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Hollywood Digest

By PAT NASON, UPI Hollywood Reporter   |   Dec. 6, 2002 at 3:52 PM   |   Comments

BOX-OFFICE BETS

Just as "The Sopranos" comes to the end of its fifth season, U.S. moviegoers are getting another chance to see an organized crime chief interact with a psychiatrist -- with this weekend's opening of "Analyze That."

Robert De Niro and Billy Crystal return for the sequel to "Analyze This," which grossed $107 million in 1999.

"Analyze That" is the only major release on Hollywood's schedule this weekend, with "Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets," "Die Another Day," "8 Mile" and other holdovers expected to account for much of the box-office business until next weekend -- when the new Rob Schneider's new comedy "The Hot Chick," the Jennifer Lopez romantic comedy "Maid in Manhattan" and "Star Trek: Nemesis" are due in theaters.


WHOOPI GOLDBERG PLANNING NEW TV COMEDY

According to a report in Daily Variety, Whoopi Goldberg is developing a comedy series for NBC, along with Carsey-Werner-Mandabach -- best known as the producers of "The Cosby Show," Roseanne" and "3rd Rock from the Sun."

Goldberg previously worked with C-W-M on the Emmy-winning 1986 variety special "Carol, Carl, Whoopi & Robin," sharing the stage with Carol Burnett, Carl Reiner and Robin Williams. The production company is also developing TV projects for Steve Martin and Tim Allen.

Variety also reported that Bruce Helford ("The Drew Carey Show") and McG ("Charlie's Angels," "Fastlane") are developing a comedy for Dan Finnerty, a relative unknown outside of Hollywood, where he has a following for his live act, the Dan Band.


CASTING NOTES

Rosanna Arquette will guest-star on an upcoming episode of ABC's legal drama "The Practice."

Arquette, who will also appear on an upcoming episode of "Will & Grace," is scheduled to be on "The Practice" in an episode that will introduce Chyler Leigh as a regular cast member of David E. Kelley's Emmy-winning show. Leigh was a member of the cast of "Girls Club," a short-lived series Kelley had on Fox TV this fall.

The Hollywood Reporter said Julia Stiles is in talks to star in the romantic comedy "The Prince and the Freshman," as a small-town American girl whose love affair with a British prince is challenged by the queen of England.

The Reporter also said that Tim Robbins and Samantha Morton will star in "Code 46" -- described as a love story set in the future about a pair of lovers who go on the run after the authorities learn that one of them was cloned using DNA from the other's mother.

Matthew Lillard ("Scooby-Doo," "Scream") will co-star with Josh Hartnett "Wicker Park" -- described as an intense thriller about a man searching for a lost love who discovers some unpleasant details about her twisted secret admirer.


HONORS FOR 'BROWN SUGAR,' 'BARBERSHOP'

"Brown Sugar," a romance starring Taye Diggs and Sanaa Lathan, led the field with eight nominations as nominees were announced for this year's NAACP Image Awards -- followed by the controversial comedy "Barbershop," which had six nominations.

Set in a Chicago barbershop, the movie caused talk because of some dialogue that Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton criticized as disrespectful to civil rights icons Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King Jr. Possibly helped by the controversy, the movie grossed more than $75 million at the U.S. box office. In addition to best picture, "Barbershop" was also nominated for best actor (Ice Cube), supporting actors (Anthony Anderson and Cedric the Entertainer) and supporting actress (Eve).

"Brown Sugar" -- also up for best picture -- has several acting nominees, including Diggs, Lathan, Queen Latifah, Nicole Ari Parker, Mos Def and Boris Kodjoe.

The Showtime series "Soul Food" had seven nominations, including best TV drama.

The 34th annual NAACP Image Awards will be held March 8 in Los Angeles, and will be televised by Fox TV on March 13.


REMEMBERING TWO HOLLYWOOD ICONS

Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks Sr. -- one of Hollywood's legendary movie star couples -- came together for a brief encore Thursday night when the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences dedicated a new building named for them.

The Pickford Center for Motion Picture Study in Hollywood joins the Fairbanks Center in Beverly Hills as one of the academy's two major centers of film research and preservation.

The Pickford Center is the new home of the academy's Film Archive and the Academy Players Directory. The Fairbanks Center -- which houses the academy's Margaret Herrick Library -- was named in Fairbanks' honor in May.

"Mary Pickford was not only the planet's best-known actress for more than a decade," said academy president Frank Pierson, "but a director and producer as well, co-founder of United Artists (with Charlie Chaplin, D. W. Griffith, and her husband Mr. Fairbanks) and she, too, was one of the founders of the Academy.

"So tonight we're bringing one of Hollywood's most famous couples back together again by dedicating this building in honor of the other half of what was once Hollywood's, and the academy's, royal couple."

© 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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