Injured in the Line of Duty Academy Award winner Benicio Del Toro broke his wrist while doing his own stunt work in William Friedkin's "The Hunted," forcing a delay in filming. Del Toro, who won a best supporting actor Oscar this year for "Traffic," was injured on the set in Portland, Ore., as he dived for a knife during a fight scene, according to a Paramount Pictures spokeswoman. The production process probably won't be impeded, she said. Del Toro, 34, only had five days left to work on the film, which is scheduled for release next spring.
"Perfect Storm' Creates Waves A lawsuit filed by families of fishermen and others portrayed in last summer's "The Perfect Storm" can go to trial, a U.S. District Court in Orlando, Fla., has ruled. Last August, Jodi Tyne, ex-wife of captain Frank William "Billy" Tyne Jr., and her daughters sued Warner Bros. and two companies that produced the film, saying it falsely portrayed her ex-husband, played by George Clooney, as an "unprofessional, unseaworthy and incompetent" captain who suffers a "self-imposed death." Asking for a cut of the proceeds from the film, which has grossed $327 million worldwide, she said it was produced without consent of her family and others who later joined in the suit. Judge Anne C. Conway denied a motion by Time Warner Inc., parent company of Warner Bros., to dismiss the case on the grounds that the studio had the right to make the movie. The film, the tale of an ill-fated swordfishing expedition in the North Atlantic, is based on a 1991 book by Sebastian Junger.
Raindrops Falling on Their Head A damper was thrown on the Thailand premiere of "Pearl Harbor," held in a Bangkok park Thursday night. According to Daily Variety, a storm erupted just as the Bangkok Symphony Orchestra was to play the film's musical score. After stage lights fell, guests rushed for cover at a nearby theater, where the film was to be screened. Columbia TriStar/Buena Vista, foreign distributors of the picture, had banked that they could hold the event outdoors since it was still two weeks before the start of Thailand's monsoon season. The downpour didn't erode the sense of humor of one drenched attendee, who quipped: "What's the premiere tonight--'The Perfect Storm?' "
Hollywood Tower Gets Go-Ahead Over the objections of some Hollywood residents who fear their views will be blocked, the Los Angeles City Council voted 11 to 0 Friday to approve plans for a 150-foot ad tower at the Hollywood and Highland Project. The tower is part of the extensive signage at the development, a $615-million retail and entertainment complex that will include a new theater for the Academy Awards ceremony. Many residents and businesses have welcomed the project, but others fear proposals for 13 large signs in the area will evoke the gaudiness of New York City's Times Square. Councilman Eric Garcetti, whose district includes the project, called it an "important part of ongoing development" in the area and pledged that the city will watch closely to ensure that it complies with the municipal code. The overall project is scheduled to open in November.
Cable Salutes O'Connor Cable's TV Land and Nick at Nite are both saluting Carroll O'Connor, who died Thursday at the age of 76. TV Land is celebrating the career of the Emmy Award winner with a 48-hour marathon of "All in the Family," the seminal series in which O'Connor became a TV icon for his role as the opinionated bigot Archie Bunker. The marathon kicks off this morning at 3 and continues until 3 a.m. Monday. Nick at Nite will showcase 10 classic episodes of the comedy series as picked by the cable network's TV experts on Monday, beginning at 8:30 p.m. And the Museum of Television & Radio in Beverly Hills will also be screening "Those Were the Days," the never-aired original pilot for "All in the Family," July 11-15 at 12:30 p.m.
Big Bucks for Big Names ABC has picked up "The Drew Carey Show" for two more seasons--extending the already renewed sitcom into 2004--while "Frasier" star and executive producer Kelsey Grammer is reportedly near finalizing an agreement to stay with his show that would make him one of the highest-paid stars in TV history. Grammer is already signed for the coming year, but Daily Variety reports he is near signing a two-year extension that will pay him as much as $1.6 million per episode. "Frasier's" studio, Paramount, previously secured a three-year renewal from NBC worth an estimated $5.2 million an episode and is negotiating contract extensions with other cast members. The studio declined comment. As for "Carey," the series is heading into its seventh year on ABC but saw its audience drop 12% during the recently concluded season opposite NBC's "The West Wing."
More Good News for NBC Having already drawn encouraging ratings with the stunt-oriented "Fear Factor," NBC scored again Thursday with its premiere of another critically slammed series, "Spy TV." The hidden-camera show drew an estimated 12.8 million viewers--2 million more than a "Friends" rerun in the half-hour preceding it, easily winning its time slot. "The Tonight Show With Jay Leno," meanwhile, spoofed California's power crisis with an "unplugged" episode on a darkened set, boosting the show's ratings power by 15% over its summer average.
Playwright Luis Valdez will direct the first L.A. revival of his 1978 play "Zoot Suit" as part of the L.A. Theater Works live radio theater series July 11-16 . . . Bidding closes Monday for a chance to conduct "The Star-Spangled Banner" at the June 29 opening night of the Hollywood Bowl season. Bids for the charity auction, starting at minimum of $8,000, can be placed on http://www.ebay.com. Proceeds go to Music Matters, a children's music education program run by the Los Angeles Philharmonic . . . Universal Studios will hold "Jamaica Jamboree," a four-day celebration of Jamaican culture, at CityWalk Thursday-July 1 . . . Michael Douglas will receive the Humanitarian Award from the Simon Wiesenthal Center Museum of Tolerance Monday at the Beverly Hills Hotel. Willie Nelson will entertain and Bob Saget will host . . . "Selected Shorts," readings of short stories by actors such as Leonard Nimoy, Jane Curtin, James Cromwell and Hector Elizondo, will be performed today and Sunday at the J. Paul Getty Museum and will be broadcast on KPCC (89.3 FM) from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. and 6-10 p.m. on July 4 . . . Tickets go on sale today for a special Sunday night performance by Coldplay and Pete Yorn at the Wiltern Theatre . . . Former Smashing Pumpkins frontman Billy Corgan will play guitar with New Order this summer, including the band's Aug. 5 show at Glen Helen Blockbuster Pavilion.