'IDOL' PACKS THEM IN
Going into its second season on Fox, "American Idol" is picking up where it left off last year, ratings-wise.
The talent search that made Kelly Clarkson and Simon Cowell stars scored the highest-rating of any entertainment show in the network's history in its season premiere on Tuesday. The 90-minute episode attracted more than 26 million viewers.
Wednesday night's 90-minute episode kept it up, attracting close to 25 million viewers.
SPIELBERG TAKING ON ABE LINCOLN?
According to the New York Post, Steven Spielberg is considering making a movie about America's 16th president, Abraham Lincoln.
The paper quoted the Oscar-winning director of "Schindler's List" and "Saving Private Ryan" as saying that history is important to him.
"I know I want to make a movie about Lincoln and I have a script in development about his relationship with Frederick Douglass," said Spielberg. "I'll probably make this within the next two years."
'CHICAGO' TOPS CHARTS
"Chicago" has another honor to go with its Golden Globe for best musical or comedy movie -- a spot at the top of the current Billboard Top 200 album chart.
"Chicago: Music from the Motion Picture" debuted at No. 1 Tuesday after selling 83,000 copies in its first week in release.
The album includes more than the John Kander-Fred Ebb songs performed in the movie by Renée Zellweger, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Richard Gere and Queen Latifah. It also features songs inspired by the film -- including "Love Is A Crime" (Anastacia), "Cell Block Tango (He Had It Comin')" (Queen Latifah, featuring Lil' Kim and Macy Gray) and "Class" (Zeta-Jones and Latifah).
STARS LINE UP FOR OSCARS
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has announced that Julianne Moore will appear as a presenter on the 75th Oscars telecast.
It will be the second Academy Awards show appearance for Moore, who was nominated for best actress in 1999 for "The End of the Affair" and best actress in 1997 for "Boogie Nights." Moore is widely regarded as a favorite to be nominated this year -- either for her performance as a suicidal 1950s housewife in "The Hours" or for her turn in "Far From Heaven" as a 1950s housewife dealing with a marital crisis and racial confusion.
Nominations for the 75th Academy Awards will be announced on Feb. 11. The Oscars will be presented on March 23 in ceremonies at the Kodak Theater in Hollywood, to be televised by ABC.
STARS LINE UP FOR ACTORS
Mullally, who stars as Karen on "Will & Grace," is a two-time SAG Award winner. She took home an Actor -- the name given to the SAG statuette -- in 2002 for outstanding performance by a female actor in a comedy series, and the cast of "Will & Grace" won an Actor in 2001 for outstanding comedy series ensemble.
Duncan ("Planet of the Apes") is due on movie screens in February in the new Ben Affleck movie "Daredevil." He was nominated for two Actors in 2000, for supporting actor and as a member of the ensemble in "The Green Mile."
SAG will announce the nominations for this year's awards next Tuesday in Los Angeles. The SAG Awards will be presented on March 9 in ceremonies at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, to be televised live by TNT.
HONORS FOR BRIAN GRAZER
Organizers of ShoWest 2003 have announced that producer Brian Grazer will receive a lifetime achievement award at the upcoming entertain industry trade show.
Grazer -- Ron Howard's partner in Imagine Entertainment -- will be honored on March 6 in Las Vegas for a career in which he has produced such movies as "8 Mile," "Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas," "Apollo 13" and the Oscar-winning "A Beautiful Mind."
According to Daily Variety, Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson is in talks to star in a remake of the 1973 movie "Walking Tall."
Johnson would play Buford Pusser -- played in the original by Joe Don Baker -- the Tennessee sheriff who fights corruption in his county with a wooden club, and wreaks vengeance on the bad guys after his family is attacked.
'RICHARD PRYOR' COMING TO DVD
Fans of Richard Pryor will soon be able to get their hands on a DVD version of his short-lived NBC variety show.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, all five episodes of "The Richard Pryor Show" -- which ran on NBC in September-October 1977 -- will be packaged into a DVD release that will include several bonus features.
Pryor was supposed to produce 10 shows for the NBC series, but the show was canceled after five episode -- largely because Pryor's movie career was taking off after the success of the 1976 comedy "Silver Streak," but also because of constant feuding between the earthy comedian and NBC censors.