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Hollywood Digest

By PAT NASON, UPI Hollywood Reporter   |   Aug. 1, 2002 at 4:23 PM   |   Comments

'C.S.I' -- THE COMIC BOOK

"C.S.I.: Crime Scene Investigation" -- CBS' top-rated drama about a team of police forensic evidence investigators -- is getting the comic book treatment.

IDW Publishing and CBS Consumer Products have announced plans to publish a five-issue mini-series based on the show. The series will be written by Max Allan Collins, who collaborated with illustrator Richard Piers Rayner on the graphic novel "Road to Perdition" -- the source for the current Tom Hanks-Paul Newman hit of the same name.

Collins, a multiple Shamus Award-winner, has written several "C.S.I." novels -- including "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation -- Double Dealer," "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation -- The City." Gabriel Rodríguez will illustrate the "C.S.I." comic book series, along with Ashley Wood, who will do the covers and provide the art for the forensic and flashback scenes.


CONNICK'S NEW GIG

Three-time Grammy Award-winner Harry Connick Jr. will guest-star in several episodes of NBC's Emmy-winning comedy "Will & Grace" this season, playing a doctor who is also the new love interest for Grace (Debra Messing).

Connick's character will be introduced in the season premiere when he is revealed as the mysterious horseman who rescued Grace in last season's finale.

Best known as a singer-musician, Connick has also been featured as an actor in such movies as "Independence Day," "Copycat" and "My Dog Skip."


ANISTON'S NEXT

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Jennifer Aniston has joined the cast of the upcoming Jim Carrey movie "Bruce Almighty."

Carrey stars as a local TV reporter in Buffalo who rails against God for everything that goes wrong -- then gets the surprise of his life when the Deity gives him the keys to the universe for 24 hours, just to show him that being all-powerful isn't as easy as it looks. Morgan Freeman is reportedly in talks to play God.

Aniston is due on screen next in "The Good Girl," as a married woman whose ho-hum existence is livened up when she has an affair with an eccentric young man who thinks he is Holden Caulfield -- the central character in "The Catcher in the Rye." Aniston is nominated for an Emmy this year for best actress in a comedy for "Friends."


'FREAKY' KELLY

Kelly Osbourne is reportedly in talks to join Annette Bening in the cast of the upcoming remake of "Freaky Friday."

The daughter of Ozzy and Sharon Osbourne -- and one of the stars of the MTV hit "The Osbournes" -- Kelly would play the best friend of the young heroine of the story, played by Lindsay Lohan ("The Parent Trap").

"Freaky Friday" was first made in 1976, starring Barbara Harris and Jodie Foster as a quarrelsome mother and daughter who abruptly and for no apparent reason switch bodies.

The upcoming project is actually the second remake for the movie. It was made for TV in 1995 starring Shelley Long ("Cheers," "The Brady Bunch Movie") and Gaby Hoffman ("You Can Count on Me," "Sleepless in Seattle").


ZETA-JONES' NEXT

Catherine Zeta-Jones is lining up a new project -- a spy-thriller about a British intelligence agent who is brutally beaten and disfigured during a mission and gets a fabulous new look thanks to plastic surgery.

"Flint" is being produced by a team that includes Zeta-Jones, as well as Douglas Wick ("Girl, Interrupted," "Gladiator") and Lucy Fisher, who teamed up with Wick to produce "Stuart Little 2" and the upcoming live-action version of "Peter Pan."


STARS LINE UP FOR 'SQUARES'

The new-look, post-Whoopi Goldberg "Hollywood Squares" will feature a talent line-up that includes Ellen DeGeneres and Alec Baldwin in the center square -- the featured spot on the popular syndicated game show.

Producers plan to rotate high-profile celebrities in and out of the center square, rather than turn it over to one performer on a permanent basis. DeGeneres will go first when the show starts its fifth season on Sept. 16.

No date has been set for Baldwin's appearance. The star of "Path to War" and "Pearl Harbor" announced that he will donate his salary from the show to the Carol M. Baldwin Breast Cancer Research Fund, a charity named for his mother, who is a breast cancer survivor.

© 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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