REEVE BACKS OFF CRITICISM OF CATHOLICS
Christopher Reeve has had second thoughts about blunt criticism he leveled at Catholics in an interview with The Guardian newspaper about his recent recovery of some feeling and movement if his fingers and hands, seven years after he was paralyzed from the neck down in a horseback riding incident.
The "Superman" star told the paper Catholics unduly influenced President Bush's decision last year on the use of stem cells for medical research. The New York Daily News reported Wednesday that Reeve issued a statement modifying his criticism, and saying he did not intend to "disparage" the church.
"Because the Catholic position was given so much publicity at the time, I singled them out for criticism," said Reeve. "It was absolutely inappropriate for me to do so. I wish to apologize not only to the Catholic Church but also to the faithful of any religion who may have been offended."
TRIAL DATE SET FOR WINONA RYDER
A judge in Los Angeles has set a trial date of Oct. 7 for Winona Ryder after talks on a plea bargain broke down in the shoplifting and drug possession case against her.
Ryder, the Oscar nominated star of "Little Women" and "Girl, Interrupted," is charged with second-degree burglary, grand theft, vandalism and possession of a controlled substance, in connection with her arrest last December at Saks Fifth Avenue in Beverly Hills. She faces up to three years in prison if convicted on charges of stealing nearly $6,000 worth of merchandise and possessing painkillers.
HONORS FOR THE BIG FOUR
The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences has announced that ABC, CBS, Fox and NBC will share the Governors Award at the 54th Annual Prime Time Emmy Awards on Sunday, in recognition of their cooperation last year in the simulcast of "America: A Tribute to Heroes."
The telethon raised an estimated $250 million for victims of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
The academy said the networks deserve credit for "coming together to underwrite, support and enable the production" of the telethon -- which was also televised on more than 30 other U.S. broadcast and cable TV networks and 8,000 radio stations.
KURT RUSSELL'S NEXT?
According to published reports, Kurt Russell ("Executive Decision," "Breakdown") is in talks to play U.S. Olympic hockey coach Herb Brooks in "Miracle" -- an upcoming movie about the gold medal-winning 1980 hockey team.
The timing of Russell's casting is interesting, coming so close on the heels of the announcement by his domestic partner, Goldie Hawn, that the family is moving to Vancouver so their son, Wyatt, can study with a leading hockey instructor to become a goalie.
A COUPLE OF LEGENDS
Paul McCartney and Brian Wilson will perform together in Los Angeles Wednesday night at a benefit performance for Adopt-A-Minefield -- an anti-landmine organization that McCartney and his wife, Heather, support.
McCartney has often said that it was "Pet Sounds," the legendary album by Wilson and the Beach Boys, that motivated The Beatles to come up with "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band." Plans call for McCartney and Wilson to perform "God Only Knows" from "Pet Sounds" and the title song from the Beatles' album "Let It Be."
Jay Leno is scheduled to host the fundraiser at the Century Plaza Hotel.
AT LEAST IT'S NOT CELEBRITY BOXING
ABC is planning a U.S. version of the British reality "I'm a Celebrity ... Get Me Out of Here!"
Plans call for the show to run for 15 consecutive nights, with eight celebrities deposited in some challenging environment -- much like "Survivor." The big difference will be that viewers will get the pleasure of deciding each night which celebrity has to take on a physical challenge to get food for the group -- with the lowest-rated celebrities getting kicked off.
The show is expected to show up during the February 2003 sweeps.
LL COOL J'S NEXT
The movie version of the TV series of the same name (ABC, 1975-76) is about a crime boss being transported by an LAPD Special Weapons and Tactics Team (SWAT) into the custody of federal agents. The action begins when the crime chief offers a $100 million reward to anyone who can "rescue" him from the cops.
MORE 'CRIME & PUNISHMENT'
NBC has renewed the summer crime drama "Crime & Punishment" for a second season.
Described as a non-scripted "drama-mentary," the show follows real-life prosecutors as they prepare cases against accused criminals -- with episodes that are edited to look and feel like a prime time drama series.