BILL MAHER'S NEW GIG
Bill Maher is bouncing back from ABC's cancellation of "Politically Incorrect" -- currently out on a tour to promote his new book and now planning to return to late night TV with a talk show on HBO.
HBO chairman-CEO Chris Albrecht called Maher "one of the most distinctive and provocative humorists on the scene today." Plans call for the hourlong show to premiere on Feb. 21, taking over the Friday night time slot formerly occupied by "Dennis Miller Live."
TV viewers can currently see Maher making the rounds of network and cable chat shows, plugging his book "When You Ride Alone You Ride with Bin Laden: What the Government Should Be Telling Us to Help Fight the War on Terrorism."
QUEEN LATIFAH'S BUST
Actress-rapper Queen Latifah faces a December court date following her arrest early Wednesday for investigation of driving under the influence of alcohol.
California Highway Patrol officer Alex Delgadillo said the 32-year-old entertainer was driving in North Hollywood when she was pulled over about 3:15 a.m. Police said she had made an unsafe lane change.
"Once she has made contact, they found that she was under the influence," said Delgadillo, adding that Latifah -- whose real name is Dana Owens -- failed a field sobriety test.
Latifah is due on U. S. movie theater screens next month in "Chicago." She co-stars with Steve Martin in the upcoming comedy "Bringing Down the Houze" -- with Martin as a lonely guy and Latifah as an Internet pen pal who breaks out of prison to be with him, but ends up turning his middle-class life upside-down.
SNOOP DOGG'S NEXT
Daily Variety reports that Warner Bros. has asked rapper Snoop Dogg ("Bones," "Training Day") to play Huggy Bear -- the snitch on "Starsky and Hutch" -- in the movie version of the '70s TV police drama.
Ben Stiller is playing Starsky and Owen Wilson will play Hutch. Antonio Fargas ("Osmosis Jones," "I'm Gonna Git You Sucka") originated the role of Huggy Bear -- the streetwise stoolie who not only fed useful information to the Los Angeles detectives but also furnished lots of laughs on the show.
NEW FACES AT 'CEDRIC'
"Cedric the Entertainer Presents" will add several new characters, and producers only had to hire one actor to get it done.
Kyle Dunnigan, best known for his array of characters on Comedy Central's "Premium Blend" -- is joining Cedric's prime time sketch comedy show on Fox. He is scheduled to start work on the show next month.
"Cedric the Entertainer Presents" has become a sizeable hit for Fox. It's the No. 1 prime time show among black viewers and adults 18-49.
CAROL LEIFFER'S TRIFECTA
Carol Leifer -- best known as a writer on "Seinfeld" -- has signed to write a comedy pilot for Fox TV, and also has a project in the works at ABC as well as a standup special on Comedy Central.
The Fox comedy -- "Vivian Lives" -- will be based on the Web site Vivianlives.com, about the life of a small-town woman in her 20s discovering the joys of life in the big city. The ABC project is loosely described as the story of a dysfunctional family. The Comedy Central special -- which will probably be aired in February -- will be Leiffer's first standup special in close to 10 years.
JANEANE GAROFALO'S NEXT
Janeane Garofalo ("Dogma," "The Truth About Cats & Dogs") will develop a comedy series for ABC, in which she will play a producer at a network TV newsmagazine.
"Slice o' Life" -- the show's working title -- will feature Garofalo as the producer of fluffy features that fill the newsmagazine's final minutes each week. Her problem is that higher-profile journalists on the show's staff constantly find ways to ridicule and belittle her contributions.
CHRISTINA RICCI'S NEXT
The movie is based on the story of Aileen Wuornos, who was executed last month in Florida for killing seven men during a nine-month crime spree.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the movie will focus on the love story that eventually led to the crime spree. Ricci would play the woman who fell in love with Wuornos (Theron). Although Wuornos was not gay, she saw the woman as her last chance at love -- and eventually turned to killing men she turned tricks with while working as a prostitute.