CALIFORNIA LAWMAKERS WANT TO KEEP GRAMMYS IN STATE
A California Assembly committee has adopted a resolution calling on the Recording Academy to bring the Grammy Awards back to Los Angeles and keep them there.
The Arts, Entertainment, Sports, Tourism and Internet Media Committee voted unanimously this week to ask the National Academy of Recording & Sciences to make this the last year that the Grammys are held in New York -- or anywhere else other than Los Angeles. The Grammys have been presented in Los Angeles 34 times in their 44-year history.
Supporters of the resolution hope to get it approved by the full Assembly before Feb. 23, when the Recording Academy is scheduled to present the 45th Grammys in New York. The awards were presented in New York during the mid-'90s, but returned to Los Angeles in 1998 after a feud between then-New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani and former Recording Academy President Michael Greene.
The academy announced this week that Coldplay, Faith Hill, Norah Jones, Nelly featuring Kelly Rowland and Bruce Springsteen will perform at the awards ceremony at Madison Square Garden, to be telecast by CBS.
'ROCKY' MAN WILL LEAD OSCAR BAND
Gil Cates, the producer of the upcoming Oscars telecast, announced Friday that Bill Conti will make his 16th appearance as musical director for the show.
Conti won the Oscar in 1983 for his score for "The Right Stuff," but is probably best known for his Oscar-nominated song "Gonna Fly Now" from "Rocky" (1976). He was also nominated for best original song for the James Bond theme "For Your Eyes Only" (1981).
"Bill Conti leads the Oscar orchestra like a champion athlete who will accept nothing less than victory," said Cates. "His conductor's baton is the lightning rod that sets the ongoing tone of the Academy Award telecast, and I welcome this opportunity to once again add Bill's brilliant musicianship to our production team."
Conti has won four Emmy Awards -- two of them for the 64th and 70th Academy Awards telecasts. He was nominated six consecutive times for an Emmy during the 62nd to 67th Academy Awards.
The 75th Anniversary Academy Awards will be presented on March 23 at the Kodak Theater in Hollywood, televised by ABC.
INSURANCE COVERED MOVIE RESHOOTS
Sigourney Weaver and her director-husband Jim Simpson had to shoot their new movie, "The Guys," twice -- but they said production insurance covered the reshoot.
Simpson told The New York Post that with a budget of $550,000, he could not afford dailies -- which would have allowed him to see right away that there was a flaw in the camera lens he was using. It was only after the 14-day shoot wrapped, Simpson said, that he could see that none of the footage was usable.
Weaver plays a newspaper editor who helps a New York City fire captain (Anthony LaPaglia) write eulogies for men from his unit who died in the collapse of the World Trade Center. The movie is based on the play by Anne Nelson.
Weaver told the Post she was emotionally overcome when she saw the finished movie for the first time.
"Usually I sit there and hate everything I do (onscreen)," said the star of "Gorillas in the Mist" and the "Alien" movie series, "but I actually was caught up in the story of these two people and was able to sort of forget it was me up there."
'HOT WHEELS' ON FILM
According to Daily Variety, Columbia Pictures and "Charlie's Angels" director McG are working on a live-action movie version of Mattel's Hot Wheels cars.
"Hot Wheels" had a short run as an animated TV series in 1969, but the movie project is the first time Mattel has allowed a movie based on the popular toy cars.
"Hot Wheels has had an enormous impact on pop culture for 35 years," said Columbia executive Amy Pascal.
Mattel has sold more than 2 billion Hot Wheels units worldwide since introducing the line in 1968.
Watson will play Sellers' first wife, Anne Howe, in the HBO movie based on Roger Lewis's autobiography of the star of "Dr. Strangelove," "Being There" and the "Pink Panther" movie series. Theron plays Sellers' second wife, actress Britt Ekland.
Watson was nominated for the best actress Oscar for "Hilary and Jackie" (1998) and "Breaking the Waves" (1996). She is a nominee this year for the Laurence Olivier Award for her performance on the London stage as Sonya in "Uncle Vanya."
HONORS FOR VETERAN HOLLYWOOD JOURNALIST
Douglas presented Archerd with the award, the highest honor given by the American Friends of The Hebrew University. Peter Weil, AFHU Western region vice president, said Archerd was being recognized for his "longstanding support of humanitarian causes and the state of Israel."