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Hollywood Digest

By
PAT NASON, UPI Hollywood Reporter

SEVENTEEN MOVIES UP FOR ANIMATED FEATURE ORSCAR

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced Wednesday that 17 films will compete for the animated film Oscar at the upcoming Academy Awards.

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The films are: "Adam Sandler's 8 Crazy Nights"; "Alibaba & the Forty Thieves"; "Eden"; "El Bosque Animado (The Living Forest)"; "Hey Arnold! The Movie"; "Ice Age"; "Jonah -- A VeggieTales Movie"; "Lilo & Stitch"; "Mutant Aliens"; "The Powerpuff Girls Movie"; "The Princess and the Pea"; "Return to Never Land"; "Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron"; "Spirited Away"; "Stuart Little 2"; "Treasure Planet"; "The Wild Thornberrys Movie."

The eligibility of "Eden" and "The Wild Thornberrys Movie" is contingent on their opening in Los Angeles prior to Dec. 31. "Eden" is scheduled to open Dec. 13 and "The Wild Thornberrys Movie" is scheduled to open Dec. 20.

A maximum of five films can be nominated for the best animated film Oscar. The first Oscar in the new category last year went to "Shrek."


MOB FORMS FOR 'SOPRANOS' FINALE

Sunday night's 75-minute fourth-season finale of "The Sopranos" on HBO attracted 12.5 million viewers -- making it the most-watched U.S. TV show in its time slot.

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It was also the second most-watched show HBO ever had, behind only the fourth-season premiere, which drew an audience of 13.4 million. Overall, the crime family drama averaged about 11 million viewers each Sunday over 13 episodes this season.

HBO said "The Sopranos" is the No. 1 series in homes that subscribe to its service.


CBS PULLING PLUG ON 'ROBBERY HOMICIDE'?

CBS is putting Michael Mann's "Robbery Homicide Division" on indefinite hiatus.

The network has announced that the drama "Queens Supreme" will replace "Robbery Homicide Division" in the Monday, 10 p.m. time slot beginning Jan. 6. Mann's show has received praise from critics, but Daily Variety said insiders aren't holding out hope that the show will return from hiatus.

Mann told Variety he was disappointed, but not surprised, by CBS' decision.

"I guess maybe the show never found its audience," said Mann. "The irony of it is that everyone (at CBS) likes the show, from Les Moonves on down."

"Queens Supreme" -- a legal drama -- features a cast that includes Oliver Platt ("The West Wing"), Robert Loggia ("Big") and two featured players from the HBO drama "The Sopranos" -- Annabella Sciorra and Vincent Pastore.

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DANNY GLOVER RETURNS TO STAGE

Danny Glover will return to Broadway in "'Master Harold' ... and the Boys," the play in which he made his Broadway debut in 1982.

Written by South African playwright Athol Fugard, "'Master Harold' ... and the Boys" recalls an incident from Fugard's youth -- in the early days of apartheid in his homeland. In 1982, Glover played Willie, the younger of two black servants in the story of a young white man coming to grips with the country's official policy of racial separation.

In the revival, Glover will play Sam, originally played by South African actor Zakes Mokae. Lonny Price -- who played the title role in the original 1982 New York production -- will direct the revival.


HONORS FOR NORMAN JEWISON

The American Society of Cinematographers has announced that producer-director Norman Jewison will receive its Board of Governors Award.

The Oscar-winning director of "Moonstruck," "In the Heat of the Night" and "Fiddler on the Roof" will pick up the award on Feb. 16, 2003, at the 17th Annual ASC Outstanding Achievement Awards in Los Angeles. The Board of Governors Award is presented to filmmakers who are not cinematographers for "significant and enduring impression on the art of filmmaking."

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The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences honored Jewison in 1999 with its most prestigious prize -- the Irving B. Thalberg Award.


ORLANDO JONES HEADS FOR LATENIGHT

Writer-actor-comedian Orlando Jones will star in a nightly half-hour series on the FX cable channel in 2003.

The show is likely to offer a combination of talk and variety familiar to latenight viewers. It will be produced by Eddie Feldmann, who did similar duties on the long-running, Emmy-winning HBO comedy series "Dennis Miller Live."

Jones -- known to TV viewers as the former pitchman for Seven Up -- has appeared in such feature films as "The Time Machine," "Evolution," "The Replacements" and "Liberty Heights."

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