Entertainment Today: Showbiz news

By United Press International   |   Nov. 1, 2001 at 4:45 AM
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Producers of the 53rd Annual Primetime Emmy Awards are assuring viewers that the show will go on as scheduled this Sunday (at 8 p.m. EST on CBS).

Ceremonies scheduled for Sept. 16 were postponed until Oct. 7 following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. The Oct. 7 event was canceled hours before it was to begin when the United States and Britain announced they had begun air strikes in Afghanistan.

"Our sense is this has gone on long enough," Bryce Zabel, chairman of the Academy of

Television Arts & Sciences, told a news conference Tuesday. "There will be no more moving of the dates. It's the right thing to do -- to finish it up."

The show -- originally scheduled to be held at the 6,000-seat Shrine Auditorium -- will be held instead at the Shubert Theatre, which seats only 1,800.

Ellen DeGeneres is still on as host. Legendary CBS newsman Walter Cronkite will open the show -- as he had been scheduled to do on Oct. 7 -- via satellite from Toronto.

Presenters will include Sally Field, Kelsey Grammer, Patricia Heaton, Debra Messing, Ray Romano and Martin Sheen.


NBC has signed up a roster of celebrities to appear on a special episode of "Fear Factor" on Nov. 27, the last Tuesday of the November sweeps.

The list includes Coolio, David Hasselhoff, Donny Osmond, Kelly Preston and Chyna from the WWF, whose real name is Joanie Laurer. They'll donate any winnings to their favorite charity.

"Fear Factor" involves subjecting contestants to stunts ranging from icky to scary, but NBC isn't saying just yet what the celebrities will have to go through to win the game.

NBC has also announced that November episodes of "Weakest Link" will feature not just celebrity guests, but actual themed shows with well-known contestants. Plans call for shows featuring cast members of the "Star Trek" series franchise -- as well as "Scene Stealers," "Classic Child Stars" and "Comedians."

On Nov. 26, William Shatner (Captain Kirk on the original "Star Trek") joins Denise Crosby (Lt. Tasha Yar), John de Lancie ("Q"), Wil Wheaton (Wesley Crusher) and LeVar Burton (Geordi La Forge) from "Star Trek: The Next Generation." NBC said the line-up will also include Robert Picardo (the Doctor) and Roxann Dawson (B'Elanna Torres) from "Star Trek: Voyager," and Armin Shimerman (Quark) from "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine."

A "Scene Stealers" episode on Nov. 11 will feature actors who stood out -- although they did not have starring roles in -- various movies and TV shows. That line-up includes Alan Cumming ("Spy Kids"), Luis Guzman ("Traffic"), Ice-T (NBC's "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit"), Kathy Najimy ("Veronica's Closet") and Larry Miller ("Dr. Dolittle").

The former child star episode brings back Keshia Knight Pulliam ("The Cosby Show"), Emmanuel Lewis ("Webster"), Danica McKellar ("The Wonder Years"), Tina Yothers ("Family Ties") -- and Jerry Mathers as The Beaver ("Leave It to Beaver").

(Thanks to UPI Hollywood Reporter Pat Nason)


Actor C. Thomas Howell, remembered for his portrayal of "Pony Boy" in "The Outsiders," has been charged in connection with an alleged hit and run incident last year.

Court records show that Howell, 34, is charged with hitting a skateboarder, then returning to the scene -- armed with a hammer -- and threatening to kill the man if he went to the police. The skateboarder involved is in his early 20s.

If convicted, Howell could be sentenced to more than four years in jail.

The Los Angeles Times quotes Howell as saying that he is being singled out because of his "celebrity status," saying that were he a gardener, he would not be on trial. Howell's career has waned since a few lackluster films in the 1980s.

(Thanks to UPI Feature Reporter Dennis Daily)


Ben Stein --- the host of Comedy Central's "Win Ben Stein's Money" -- stars in a TV ad in support of Republican Bret Schundler's campaign for governor of New Jersey.

The ad is sponsored by the Club for Growth and the National Federation of Independent Business. It's a take-off of the scene in the feature film "Ferris Bueller's Day Off," in which Stein --- portraying a high school teacher -- repeats Bueller's name over and over in an obnoxious monotone while calling the class roll.

The commercial has Stein educating his "students" about Democrat nominee Jim McGreevey's record of support for taxes increases as a member of the New Jersey Legislature.

(From UPI Capital Comment)


Actors Richard Schiff, Steven Weber, Rachel Weisz and Hannah Taylor Gordon were among the honorees at the first annual Jewish Image Awards.

The awards -- which recognize outstanding work reflecting the Jewish heritage through film and television --- were handed out Tuesday in ceremonies hosted by Jeffrey Tambor at The Beverly Hilton Hotel.

The winners:

Outstanding Achievement Award -- "Rugrats 10th Anniversary" (Nickelodeon / Klasky-Csupo)

Network Television Film Award -- "Anne Frank" (ABC / Disney)

Cable Television Film Award -- "Varian's War" (Showtime)

Documentary Film Award -- "Into the Arms of Strangers: Stories of the Kindertransport" (Warner Bros.)

Television Series Award -- "The West Wing" (Warner Bros. Television / NBC)

Female Character in Television -- Hannah Taylor Gordon, "Anne Frank"

Male Character in Television -- Richard Schiff, "The West Wing" (Warner Bros. Television / NBC)

Female Character in Film -- Rachel Weisz, "Enemy at the Gates" (Paramount Pictures / Mandalay Films)

Male Character in Film -- Steven Weber, "Club Land" (Showtime)

Cross-Cultural Production Award -- "Backstory: Gentleman's Agreement" (AMC / Prometheus Entertainment)

Tisch Lifetime Achievement Award -- Arthur Hiller

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