Entertainment Today: Showbiz news

By United Press International  |  March 5, 2002 at 4:45 AM
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The Producers Guild of America has presented its top film award to "Moulin Rouge," giving director Baz Luhrmann's fanciful tale of a Paris dancehall at the dawn of the 20th century a leg up in the race for Oscar gold.

At the 13th Annual PGA Awards in Los Angeles Sunday night, the producers honored "Moulin Rouge" with its Darryl F. Zanuck Producer of the Year Award.

In nine of the previous 12 years -- including the last three years -- the winner has gone on to take the Oscar for best picture. That list includes "American Beauty," "Dances With Wolves," "Driving Miss Daisy," "The English Patient," "Forrest Gump," "Gladiator," "Schindler's List," "The Silence of the Lambs" and "Titanic."

The Norman Felton Award for best TV drama went to the NBC White House drama "The West Wing" while the Danny Thomas Award for outstanding TV comedy series went to HBO's bawdy comedy "Sex and the City." Both won Emmys last year for outstanding drama and comedy series.

The winners:

Darryl F. Zanuck Producer of the Year Award (best picture): "Moulin Rouge"

Norman Felton Award (best TV drama): "The West Wing" (NBC)

Danny Thomas Award (best TV comedy series): "Sex and the City" (HBO)

David L. Wolper Award (best movie, miniseries or other long-form TV): "Band of Brothers" (HBO)

Milestone Award: Robert Wise

David Susskind Lifetime Achievement Award in Television: Carsey-Werner-Mandabach

David O. Selznick Lifetime Achievement Award in Theatrical Motion Pictures: Lawrence Gordon

Visionary Award (Honors Imagination and Artistic Achievement): TBA

Danny Thomas Producer of the Year in Episodic Television (Comedy): "Sex and the City" (HBO)

Norman Felton Producer of the Year for Episodic Television (Drama): "The West Wing" (NBC)

Vanguard Award: Pixar Animation Studios, Ed Catmull, John Lasseter, Steve Jobs

Stanley Kramer Award: Marshall Herskovitz, Jessie Nelson, Richard Solomon, Edward Zwick for "I Am Sam"

Hall of Fame -- Theatrical Motion Pictures: "The Manchurian Candidate"

Hall of Fame -- Television: "Maude"


"Gosford Park" and "A Beautiful Mind" won top honors at the 54th Annual Writers Guild Awards -- presented in dual ceremonies Saturday in Beverly Hills, Calif. and New York.

Julian Fellowes won for best screenplay written directly for the screen for "Gosford Park," his first produced screenplay. Akiva Goldsman, meanwhile, added to a growing list of awards for his adaptation of Sylvia Nasar's book "A Beautiful Mind," winning the WGA prize for best screenplay based on material previously produced or published.

Goldsman had already won a Golden Globe and a USC Scripter Award, and was nominated for a BAFTA by the British Academy of Film and Television Arts.

The WGA winner for original screenplay has gone to win the Oscar six times in the past 10 years, while the WGA winner for adapted screenplay has won the Oscar seven times over that span.

PBS, which led the TV field with nine nominations, won three awards, all in documentary categories. "Drug Wars Part 2," an installment of the "Frontline" series, was named best current events documentary. The "Nova" episode "Hitler's Lost Sub" tied for best non-current events documentary with "Scottsboro, An American Tragedy," which appeared on the series, "The American Experience."

HBO, which was nominated for eight WGA awards, won two. "Conspiracy" won for best original long form, and the "Pine Barrens" episode of "The Sopranos" won for best episodic drama.

CBS, which also had eight TV nominations, picked up two trophies. "Everybody Loves Raymond" won for "Italy, Parts 1 & 2" and "The Kennedy Center Honors" won for best music, awards or tribute comedy-variety special.

ABC came award with two awards and NBC one.

The WGA presented its Valentine Davies Award posthumously to "Frasier" creator-producer David Angell. He and his wife were among the passengers who died on Sept. 11 when terrorists rammed a jetliner into the World Trade Center.

