Plus, Miss America: the reality/game show version, the star-studded ''Seagull'' may move to Broadway, and more

By Gary Susman
August 17, 2001 at 04:00 AM EDT
Carson Daly: Lisa O'Connor/ZUMA Press

TUBE TALK Most of Carson Daly‘s fans may be young enough to have early bedtimes, but that isn’t stopping NBC from hiring him to host ”Later,” the talk show that will return to its post-”Late Night with Conan O’Brien” slot at 12:30 a.m. early next year. The gig is part of a three-year deal Daly signed with NBC that will allow him to appear on a variety of programs. (Daly will keep his MTV gigs as host of ”Total Request Live” and two syndicated radio shows.) ”We’re happy to add another Carson to our long line of late-night hosts,” said NBC Entertainment president Jeff Zucker. For you ”TRL” fans, that’s a reference to Kit Carson, the 19th-century explorer who hosted ”The Tonight Show” before Jay Leno….

”Jackass” may not be dead yet, despite Johnny Knoxville‘s statements that he wants to quit making the MTV series. ”There’s still ongoing discussions about new episodes of ‘Jackass’ with the original players as they are,” an MTV spokeswoman said….

Anne Robinson isn’t hosting next month’s Miss America Pageant, but the venerable beauty contest is taking a page from shows like ”Weakest Link.” Pageant president Robert M. Renneisen Jr. boasts that the contest has been ”providing viewers with high-stakes reality television since its broadcast debut in 1954.” Among the innovations: those contestants not among the 10 semifinalists will be allowed to vote for who they think should win. The five finalists will be quizzed on current events. Also, in what may be a nod to ”Survivor,” the swimsuit competition has been renamed the ”lifestyle and fitness” competition, featuring video footage of the contestants performing outdoor feats like ”ATV riding or bungee jumping,” Renneisen says. It’s not clear whether the finalists will have to start fires or eat rats, or whether ”And second runner-up is…” will be replaced with ”The tribe has spoken.” The pageant airs September 22 on ABC….

MGM and Showtime failed to make a deal for a sixth season of ”Stargate: SG-1,” but the series will continue on the Sci Fi Channel, which has commissioned 22 new episodes of the Richard Dean Anderson show….

Spontaneity helped ABC win the week’s Nielsen ratings, as improv comic Wayne Brady‘s new series, original episodes of ”Who Wants to Be a Millionaire,” and the AFC-NFC Hall of Fame football boosted the network’s numbers. Three new ”Millionaire” contests were the week’s top shows, with the Sunday program drawing 13.5 million viewers. The two-fer debut of ”The Wayne Brady Show” saw the ”Whose Line Is It Anyway?” comic pulling a healthy 9.8 million viewers for his first half-hour and 11 million in his second. ABC averaged 8.2 million viewers for the week, followed by NBC (7.5 million), CBS (7.4 million), Fox (5.3 million), UPN (3.1 million), and the WB (2.6 million).

BOUNCING CHEKHOV Tickets to see ”The Seagull” at the Delacorte Theater in New York’s Central Park are free, but they’re even harder to get than tickets to ”The Producers” on Broadway. With an all-star cast — including Meryl Streep (returning to the New York stage for the first time in 20 years), Kevin Kline, Christopher Walken, Natalie Portman, Marcia Gay Harden, John Goodman, and Philip Seymour Hoffman — it’s no wonder that people are waiting in line for 15 hours each day for the handful of tickets made available only hours before each night’s performance. Now, however, there’s talk of the Mike Nichols-directed play moving to Broadway’s Lyceum Theater for an eight-week run in November; though those tickets could top out at $100, at least playgoers wouldn’t have to camp out overnight in the park to get them. ”There is definite interest and discussions are going on, but nothing is set at this point,” says a production spokeswoman about a possible move to Broadway. Of course, it’s doubtful that the entire cast could make the move; Harden stars in this fall’s TV series ”The Education of Max Bickford,” and Harvard student Portman is due back in class.

