Today's News: Our Take


ET's Post-Emmy Bash a Mixed Bag


Entertainment Tonight's fifth annual post-Emmy party, held at Barneys New York in Beverly Hills, drew its fair share of celebs but few actual winners. Among the attendees: Frasier's David Hyde Pierce, NYPD Blue's Dennis Franz, Multimillionaire bride Darva Conger, Survivor castaways Rudy Boesch and Rich Hatch, Ted McGinley (Married, With Children) and wife Gigi Rice, Malcolm in the Middle's Frankie Muniz, Sharon Lawrence, Kimberly Williams, former Punky Brewster Soleil Moon Frye (now on Sabrina, the Teenage Witch), Weird Al Yankovic and Ben Stein.

Muniz arrived with Malcolm sibs Erik Per Sullivan, Justin Berfield and their TV pop, Bryan Cranston. Although disappointed that their TV mom, Jane Kaczmarek, didn't take home the Emmy, they were ecstatic about their show's writing and directing w read more

NBC HEADS TO SPACE

No doubt attempting to make up for coming late to the reality game, NBC has purchased the rights to Survivor creator Mark Burnett's latest project: Destination Mir. According to Variety, the Peacock network will fork over nearly $40 million for the show, which follows a group of wannabe astronauts through from training program to launch pad. The big winner will be launched into space to meet up with the Russian space station, Mir. NBC is hoping to debut the series in Fall 2001. read more

FELICITY BANKS ON TYRA

Supermodel-turned-actress Tyra Banks (Coyote Ugly) is joining the cast of the WB's Felicity this season as a "serious" college student and potential love interest for Noel (Scott Foley). "She's someone who doesn't have to work very hard to do well in school," executive producer J.J. Abrams tells TV Guide Online. "Noel ends up meeting her through his new job." Abrams, who says that Banks is a fan of the show, adds that the story is "really going to be funny and there's a great twist at the end." And for those skeptics who will view the casting coup as nothing more than a chance to pump up the drama's anemic ratings, Abrams admits that there's some truth to that. "It definitely crossed our minds that it would be nice to get someone who is famous to be in the show," he concedes. "Her notoriety is certainly not a negative as far as I'm concerned. But it's one of those things where this [story] idea happened first and then her name came up and it w read more

Question: After canceling the ...

Question: After canceling the show La Femme Nikita earlier this year and now changing their minds and bringing it back, what makes USA choose to only do eight shows and not a full 22?

Televisionary: Simply put? Because they can.

						 						The TV biz is a very complicated world and shows are ordered, scheduled and canceled for all sorts of reasons, nearly all of which come down to — you guessed it — money. USA (and every other network in the business) looks at how much it's spending for a show and how much it's making back by selling commercial time during that slot.

That's the first consideration and it's why so many shows are canceled despite a fairly loyal following among audience members and the press. It doesn't matter to CBS, for example, that the critics and an enthusiastic fan base liked Now and Again. On a per-episode basis, the show cost too much to p read more

NEW SITCOM CURSED

The executive producers behind NBC's new Steven Weber sitcom, Cursed, have abruptly quit the series, The Hollywood Reporter says. Mitchel Katlin and Nat Bernstein have resigned reportedly due to creative differences with the network. Cursed, which stars Weber as a single ad exec, snagged the plum post-Friends timeselot on Thursday nights. There's no word on who will replace the duo. read more

BERRY ON A ROLL

Halle Berry, who picked up an Emmy Award Sunday night for her star turn in HBO's Introducing Dorothy Dandridge, is in talks to appear opposite John Travolta in the Warner Bros. thriller, Swordfish. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Berry would receive $2.5 million for her work — her biggest paycheck to date. Swordfish would reunite the actress with her X-Men co-star Hugh Jackman, who also stars in the film. — Michael Ausiello read more

60 MINUTES: THE BOOK

Don Hewitt, executive producer of CBS's stalwart 60 Minutes, is writing his autobiography which will include details of the infamous tobacco scandal that led to the film The Insider. The tome — titled Tell Me a Story — is due next spring. "I wanted to write a book that would be totally honest," Hewitt told the New York Daily News, "a book with no bull." read more

EMMYS A RATING HIT

Garry Shandling can breathe a sigh of relief. Sunday night's Emmy telecast, in which the comic served as host, attracted 21.6 million viewers making it the most watched Emmys in 14 years. Shandling received enthusiastic reviews for his performance during the three hour broadcast, which saw NBC's The West Wing and Will & Grace win big. ABC estimates that 46 million people watched at least some portion of the show. read more

Question: I heard a rumor. Is ...

Question: I heard a rumor. Is CBS planning to rebroadcast the first Survivor series starting in September? I was told that they were. Others tell me that the first series will be televised on another channel starting this fall. Which can I believe? I have become a fan even though I only saw the last few episodes and would like to see it aired in its entirety. Thanks. — Shawn

Televisionary: Believe the former and ignore the latter. The network does indeed plan to rebroadcast the entire Survivor run from September 15 through the 29th (with no episode on Sundays).

The plan is to try to steal some of NBC's Olympics thunder and it will serve as an interesting test case for the blockbuster reality show. Yes, it generated incredible ratings, but how strong will it play a second time?

I see it going either way, frankly. Maybe knowing that Richard won will take the fun out of it for many people. But perhaps those who missed the show the first time aro read more

Question: We're having a very ...

Question: We're having a very heated argument. In The Highwayman did the cab of the truck turn into a helicopter, or did he carry the helicopter in the back of the truck? — Alex Bertran

Televisionary: Now, now — I can understand the heat, Alex, but let's not let it come to fisticuffs, OK?

In the short-lived series, which ran on NBC from March to May of 1988, the Highwayman's high-tech rig boasted a cab that could change into a helicopter in times of need. (Nifty, huh?) Any slob could simply strap a chopper to a truck and declare himself cool, no?

Produced by Knight Rider man Glen A. Larson, the show also featured Aussie Energizer pitchman Jacko ("Oy!") as the take-no-prisoners, scrappy sidekick to the tough-and-buff Highwayman (Sam Jones).

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