the creator of "Sisterella" -- Michael Jackson's modern take on "Cinderella" -- has signed a deal to develop a musical based on the life of the late singer-actress Peggy Lee.

Larry Hart -- who has written music for Johnny Cash, Kenny Rogers, the Four Seasons and Engelbert Humperdinck -- reportedly plans to use a variety format to tell the story of Lee, tentatively titled "Is That All There Is?" That was the title of one of her biggest hit records.

Plans call for the show to start touring in May in Australia and London, then return to the United States for a nationwide tour.

Lee died of a heart attack in January. She was 81.

© 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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