Hollywood Digest

By PAT NASON, UPI Hollywood Reporter   |   Aug. 21, 2002 at 5:23 PM   |   0 comments

STREISAND'S POLITICAL GIG

Barbra Streisand has announced plans to sing next month at a fundraiser in Hollywood for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

A publicist for the singer-producer-director confirmed that Streisand will perform on Sept. 29 at the Kodak Theatre, the new permanent home of the Academy Awards. However, the publicist took exception to some media reports that Streisand was coming out of retirement to sing at the event, pointing out that she has stopped singing for pay but has never said she would stop singing publicly altogether.

Streisand headlined a show at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles in August 2000 that raised more than $5 million for the Democratic Party. Her spokesman said she is "very dedicated" to helping the Democrats regain a majority in the U.S. House of Representatives and retain its majority in the U.S. Senate.

Democratic Party officials said the concert, which will also feature an appearance by Barry Manilow, is expected to raise $4 million.


CLINTON'S BIG DEAL?

Bill Clinton -- frequently called the first rock star president -- could be getting superstar money if there is anything to current press reports that a leading TV syndicator is working on a deal for the former president to host a TV talk show.

King World Productions, Inc. ("Hollywood Squares," "Wheel of Fortune") is part of the Viacom media empire, following its 2000 merger with CBS. According to published reports, King World and CBS owned-and-operated stations are working with Clinton's people on a deal for a daytime show variously described as a cross between "Oprah" and "Nightline."

Similar talks were held in May with NBC, but they didn't result in a deal.

There are various reports about how much a TV talk show deal would be worth to Clinton, with figures ranging from $30 million to $50 million.


DIRECTORS TAKE EXCEPTION TO MOVIE 'MASKS'

Several Hollywood directors have complained to the Directors Guild of America about a new breed of businesses that alter the content of videos and DVDs to make them more palatable for family viewing by replacing bad words with good ones, covering up nudity and otherwise "sanitizing" content.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, several studios have scheduled a conference call for Thursday to look into legal options available to them, to deal with what the directors consider improper interference with their work product.

"What these companies are doing is taking the hard work and creativity of filmmakers and changing them to suit their own whims and values -- and all for profit," said DGA President Martha Coolidge. "To make things worse, these altered films are still identified with their creators and are being marketed as such."

Trilogy Studios, based in Salt Lake City, has recently received considerable press coverage of its MovieMask program, which allows consumers to view DVDs with tamer language and sexuality. In addition, programs such as CleanFlicks, Video II and Movie Shield have drawn complaints from movie directors.


GASTEYER LEAVING 'SNL'

Ana Gasteyer -- a regular on "Saturday Night Live" for the past six seasons -- is leaving the show.

Gasteyer -- who created the character of Margaret Jo, co-host of the fictitious "Delicious Dish" on NPR -- is the second major player to leave "SNL" prior to the 2002-03 season. Will Ferrell has already announced he is leaving the show.

Gasteyer is also known for her send-ups of Martha Stewart, former Florida Secretary of State Katherine Harris and singing superstar Celine Dion. During the 2001-02 season, she became the first openly pregnant cast member in the history of "SNL."


CASTING NOTES

Juliette Lewis ("Natural Born Killers") has joined Dennis Quaid and Sharon Stone in the cast of the upcoming horror-thriller "The Devil's Throat" -- which used to be known as "Cold Creek Manor."

It's the story of a couple who move with their kids to their country dream house, only to find out that the previous owner is out of prison and wants his place back.


YEAGER PROJECT MOVING ALONG

Twentieth Century Fox is moving ahead with a movie based on the life story of legendary test pilot Chuck Yeager, signing John Moore ("Behind Enemy Lines") to direct the screen adaptation of Yeager's memoir, "Yeager: An Autobiography."

Plans call for the movie to tell Yeager's story from his childhood in West Virginia through the historic flights on which he became the first pilot to break the sound barrier.

© 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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