Entertainment Today: Showbiz News

By KAREN BUTLER, United Press International  |  April 15, 2003 at 3:00 AM
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"The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers" and "Spider-Man" each have been nominated for five 2003 MTV Movie awards.

Both blockbusters were largely ignored by the Oscar Awards last month. Part two of J.R.R. Tolkien's fantasy trilogy picked up nominations for Best Action Sequence and Best On-Screen Team (Elijah Wood, Sean Astin and Gollum); while the superhero flick's Kirsten Dunst (Mary Jane Watson) is up for Best Female Performance and William Dafoe (Green Goblin) is contending for Best Villain.

Both films received nods for Best Male Performance, Tobey Maguire for "Spider-Man" and Viggo Mortensen for "The Lord of the Rings," as well as Best Movie. "8 Mile," "Barbershop" and "The Ring" are the other films vying for MTV's top film honor.

"8 Mile," "Austin Powers in Goldmember," "Barbershop," "Daredevil," "Jackass: The Movie" and "Star Wars: Episode II" - Attack of the Clones" garnered three nominations each.

Nominated in the new category of Best Virtual Performance are the saber-wielding Yoda in "Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones," the marsupial Kangaroo Jack, the morally conflicted Gollum in "The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers," the mischievous elf Dobby in "Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets" and the classic cartoon canine Scooby-Doo.

Nominees for the 2003 MTV Movie Awards were chosen by MTV and MTV2 viewers via a national poll. The winners will be chosen by votes by phone -- 900-407-4MTV -- online at mtv.com and through cellular service provided by Virgin Mobile beginning April 15.

The 12th annual awards ceremony will be taped May 31 at Los Angeles' Shrine Auditorium for broadcast June 5.


The New York Post says ABC may bang the gavel on its long-running legal drama, "The Practice."

Word from the tabloid is series creator David Kelley visited the set of "The Practice" to explain to the cast and crew the script titled "Goodbye" might be the show's closing argument.

Ratings have plunged since ABC moved the drama from Sunday to Monday night, noted The Post, and network brass might ask Kelley to accept a reduction in how much it pays for the show.

"David Kelley wrote a script that could serve as both a season and series finale -- if needed," his spokeswoman, Stacey Luchs, told the newspaper. "While it is true that David did in fact visit the set of 'The Practice' once the script was distributed, he did so to 'pre-empt' any concerns that the cast and crew members might have, given the script's title, 'Goodbye.'"

Sources said the script has Bobby, the main character played by Dylan McDermott, leaving the firm -- and his wife.


Sardi's Restaurant is set to honor Joe Pantoliano this week by hanging his portrait in the famed Broadway eatery.

Best-known as Ralph on the hit HBO mob drama "The Sopranos," the veteran character actor has also appeared in "Memento," "The Matrix" and "Daredevil" and made his Broadway debut performance opposite Rosie Perez in this season's hit play, "Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune." His portrait will be drawn Tuesday afternoon by Sardi's artist Richard Baratz.

The New York Daily News said this of his performance in the play: "Pantoliano is the most convincing Johnny I've seen. When in the second act he remembers the day he visited his children, now living with their mother and her super successful second husband, it has great poignancy. He makes us see the tremendous sadness beneath his bravado."

Terrence McNally's "Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune" closed at Broadway's Belasco Theater March 9 after playing 15 previews and 229 regular performances.


E! News Live plans to feature members of the cast of "La Boheme" as part of a segment featuring "American Idol" star Rickey Smith.

It seems Smith really wants to be an opera singer, so E! put him to the test for guest judges -- and stars of Baz Luhrmann's Broadway hit "La Boheme" -- Alfred Boe, Ben Davis, and Chloe Wright. Fans can see how Smith's singing measured up when E! News Live airs Tuesday.

The greatest love story ever sung, Puccini's "La Boheme" is the tale of a doomed love affair between the seamstress Mimi and the poet Rodolfo set in the world of bohemian Paris. Set in 1957, the new Broadway production is sung in the original Italian with English subtitles.


Actress Mary Stuart Masterson is expected to help host ABC's hit chat-fest, "The View," this Friday.

Masterson, who has appeared in the films, "Fried Green Tomatoes," "Benny and Joon" and "Bed of Roses," is co-starring with Antonio Banderas, Chita Rivera and Jane Krakowski in Roundabout Theater Company's new Broadway production of "Nine."

Inspired by Fellini's film "81/2," the revival of the musical opened officially on April 10 at the Eugene O'Neill Theater. It will run through Aug. 10.

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