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Hollywood Digest

By PAT NASON, UPI Hollywood Reporter   |   May 29, 2003 at 1:14 PM   |   Comments

TV ACADEMY BOSS WILL BOW OUT

Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Chairman Executive Offcier Bryce Zabel has decided not to run for a second two-year term.

Zabel -- who began his term around the time that the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks forced the academy and CBS to scramble the scheduling for the 53rd Emmy Awards -- told Daily Variety he has done his duty and he's ready to move on.

After the anxiety-ridden early days of his term, Zabel oversaw a landmark agreement for an increase of 250 percent in the broadcast TV rights for the Emmy Awards. Most recently, the academy has come to terms with Anschutz Entertainment Group on a deal to construct a new Emmy Theater by 2006.

Zabel said he believes the last two years have seen "more profound change" than any other period in TV Academy history.

"I feel like I've had two terms jammed into one," he said.

Zabel -- writer and producer of such TV series as "Dark Skies" and "The Crow" -- said he wants to spend more time on his writing career and with his family. His announcement comes one week after Tribune Entertainment president Dick Askin -- who presently serves as the academy's first vice chair -- notified academy officials that he plans to run for the top job.

Academy members will elect new officers in August.


RON HOWARD'S DAUGHTER -- THE MOVIE STAR

Bryce Dallas Howard, daughter of Oscar-winning director Ron Howard, will star in M. Night Shyamalan's next movie, according to published reports in Hollywood.

Kirsten Dunst ("Spider-Man") had reportedly been in talks to star with Joaquin Phoenix ("Signs") and Ashton Kutcher ("Dude, Where's My Car?") in "The Woods" -- described as a story about the people of a small town and the mysterious race of neighbors who live in a nearby woods. Dunst -- who is already set to star in "Spider-Man II" -- reportedly pulled away from talks on "The Woods" and is now looking at joining the cast of writer-director Cameron Crowe's next project.

Bryce Dallas Howard has appeared in two of her dad's pictures -- "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" (2000) and "Apollo 13" (1995).


STAR JONES TAKEN ABACK BY 'IDOL'-RELATED RACISM

Star Jones said on "The View" Wednesday that she has gotten hateful e-mail for her on-air backing of Ruben Stoddard on "American Idol 2."

Jones stunned the studio audience with the revelation.

"I have to tell you, being on this show six years, I have never received such vicious e-mails," she said. "'Take Ruben and go back to Africa,' vicious things."

Jones told the New York Post she was "shocked at the level of acrimony, at the viciousness" of the e-mail messages she has received.

"I'm used to people coming after me -- I'm on TV and it's my job to express my opinion," she said. "But to take my true excitement over ('American Idol') and match it with a young man who won and to make it a race issue is disheartening more than anything."

Jones said the offensive e-mail accounted for "about 10 percent" of the more than 5,000 messages she received about "American Idol." She said the e-mail messages outdid the negative comments she has received for supporting Democrats in 2000 and 2002.

"I was such a big (Al) Gore supporter and was pretty verbal in my support of the Democrats in the last election ... and I got a lot of mail saying, 'You're a liberal bitch,'" she said. "But I didn't get the level of racist anger I've received over this."


STARS LINE UP FOR FASHION SHOW

June Lockhart, Dawn Wells and John Forsythe will revive classic TV styles Friday at a benefit fashion show in Beverly Hills, Calif.

The show -- "Trendsetters in Television" -- will feature designs by the graduating class of the California Design College, inspired by the work of master TV designers. The focus will be on TV fashions that influenced both trendy and timeless apparel on such TV shows as "Dynasty," "Leave It to Beaver," "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" and "Sex and the City."

Lockhart ("Lassie," "Lost in Space") will present styles from the '50s. Dawn Wells ("Gilligan's Island") will introduce styles from the '60s. Lindsay Wagner ("The Bionic Woman") will introduce '70s-themed fashions.

Forsythe -- with help from his "Dynasty" co-stars Donna Mills and Joan Van Ark -- will revisit the high-glamour of the '80s. Dixie Carter ("Designing Women") will preside over a review of the '90s.

Daytime drama stars Matt CedeƱo ("Days of Our Lives") and Melody Thomas Scott ("The Young and the Restless") will introduce contemporary fashions and a retrospective of classic wedding fashions.

The event will also feature an appearance and commentary by famed Hollywood fashion maven Mr. Blackwell.

Proceeds from the dinner and fashion show will benefit the California Design College and the EDMC Education Foundation -- a nonprofit that helps raise scholarship funds for students interested in the arts.

© 2003 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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