Hollywood Digest

By PAT NASON, UPI Hollywood Reporter  |  Oct. 31, 2002 at 6:23 PM
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Fox has posted the closing notice on "girls club," just two weeks after the highly anticipated drama from heavy-hitter David E. Kelley premiered in the 9 p.m. Monday timeslot.

It's a rare failure for Kelley, a TV writing and producing star who typically hits it out of the park -- with shows such as "Ally McBeal," "The Practice" and "Boston Public."

"While I am disappointed that the show did not succeed," said Kelley in a statement, "I remain proud of the entire cast and crew of 'girls club.'"

Fox will fill the timeslot next Monday with a rebroadcast of the season premiere of "24," which attracted 13.5 million viewers on Tuesday.


Fox TV is taking reality programming into yet another new direction with the upcoming show "Married by America" -- in which contestants eager to get married will be matched together by a vote of viewers.

Plans call for the series to run six to eight weeks, starting with a nationwide talent hunt, as producers search out people who are so discouraged by the dating game that they're ready to surrender themselves to an arranged marriage.

The show will use the "American Idol" model -- with viewers voting by telephone on which couples should get together. That will be followed by several episodes following the newly fixed-up couples as they live together and get to know each other.

On the season finale, couples will announce publicly whether they will go through with marriage.


Faye Dunaway will guest star in three upcoming episodes of the ABC drama-thriller "Alias," playing the head of counter-intelligence for a gang of evil spies the CIA is trying to defeat.

The episodes are expected to air early in 2003.

The Oscar-winning star of "Network" and "Chinatown" is the latest in a string of high-profile performers to appeal on "Alias." Lena Olin ("The Unbearable Lightness of Being") appeared on the show earlier this year, and Quentin Tarantino ("Pulp Fiction") appeared on an episode last year.


Kam Fong Chun, who starred as Detective Chin Ho Kelly on "Hawaii Five-0," has died following a battle with lung cancer. He was 84.

Chun's family announced in a written statement that he died Oct. 18. According to the Honolulu Advertiser, the family held off on the announcement because they wanted some private time with Chun, after sharing him with the public since he gained fame on the TV show.

The statement said Chun -- who acted under the name Kam Fong -- could never understand how "a poor barefoot boy from Kalihi" could wind up on a Hollywood sound stage.

"There is no need to feel sorry either for us or our dad," the statement read. "He had a good and long life."

Chun had been a real-life Honolulu police officer for 16 years.

James MacArthur, who played "Five-0" Detective Danny Williams, told the paper he last spoke with Chun two weeks ago.

"I remember him as a gentleman of great dignity," said MacArthur. "Kam and I had a bond, maybe because he was a little older, maybe because he took to my young son and told him, 'I'm your Chinese grandfather.'"

Chun was buried at Diamond Head Memorial Park, near the old "Five-0" sound stage.


Angie Martinez -- a new judge on Fox's "American Idol" -- has left the show just one week after getting the gig.

Martinez, who hosts an afternoon show on New York's Hot 97, issued a statement saying she can't go on telling aspiring performers to get out of the business.

"After judging the first few auditions, I've decided to leave the show because it became too uncomfortable for me to tell someone else to give up on their dream," said the statement, "especially when I realized that many of them have supported my musical career."

Martinez appeared on "Ladies Night," the single featuring Missy Elliot, Lil' Kim, Left Eye and Da Brat. She has released two albums -- "Up Close and Personal" (2001) and "Animal House," which arrived in stores last August.


The parade of country music stars taking part as nominees, presenters and performers on "The 36th Annual CMA Awards" next Wednesday will have some snazzy parting gifts, regardless of whether they win an award.

The Country Music Association will give everyone an "artist gift bag," loaded with lots of goodies, including a Baja Fresh gift card good for free meals for the recipient and five guests every day for a year.

The bag also holds Wrangler denim lined jackets, shirts, sleepwear and carrying bag, as well as cosmetics from Shiseido, CLARINSmen, and Bosia.

There's also an assortment of chocolates, goggles and glasses from Clic Eyewear; gourmet snacks and cell phone accessories.

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