The winners:


Best screenplay written directly for the screen: "Gosford Park," Julian Fellowes

Best screenplay based on material previously produced or published: "A Beautiful Mind," Akiva Goldsman, based on the book by Sylvia Nasar

Television writing:

Original long form: "Conspiracy," Loring Mandel (HBO)

Adapted long form: "Anne Frank," Kirk Ellis, based on the book by Melissa Muller (ABC)

Episodic drama: "Pine Barrens" ("The Sopranos"), Terence Winter, story by Tim Van Patten & Terence Winter (HBO)

Episodic comedy: "Italy, Parts 1 & 2" ("Everybody Loves Raymond"), Philip Rosenthal (CBS)

Comedy/variety -- Music, awards, tributes, specials: "The Kennedy Center Honors," Don Baer and George Stevens, Jr., film sequences written by Sara Lukinson, Harry Miles Muheim (CBS)

Comedy/variety series: "Late Night with Conan O'Brien," Mike Sweeney, Chris Albers, Ellen Barancik, Andy Blitz, Kevin Dorff, Jonathan Glaser, Michael Gordon, Brian Kiley, Michael Koman, Brian McCann, Guy Nicolucci, Conan O'Brien, Andrew Secunda, Robert Smigel, Brian Stack, Andrew Weinberg (NBC)

Daytime serials: "All My Children," Agnes Nixon, Jean Passanante, Craig Carlson, Frederick Johnson, N. Gail Lawrence, Victor Miller, Juliet Law Packer, Addie Walsh, Mimi Leahey, Bettina F. Bradbury, Charlotte Gibson, David Hiltbrand, Janet Iacobuzio, Royal Miller, John Piroman, Rebecca Taylor, Neal Bell (ABC)

Children's script: "My Louisiana Sky," Anna Sandor, based on "My Louisiana Sky" by Kimberly Willis Holt, (Showtime)

Documentary -- current events: "Drug Wars Part 2" ("Frontline"), Lowell Bergman & Kenneth Lewis and Doug Hamilton & Oriana Zill (PBS)

Documentary -- other than current events (tie): "Hitler's Lost Sub" ("Nova"), Rushmore DeNooyer (PBS); "Scottsboro, An American Tragedy" ("The American Experience"), Barak Goodman (PBS)

News -- Regularly scheduled, bulletin or breaking report: "Wedding Disaster," Jonathan Kaplan, CBS-TV (WBBM)

News -- Analysis, feature or commentary: "The Cruelty Connection," Jonathan Kaplan, CBS-TV (WBBM)

Radio writing:

Radio documentary: "Eye on Death Row," ("Weekend Roundup"), Wendy Zentz, CBS Radio Network

News -- Regularly scheduled: "The Recount," Paul Farry, CBS Radio Network

News -- Analysis, feature or commentary: "Preserving American Sound" ("Perspective"), Scott L. Anderson, ABC News Radio

On-Air promotion: NBC Promotions, Lori Sunshine, NBC

Screen Laurel Award: Blake Edwards

Paddy Chayefsky Laurel Award: Glenn and Les Charles

Paul Selvin Award: Timothy J. Sexton, "For Love or Country: The Arturo Sandoval Story"

Valentine Davies Award: David Angell (posthumously)

Writers Guild Animation Award: Alan Burnett

Edmund H. North Award: Christopher Knopf

Morgan Cox Award: D.C. Fontana

Ian McLellan Hunter Award: Donald E. Westlake

Evelyn F. Burkey Award: Colin Callendar

Richard B. Jablow Award: Stephen Schiff


The Directors Guild of America will present its 54th annual awards this coming Saturday, while the Screen Actors Guild will present its 8th Annual Actor Awards on Sunday.

The DGA nominated Ron Howard for "A Beautiful Mind", Peter Jackson for "The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring", Baz Luhrmann for "Moulin Rouge", Christopher Nolan for "Memento" and Ridley Scott for "Black Hawk Down."

Luhrmann and Nolan are not in the hunt for the directing Oscar. Along with Howard, Scott and Jackson, Academy voters nominated Robert Altman ("Gosford Park") and David Lynch ("Mulholland Drive").

Since the guild established the award in 1949, the directing Oscar has gone to the DGA winner in all but five years. One of those exceptions involved Howard. In 1995, when Howard won the DGA award "Apollo 13," the Oscar went to Mel Gibson for "Braveheart."

