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Who's making deals in the week of Jan. 21, 2005

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MOVIES Deals? Who can think about deals? Brad and Jennifer broke up, for crying out loud! A candle has been snuffed. But let’s soldier on. Nick Stahl from Terminator 3 is set for A Cool Breeze on the Underground, adapted from the book series by Don Winslow. He’ll play a guy who, with help from a one-armed private investigator, learns how to be a PI himself, then journeys to London to save a U.S. senator’s daughter from ”punk junkies” and other perils…. Oscar winner Bill Condon, Chicago‘s screenwriter and Kinsey‘s writer-director, will next direct Dreamgirls, a movie adaptation of the ”absolutely electric” ’80s Broadway musical (a fictional gloss on the story of Diana Ross and the Supremes). ”The best musicals,” says Condon, ”are often backstage musicals, and Dreamgirls solved the problem of the backstage musical — which is that the story always has the rise to success and triumph in the first act and the inevitable decline in the second. But Dreamgirls has two heroes, and one of them, Effie, falls in the first act and rises in the second. So it was a brilliantly conceived show. I’m dying to do it.” He’s casting now and will begin filming in late summer. He promises a few new songs.

TELEVISION Young strangers are gonna be binge-drinking together for another five seasons on The Real World, which just got picked up by MTV in an unprecedented deal that will take it through 2008 and the 20th season. ”Because we change the city and cast every year, and we have an audience growing into our demo every year,” says cocreator Jon Murray, ”this show could literally go on forever.” So, what’s up with all the boozing? ”I think the job of our show is to reflect what’s going on with young people,” Murray contends. ”And it reflects what I’m seeing on college campuses — a lot of kids are drinking to excess.” Well, enough with the tough questions — ever consider swapping the pool table for Ping-Pong? ”Maybe if we go to China, we can do a Ping-Pong table,” Murray jokes. ”No, the pool table works. I don’t want to jinx us. Pool tables and hot tubs, I think, will remain a staple.”