UPI Entertainment News

Friends fill in for Vandross in video

LOS ANGELES, July 21 (UPI) -- Famous friends are starring in a music video of Luther Vandross' hit single "Dance With My Father" while he is hospitalized from a stroke.


The video clip for the title track of his recently released J Records album features fellow musicians, actors and sports stars.

From the music community, the video stars Beyoncé and her father Matthew, Stevie Wonder, Quincy Jones, Monica, Wyclef Jean, Patti LaBelle, Celine Dion, Nona Gaye, Ruben Studdard, Whitney Houston, Babyface, Brian McKnight and Johnny Gill.

"It is an expression of love and appreciation that I have for him," Wonder told Billboard magazine.


New Jersey Nets basketball star Jason Kidd also made an appearance, as do actors including the Wayans brothers, Holly Robinson Peete and Garcelle Beauvais.

Photos of Vandross and his family are also seen in the video.

CBS: Hint of Lynch movie 'over the line'

HOLLYWOOD, July 21 (UPI) -- CBS Chairman Leslie Moonves said hinting that an exclusive interview with Jesscia Lynch would result in a TV movie may have gone "over the line."

Moonves told reporters at the Television Critics Association's press tour in Hollywood that "CBS News probably erred earlier this year when it raised the possibility of a TV movie and other entertainment-related incentives."

"Probably, if we had it to do all over again, a movie of the week never would have been mentioned in the letter to (Jessica's Lynch's) representatives," Moonves said. "Maybe that went over the line, that was not respecting, possibly, the sanctity of CBS News."

The New York Times published excerpts from a letter sent to Lynch's camp by CBS News hinting at possible perks for Lynch if she granted the network an exclusive interview.

Hanks to play 'Good Time Charlie'


HOLLYWOOD, July 21 (UPI) -- Tom Hanks will continue chronicling American historical conquests with a new project, "Charlie Wilson's War."

Hanks and Playtone partner Gary Goetzman have teamed with Universal to option the George Crile book, about how former Texas congressman Wilson persuaded the CIA to train and arm resistance fighters in Afghanistan, engineering a victory that hastened the fall of the Soviet Union.

Wilson, who was known as "Good Time Charlie," nearly saw his career end because of a hot tub tryst with cocaine-sniffing showgirls in Vegas.

Universal closed a deal Friday with CAA for the film and the studio. Hanks and Goetzman are eyeing "Band of Brothers" writer John Orloff, who's currently adapting Ray Bradbury's "The Martian Chronicles" for Universal, to adapt.

Daily Variety said several bidders materialized but author Crile said they chose Playtone because of its passion for American history and because Hanks is ideal to play Wilson.

Romano-less Ray show possible

HOLLYWOOD, July 21 (UPI) -- "Everybody Loves Raymond" just may go on without Ray Romano and series creator Phil Rosenthal, Daily Variety reported.

The CBS hit comedy is set to begin its eighth season in September, with Romano and Rosenthal both on board. But both men have made it clear that, as of now, they consider the upcoming season their last and have no plans to return, citing a desire to go out while the show is creatively still at the top of its game.


As a result, CBS chairman-CEO Leslie Moonves said Sunday the network has no choice but to leave open the option of bringing back "Raymond" for a ninth season in the fall of 2004 or launching a spinoff -- even if Romano and Rosenthal opt against signing new deals.

"The show (with them) is an A-plus," Moonves told reporters at the semiannual Television Critics Association Press tour. "Give me a B-plus, I'll take it."

Matt LeBlanc spinoff considered

HOLLYWOOD, July 21 (UPI) -- A spinoff may develop after all for Matt LeBlanc's character, Joey Tribbiani, from NBC's "Friends."

Talks are accelerating among NBC, Warner Bros. TV and LeBlanc to cut a deal for a "Friends" spinoff, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

Sources told the Reporter that no deals are in place, but it's understood that the principals have stepped up the negotiations in an effort to secure a commitment with LeBlanc.

So far, they have settled on veteran "Friends" scribes and executive producers Scott Silveri and Shana Goldberg-Meehan to write the pilot script should a deal be worked out, the Reporter said.

LeBlanc's bargaining power certainly wasn't hurt by his second consecutive Emmy nomination for his work on America's most-watched comedy series. NBC and Warner Bros. TV declined to comment.


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