Entertainment news for January 22, 1993
Madonna, Janice Pennington, and Barney made headlines this week
CASTING: Director Penelope Spheeris (Wayne’s World) still hasn’t found all the Clampetts she needs for her Beverly Hillbillies movie, based on the 1960s CBS series. So far Cloris Leachman will play Granny, Erika Eleniak (Under Siege) will take a turn as Elly May, and Rob Schneider (SNL, Home Alone 2) and Lea Thompson (Back to the Future) will star as the villain and his love interest. That leaves father Jed, cousin Jethro, banker Mr. Drysdale, and Miss Hathaway to be signed. ”I was the first one to be cast a couple of months ago,” says Leachman, ”and it’s been very lonely since then.”…
RECOVERING: Longtime Price Is Right hostess Janice Pennington, 50, is suing CBS — again. This time, it’s for injuries sustained when, according to her complaint, she was ”carelessly struck by scenery, sets, curtains, doors and rigging, and other television equipment.” Or, as her lawyer, Larry Feldman, says, a door dropped on her neck during a commercial break. Last year Pennington won a $1.3 million judgment against the show after a Price camera hit her and broke her collarbone….
BORROWING: Popular children’s hero Barney the Dinosaur has learned a real-life moral lesson: Don’t take something that’s not yours. Lee Bernstein, a Schererville, Ind., dry-cleaning-store owner, says she’s the one who wrote Barney & Friends‘ anthem, ”I Love You” (”I love you/You love me/We’re a happy family ”). ”I was recovering from foot surgery when I heard my song coming from the TV,” she says. ”I thought I was dreaming.” Proving she published the lyrics a decade ago in a teacher’s songbook called Piggyback Songs, Bernstein was ”graciously compensated” out of court by Barney‘s producers. Speculation is that a child may have sung the words to a producer, who inadvertently adopted them. A spokeswoman for the producers says, ”We’ve reached a very friendly settlement.”…
BOMBING: Could it be time for the Material Girl to get some new material? At a screening for her new thriller, Body of Evidence, Madonna welcomed viewers by declining to introduce herself ”unless some of you don’t recognize me with my clothes on.” After polite but unenthusiastic titters from the 1,000 or so attendees, she left, the movie started, and the gloves came off. Not only was Body hissed at the end, but even the applause was rude: The biggest cheers came when Madonna’s character was told, ”You have an inflated opinion of yourself.”
— Sharon Isaak, with reporting by Rebecca Ascher-Walsh, Pat Broeske, Cindy Pearlman, Mark Harris