REEL DEALS Taylor Hackford (”Proof of Life”) will direct ”Unchain My Heart: The Ray Charles Story” this fall. No word yet on who will play the soul genius in the biopic….

”American Pie 2”’s Thomas Ian Nicholas, Jessica Biel (”7th Heaven”), and Kip Pardue (”Driven”) are in talks to join the cast of ”The Rules of Attraction,” the adaptation of Bret Easton Ellis‘ novel of a romantic triangle at a 1980s college. James Van Der Beek and Shannyn Sossamon (”A Knight’s Tale”) are starring. Director Roger Avary (”Killing Zoe”) is set to start production later this week in Los Angeles.

Ellis tells the New York Post that other adaptations are in the works as well, including his modeling spoof ”Glamorama,” which will also star Pardue and be written and directed by Michael Tolkin (”The Player”). Plus, Lions Gate is going ahead with a sequel to last year’s ”American Psycho,” which will star Mila Kunis (”That ’70s Show”) and William Shatner. Ellis says the studio’s decision to make ”American Psycho 2: The Girl Who Wouldn’t Die” came as a result of Avary’s unwillingness to add a ”Psycho”-like serial killer to ”Rules of Attraction.” ”I’ve even heard tha they were thinking about doing ‘American Psycho in L.A.,’ ‘American Psycho in Las Vegas,’ and making a whole franchise out of it,” Ellis says. ”If they’re not careful they could end up with something like ‘The Pink Panther’ movies.”

”Kill Bill,” Quentin Tarantino‘s long-awaited ”Jackie Brown” follow-up, may not be dead after all. The kung fu revenge drama had supposedly been derailed by the pregnancy of Uma Thurman, Tarantino’s pick to star, but apparently, he’s been able to delay the start date until January, after Thurman gives birth. (It’ll be the second child for Thurman and husband Ethan Hawke.) Meanwhile, Warren Beatty, who’d have a supporting role in the film as a pimp, denies reports that he had impatiently urged Tarantino to replace Thurman with Winona Ryder or Gwyneth Paltrow….

Once you’ve transformed a girl from a teen geek into a princess, can you give her a second makeover? Disney hopes so, since it’s tapped ”The Princess Diaries” screenwriter Gina Wendkos to write a sequel to the current G-rated hit. Star Anne Hathaway has a sequel option written into her contract, but it’s not clear if Julie Andrews, Heather Matarazzo, and director Garry Marshall would return….

Now that ”American Pie 2” has proved that raunchy, R-rated sex comedies can succeed at the box office, Playboy Enterprises is throwing its bunny ears into the ring with a plan to make ”Pie”-type comedies for theatrical release that will capitalize on the Playboy brand name. Unlike the low-budget, softcore, made-for-cable fare Playboy usually produces, these movies will have Hollywood-sized budgets ($25 million) and be rated R or even PG-13. Two works in development are titled ”A Night at the Playboy Mansion” and ”Playmate of the Year.” The projects mark Playboy’s first venture into theatrical features since it produced Roman Polanski‘s controversial adaptation of ”Macbeth” 30 years ago.

CHICK PICKS How do you find a husband if you’re one of the Dixie Chicks? Go to your bandmate’s wedding. Natalie Maines met her future husband, actor Adrian Pasdar, at Emily Erwin‘s 1999 wedding to singer Charlie Robinson. Now, the Nashville Tennessean reports, Chick Martie Seidel is engaged to Irish college professor Gareth MaGuire, Maines’ brother-in-law, whom Seidel met at Maines’ wedding.

HEALTH WATCH Jean-Paul Belmondo is recovering from the stroke he suffered last week and has been taken out of intensive care, according to doctors at Paris’ St. Joseph’s Hospital. It’s not clear when the 68-year-old French film icon will be well enough to be released.

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