Hollywood Digest

By PAT NASON, UPI Hollywood Reporter  |  July 10, 2002 at 4:43 PM
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Bob Barker was recovering in Washington Wednesday from prostate surgery.

The 13-time Emmy Award-winning game show host ("The Price Is Right," "Truth or Consequences") checked into George Washington University Hospital Tuesday and underwent the surgery Wednesday morning. A spokesman for Barker, Henri Bollinger, said everything went well.

Bollinger said Barker, a Los Angeles resident, chose George Washington University Hospital because he appreciated the care he received when he was treated there for a blocked artery in 1999.


While fans, players and owners wonder whether a work stoppage will disrupt the Major League Baseball season -- or possibly the post-season -- there is activity in Fox TV's bullpen, with the network getting entertainment shows ready to roll this fall in case the World Series is called off.

Analysts say the network will not hurt financially from a lack of World Series games, since its license fee only applies to games that are actually played. Such a scenario would also allow Fox to put its entertainment shows in direct competition with similar fare on the other networks.

However, there would be a down side for Fox if its loses the Fall Classic.

For one thing, networks carrying the World Series have learned to use the telecast to showcase their upcoming fall schedules, and that opportunity would be lost. Another potential cost, probably impossible to calculate, is whether a work stoppage would drive away fans in sufficient numbers to diminish the value of future baseball telecasts.

Fox has a six-year, $2.5 billion deal with Major League Baseball, running through 2006.


Turner Classic Movies will honor the memory of two Hollywood giants who died within the past five days -- four-time Emmy-winning director Frankenheimer and Oscar-winning actor Rod Steiger.

Frankenheimer -- the director of such feature films as "The Manchurian Candidate" (1962), "52 Pick-Up" (1986) and "Reindeer Games" (2000) -- died Saturday at 72, after a 52-year career that began in live TV in 1950. He won directing Emmys for "Against the Wall" (1994), "The Burning Season" (1995), "Andersonville" (1996) and "George Wallace" (1998).

TMC plans to air seven of Frankenheimer's movies on Friday beginning at 3 p.m. -- including "The Young Stranger" (1957), "The Young Savages" (1961), "I Walk the Line" (1970), "Grand Prix" (1966), "Birdman of Alcatraz" (1962), "Seven Days in May" (1964) and "The Extraordinary Seaman" (1969).

On Saturday, TCM will show three of Steiger's movies -- "The Harder They Fall" (1956), "Doctor Zhivago" (1965) and "In the Heat of the Night" (1967), in which Steiger won the best actor Oscar for his performance as a racist sheriff who learns to work with a black detective in the Deep South.

Steiger died Tuesday at the age of 77.


TV director Dave Wilson -- best known for his Emmy-winning work on "Saturday Night Live" -- died June 30 of an aortic aneurysm in Parsippany, N.J. He was 69.

Wilson began his directing career on such shows as "The Bell Telephone Hour," a music series that ran on NBC from 1959-68, and "The Kraft Music Hall," a musical-variety show that ran on NBC from 1967-71.

He began a 17-year run with "SNL" during the show's premiere season in 1975, winning the Emmy for an episode featuring Paul Simon as guest host. Fans remember the episode for Simon's duet with former partner Art Garfunkel on "The Boxer" and "Scarborough Fair," and musical performances by Randy Newman, Phoebe Snow and the Jesse Dixon Singers.

It was also the first episode in which Chevy Chase did a pratfall after proclaiming, "Live, from New York, it's Saturday Night!"

In all, Wilson was nominated for six directing Emmys -- four for "SNL," one for a Paul Simon special in 1978, and one for the "Jack Lemmon -- Get Happy" special in 1973. He also directed Emmy Awards telecasts, "The Miss America Pageant" and "The Muppet Show."


Warner Bros. has staked its claim to some prime box-office real estate for "The Matrix Reloaded," the first of two sequels to the 1999 Keanu Reeves-Laurence Fishburne sci-fi hit.

"Reloaded" will open Thursday, May 15, 2003, eight days before Memorial Day. It's an out-of-the-ordinary opening day, since movies typically open on Friday -- sometimes Wednesday.

The second Matrix sequel, "The Matrix Revolutions," will also be in theaters in 2003, but the studio has not set a date yet -- other than to say it will be sometime during the holiday season.


CNNi -- the international service of CNN -- has worked out a deal with Jon Stewart to broadcast a weekly version of the comedian's nightly Comedy Central show beginning Sept. 21.

The weekly version of "The Daily Show" will present foreign audiences with a roundup of Stewart's best stuff from that week.


Heather Locklear ("Spin City," "Melrose Place") has signed on to play the mother of Dakota Fanning's ("I Am Sam") character in the upcoming comedy "Molly Gunn."

The movie stars Brittany Murphy ("8 Mile," "Riding in Cars with Boys") in the title role, as a party girl who runs out of money and takes a job as a nanny to try to win her boyfriend back. Locklear plays the girl's mom, a record company executive who pays more attention to her career than her child.


According to a report in the New York Post, Martin Sheen has negotiated a pretty hefty raise for his work on "The West Wing."

Citing insiders, the paper said the Emmy-winning star has worked out a deal to triple his pay from last season -- to $300,000 per episode. The deal reportedly also provides Sheen with a production deal with Warner Bros., an office suite on the studio lot, and a recurring role for his daughter, Renee Estevez.

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