PLEA Director Oliver Stone pleaded innocent yesterday to charges of driving under the influence and possessing controlled substances. Stone, who was arrested in May for allegedly driving drunk, had been charged for possessing a small amount of Hydrocodone (a pain medication) and cannabis. He also faces misdemeanor counts for DUI and possession of fenfluramine and phentermine (the ingredients of the dieting drug fen-phen). Since his arrest, Stone, 52, has been free on $12,000 bail.
TUBE WATCH The end of ”The Roseanne Show” is near. NBC-owned stations have announced that they plan to yank the low-rated syndicated talk show from next season’s schedule. NBC affiliates (in key markets such as New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, and Philadelphia) will pay for the show, under a two-year contract with syndication giant King World Productions, but they will not air it. NBC’s actions are an effort to force King World to cancel the expensive talk show.
CASTING Alec Baldwin, Peter Fonda, and Mara Wilson will star in the children’s movie ”Thomas and the Magic Railroad” for Destination Films. Based on the popular kid’s books and British TV series, the film will mark the debut of the ”Thomas” franchise. Baldwin will play Mr. Conductor, Wilson will portray an 11-year-old girl who visits her grandfather (Fonda) in the country. Shooting starts next month … Boaz Yakin (”Fresh,” ”A Price Above Rubies”) is in negotiations to direct the Jerry Bruckheimer-produced drama ”Remember the Titans” for Disney. The film, based on a true story, follows the 1971 integration of a high school football team in Alexandria, Va.
CHARGED Limp Bizkit frontman Fred Durst was officially charged yesterday for participating in an on-stage fight at the band’s Minnesota show earlier this week. Durst was arrested as he left the stage after Monday night’s concert in St. Paul, when authorities claimed Durst kicked a local security guard in the head. He now faces charges of fifth-degree assault (intentionally inflicting bodily harm or fear) and disorderly conduct, which each carry a maximum sentence of 90 days in jail and/or a $700 fine plus two years probation. No court date has been set yet.
AWARDED Kirk Douglas, James Garner, and the recently deceased DeForest Kelley are three of this year’s Golden Boot Award recipients. The 17th Annual Golden Boot Awards, scheduled for an Aug. 7 ceremony, honor the best in Western films. This year’s gala will be dedicated to the late Gene Autry and will benefit the Motion Picture & Television Fund.
TOY STORY Thanks to Hasbro Inc.’s multimillion-dollar deal with George Lucas to sell ”Star Wars: Episode I — The Phantom Menace” toys, the company’s second-quarter earnings soared to $32.3 million, six times what it earned for last year’s second quarter, $5.5 million.
OBITUARY Movie-theater-chain entrepreneur Stan Durwood died Wednesday night at his Kansas City home. He was 78. Durwood, who was CEO of AMC Entertainment Inc., had suffered from esophageal cancer for many years. The K.C.-based AMC, which first opened two theaters in 1963, is now one of the nation’s largest-grossing theater chains, with 218 sites and 2,729 screens in 23 U.S. states, plus 5 overseas locations.