Jeff Bridges, Courtney Love, and Brian Wilson made headlines this week

Director Martha Coolidge (Rambling Rose) has been chosen by producer Ray Stark to direct the screen version of the Neil Simon play Lost in Yonkers, for which Mercedes Ruehl will reprise her Tony award-winning role. Ruehl, by the way, is considered a major contender for an Oscar for her supporting role in The Fisher King.

In one of the faster remakes of a foreign film, Jeff Bridges, Kiefer Sutherland, and Nancy Travis will team up for Fox’s The Vanishing, an Americanization of the 1988 Dutch thriller about a young man’s search for his kidnapped girlfriend. George Sluizer, who made the original, will direct.

It has been almost 30 years since TV viewers got their kicks on Route 66, but next season may bring a new version of the early-’60s series about two young men and their Corvette. NBC asked Columbia Pictures TV for a couple of filmed scenes; Columbia brought the script to NBC Entertainment chief (and ’60s auto buff) Warren Littlefield in a vintage ‘Vette, circa 1962.

Madonna has apparently developed an interest in an L.A. thrash-rock coed group called Hole with a charismatic singer named Courtney Love. Although the Material One wants to sign Hole to her new label (tentatively called Maverick) at Time Warner, she faces competition from Geffen Records, whose Nirvana is fronted by Love’s fiancé, Kurt Cobain. A Hole spokeswoman, while acknowledging that Madonna’s label is in contention (”You know she’ll have clout at the record company”), says that Love feels ”the people at Geffen are like family.” Hole now has a deal with Caroline Records.

Cassette dubs of former Beach Boy Brian Wilson’s unreleased album, Sweet Insanity, are now making the rounds on the West Coast — and leaving those who hear it wondering why his label, Sire Records, flatly rejected it last year. Featuring a vocal cameo by Bob Dylan and a rap song sampling old Beach Boys hits, Sweet Insanity’s nonrelease may be a legend in the making: Though officially it doesn’t even exist, the album just tied for the No. 34 slot in California- based BAM magazine’s annual critics poll. Wilson, now released from his Sire contract, is preparing a new album with producer Don Was.

Cashing in on the exercise market, Buena Vista Home Video and Mattel will release Dance! Workout With Barbie, a 30-minute program for girls that features animation from California Raisins whiz Will Vinton. According to a Buena Vista spokeswoman, ”There’s nothing in there that’s going to be physically challenging to anyone.” Except of course to those who try to approximate Barbie’s shape.

Written by: Anne Thompson, Jeffrey Wells, Mark Harrris, Roy Trakin, Dave DiMartino, Nisid Hajari