The other exceptions were 1968, when Anthony Harvey won the DGA award for "The Lion in Winter" while Carol Reed took the Oscar for "Oliver!"; 1972, when Francis Ford Coppola won the DGA award for "The Godfather" while the Oscar went to Bob Fosse for "Cabaret"; 1985, when the DGA honored Steven Spielberg for "The Color Purple" and the Academy went with Sydney Pollack for "Out of Africa"; and last year, when Ang Lee won the DGA award for "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" while Steven Soderbergh won the Oscar for directing "Traffic."

Winners at next Sunday's 8th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards will move into the lead in the Oscars sweepstakes.

Russell Crowe is up for an Actor -- that's what SAG calls its statuette -- for outstanding male actor in a leading role for his portrayal of the schizophrenic, Nobel Prize-winning mathematician John Nash in "A Beautiful Mind." Sissy Spacek is up for outstanding female actor in a leading role for her work as a woman struggling to cope with the tragic loss of a child in "In the Bedroom."

Both Crowe and Spacek won Golden Globe Awards for their performances. Both are previous Oscar winners -- Crowe last year for "Gladiator," Spacek in 1980 for "Coal Miner's Daughter."

The other nominees for male actor in a leading role are Kevin Kline ("Life as a House"), Sean Penn ("I Am Sam"), Denzel Washington ("Training Day") and Tom Wilkinson ("In the Bedroom"). All but Kline are also up for the best actor Oscar. Will Smith is the fifth Oscar nominee for "Ali."

The other nominees for female actor in a leading role are Halle Berry ("Monster's Ball"), Jennifer Connelly ("A Beautiful Mind"), Judi Dench ("Iris") and Renée Zellweger ("Bridget Jones's Diary"). All but Connelly are up for the best actress Oscar. The other nominee for the Oscar is Nicole Kidman for "Moulin Rouge."

Connelly is nominated for best supporting actress for her turn as the impossibly patient and loving wife of John Nash.

In five of the last seven years, the winner of SAG's female actor in a leading role statuette went on to win the best actress Oscar. Jodie Foster won the SAG award for "Nell" in 1994, when Jessica Lange won the Oscar for "Blue Sky," and Annette Bening won the SAG award in 1999 for "American Beauty," while Hilary Swank took the Oscar for "Boys Don't Cry."

In six of the last seven years, the winner of the SAG award for male actor in a leading role has gone on to win the best actor Oscar. The exception came last year, when SAG named Benicio del Toro best actor for "Traffic." Del Toro went on to win the supporting actor Oscar, as Crowe won best actor for "Gladiator."

(The above three items all thanks to UPI Hollywood Reporter Pat Nason)


Kellie Martin and Mario Van Peebles will co-star in "Fiona," a new drama series for Lifetime Television that's based on Warren Adler's mystery novels "The Fiona Fitzgerald Mysteries." The show is scheduled to premiere this summer.

"Fiona" revolves around the title character's life as a rookie detective in the Washington, D.C. Metropolitan Police Department. As Fiona (Martin) struggles to prove herself as a detective, she finds her competence being questioned at every turn by veteran detective Winston Cates (Peebles).

(Web site: lifetimetv.com)


Fans of the HBO dark comedy "Six Feet Under" can now go online to dig up more about their favorite show. HBO.com now offers exclusive online content that expands the storylines for the new season, which began last Sunday. There's also archived videos of the unconventional funeral commercials created for the show's pilot, the series' haunting title music, trivia games with questions corresponding to each week's episode, downloadable screen savers, plus future chats with the show's talent.

The Golden Globe-winning "Six Feet Under" approaches the subject of death through the eyes of the Fisher family, who own and operate a funeral home in Los Angeles. The ensemble cast features Peter Krause, Rachel Griffiths, Richard Jenkins, Frances Conroy, Michael C. Hall, Lauren Ambrose, Freddy Rodriguez, Mathew St. Patrick and Jeremy Sisto.


Actor and environmentalist Ed Begley, Jr. is the first retail customer of a Toyota RAV4-EV, a zero-emission electric vehicle. The automaker says he took delivery Monday at the Toyota of Hollywood dealership.

Begley has long been committed to numerous environmental causes. In addition to his new RAV4-EV, he also own a Toyota Prius gas/electric hybrid vehicle.

Begley stars in the new ABC series "The Web," which premieres March 27. He also can be seen in recurring roles on the WB series "7th Heaven" and the HBO series "Six Feet Under."

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