Bacon joins Frost/Nixon adaptation
Kevin Bacon has joined the movie adaptation of Peter Morgan’s hit Broadway play Frost/Nixon, which Ron Howard is directing for Universal and Working Title Films. The play is based on a series of TV interviews between David Frost and former President Richard Nixon in 1977. The final interview ended with Nixon basically admitting his guilt in the Watergate scandal. Frank Langella and Michael Sheen are reprising their Broadway roles as Nixon and Frost, respectively, and Bacon will play Nixon’s chief of staff Jack Brennan. Also on board are Sam Rockwell, Toby Jones, and Matthew Macfadyen. Shooting is scheduled to begin this summer. Bacon next stars in the drama Death Sentence, which 20th Century Fox is set to release in August, as well as in Alison Eastwood’s Rails and Ties, for Warner Independent Pictures. (Hollywood Reporter)
Carrey tapped for Phillip Morris
Jim Carrey will star in the dark comedy I Love You Phillip Morris as Steven Russell, a married conman whose love for a cellmate leads him to make several prison escapes once the object of his affection is released. The movie was written by Glenn Ficarra and John Requa, the writing team behind Bad Santa. They will also make their directorial debut on the movie. The fact-based story is based on a book by Houston Chronicle crime reporter Steve McVicker. Carrey presumably agreed to less than his typical salary to be part of the movie, which is working on a less-than-$20 million budget. The shooting schedule is unknown as Carrey, like many stars, is trying to pack in back-to-back films that he can complete before the SAG contract expires next summer. (Variety)
Pirates 2 wins top MTV Movie Award
The MTV Movie Awards named Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest best movie and its star, Johnny Depp, the best actor. Sacha Baron Cohen, star of Borat, won best comedic performance as well as best kiss for his smooch with Will Ferrell in Talladega Nights. Cohen and Ferrell shared a kiss (followed by an on-the-floor makeout session) as they accepted their awards. Transformers, due July 3, was named the best as-yet-unseen summer film by MTV viewers, who chose winners in all categories by voting via phone, text message, and the Internet. The show also featured host Sarah Silverman making a crude joke regarding Paris Hilton’s jail sentence (Hilton checked into jail late Sunday) with the socialite/heiress sitting in attendance. (Variety)
USA nabs strong ratings for Starter Wife
USA’s two-hour Thursday night premiere of its new miniseries The Starter Wife, which stars Debra Messing (Will & Grace), attracted 5.4 million viewers and came in second in the 18-54 demographic, trailing only CBS. It was USA’s strongest original series launch in 18-49 in three years. USA spent a record $20 million marketing the series. The network plans to air four one-hour weekly episodes on Thursday night, at which point it can decide whether to take the show to a regular series. (Variety)
The View scored during May Sweeps
ABC’s daytime talkshow The View had its best May Sweeps ever this year, scoring a 1.6 rating/12 share and an average audience of 1 million women 18-49. The show featured the biggest blow-up yet this May between co-hosts Rosie O’Donnell and Elisabeth Hasselbeck. O’Donnell, who had already announced she would leave the show at the end of June, decided to exit early after a particularly heated on-air argument with Hasselbeck two weeks ago. (Hollywood Reporter)
Big Love star joins indie comedy
Ginnifer Goodwin, who stars on the HBO series Big Love, has joined Matthew Perry, Hilary Swank, and Ben Foster in the cast of the indie comedy Laws of Motion. The story is about a husband (Perry) struggling with his career and enduring headaches caused by his free-spirited brother (Foster) and sister (Goodwin). Swank will play a supporting role as Perry’s all-too-perfect neighbor. Shooting is underway. In addition to Big Love, Goodwin also appeared in Walk the Line and Mona Lisa Smile. (Hollywood Reporter)
O’Brien adapting comedic novel for New Line
Writer Jane O’Brien (The Simpsons) has been tapped to adapt Elieen Cook’s comedic novel In the Stars into a movie that JC Spink, Mason Novick, and Chris Bender are producing for New Line. The story is about a woman who poses as a psychic to give her ex-boyfriend’s new girlfriend a fake reading designed to break them up. The readings prove accurate and the woman finds herself caught up in rising stardom and needs to figure out where the answers to her own life questions lie. O’Brien (sister to Conan O’Brien) also wrote Love Sucks, which Sam Weisman is producing and is attached to direct. (Hollywood Reporter)
ABC orders gameshow Wanna Bet?
ABC has given the green light to new gameshow series Wanna Bet?, ordering six episodes for broadcast during the 2007-08 season. The show, which will begin production in the next few weeks, has contestants gambling on whether they can perform certain stunts. (Variety)
IN THE GOSSIPS
People.com: Paris Hilton reported to jail late Sunday night to serve at least 23 days of her 45-day sentence for violating probation.
Page Six: The self-proclaimed ”white Oprah,” Dina Lohan (Lindsay’s mother), is reportedly on the brink of finally getting her own TV show: Mom-ager, for E!, in which she’ll try to turn her youngest children, Ali, 14, and Cody, 11, into stars.
Ben Widdicombe: After a well-served Vince Vaughn was switched to water by a bartender at about 2 a.m., he was spotted leaving an L.A. hotspot with a ”pretty” brunette in a black dress.