Plus, David E. Kelley proposes another night of 'Ally McBeal,' and Andy Dick is arrested on drug possession charges
SNEAK PEEK Warner Bros. is unveiling a longer look at Stanley Kubrick’s top-secret ”Eyes Wide Shut.” While there’s still no full-length trailer of the Tom Cruise/Nicole Kidman film available, the studio will air a 60-second ad with scenes from the movie during ”ER”’s season finale on Thursday.
RECYCLING David E. Kelley has made a cost-effective suggestion to Fox: He has proposed creating additional weekly half-hour episodes of ”Ally McBeal” by cutting up repeats and mixing them with unused footage from the regular hour-long episodes. These half shows would air Tuesdays, the night after ”Ally”’s regular slot. Fox hasn’t decided yet, but economically it could make sense because not only is it a lot cheaper than producing original 30-minute programming, but when it comes time for syndication, half-hour sitcoms always make more money than one-hour dramas.
IN TROUBLE Andy Dick sure took the cancellation of ”NewsRadio” hard. He was arrested on Saturday and charged with drunk driving and drug possession after he crashed his car into a utility pole in Los Angeles, then took off from the scene of the accident on foot. Police say he was holding cocaine and marijuana at the time, and he was later released on $10,000 bail, to return for a court appearance on May 25…. DMX was reportedly arrested last week in Yonkers, New York, after allegedly assaulting a man he says attacked the rapper’s wife, according to the New York Post. After the arrest, police discovered DMX had an outstanding warrant in Denver on a stabbing charge. He was released from the New York court after posting his bail of $105,000 and promising that he was heading off to Colorado to deal with his problems there.
CASTING Gillian Anderson will star in ”The House of Mirth,” a very non-”X-File”y film based on the Edith Wharton novel about a 19th-century socialite who struggles between marrying for money or happiness. Eric Stoltz, Laura Linney, and — go figure — Dan Aykroyd costar…. Nicole Kidman will headline ”The Others,” a Gothic tale of a mother who becomes separated from her children. Alejandro Amenabar (”Open Your Eyes”) will make his English-language directorial debut…. Nick Nolte will play a corrupt senator who blackmails a security guard at a casino (Emily Watson) in ”Trixie”…. In ”One Night at McCool’s,” Liv Tyler stars as a seductress who sets out to destroy many men’s lives in a single evening. Michael Douglas plays an assassin, who has just one of the hearts snapped by Tyler.
FALL SCHEDULE NBC is betting on dramas next season: Out of seven of the new shows it’s debuting next September, only two are comedies. The network is counting on its past hit-makers to keep it on top. Two of the one-hour dramas — the cop-and-doctor ”Third Watch” and the White House-based ”West Wing” — are by ”ER” executive producer John Wells, and Dick Wolf has developed a spin-off of ”Law & Order” called ”Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.” To help make room for the new shows, NBC has added ”Caroline in the City” to its casualty list…. The WB has also decided that dramas are the way to go. It is reportedly axing its sitcoms ”Smart Guy,” ”The Wayans Bros.,” ”Unhappily Ever After,” and ”Sister, Sister” to make way for five new hour-long shows. Following on the success of ”Dawson’s Creek,” most of the new series are teen-based. The title of one says it all: ”Popular”…. And ABC is also cleaning house. According to Variety, it has axed its TGIF sitcoms ”Two of a Kind” and ”Brother’s Keeper.” The network will bring back two midseason successes, ”It’s like, you know…” and ”The Norm Show,” next year, and will introduce new dramas by David E. Kelley and ”Dawson’s Creek” creator Kevin Williamson.
REEL DEAL Peter Berg (”Chicago Hope”), who made his directorial debut with last year’s audacious ”Very Bad Things,” will continue pushing the taste envelope in his next trip behind the camera for ”Say It Isn’t So.” In this comedy, a man falls in love with the woman whom he thinks is ”the one,” but later becomes convinced she’s also his sister. The Farrelly Brothers — who know something about envelope-pushing — will produce.