Plus, news about Jay-Z, Whoopi Goldberg, Russell Crowe, Francis Ford Coppola, Rob Schneider, Candice Bergen, William H. Macy, Kiss, Tiffani Thiessen, and others
EMMY WATCH After postponing the show twice, first after the Sept. 11 attacks and second on the day the first strikes were launched against Afghanistan, CBS and the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences are expected to announce this morning that they have rescheduled the Emmy Awards for Sunday, Nov. 4. (Even that date, however, is problematic, since it might find the show airing opposite a Fox broadcast of the World Series final if the contest runs to seven games.) The venue this time is the Shubert Theatre in the Century City area of Los Angeles. Despite earlier reports, the show is still expected to air live, at least in the east.
The show also has a new producer, Gary Smith, since Don Mischer had to bow out because of his previous commitment to produce the opening and closing ceremonies for the upcoming Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City. Smith has produced several star-studded specials for CBS, including ”AFI’s 100 Years, 100 Thrills” and ”AFI’s 100 Years, 100 Laughs.” Of course, he also helped produce the notorious 1978 ”Star Wars Holiday Special,” a show so mind-bogglingly, unwatchably bad that George Lucas has banned it from circulation.
Many other Emmy details remain unconfirmed at press time, such as whether Ellen DeGeneres will still host, whether there will be any kind of red-carpet arrivals of presumably dressed-down celebrities, whether Walter Cronkite will still open the telecast with a speech that will lend the proceedings some gravitas, whether any part of the show will still originate from a satellite studio in Manhattan to accommodate the dozens of New York-based nominees who don’t feel like flying, or whether any of the tributes to New York rescue workers taped for the previously scheduled Oct. 7 broadcast will still be used.
One star who hopes they use his taped tribute to New York cops is TV cop Dennis Franz — because he’d rather not attend the show in person. ”It’s lost its appeal, and nobody’s heart is really in it,” the ”NYPD Blue” star said Monday. ”They’re fooling themselves if they think the majority of the participants want it to go on. I would just as soon we don’t have it. Let’s just move on.” (Easy for you to say, Dennis, you’ve already won four Emmys.) He noted that his prerecorded segment hasn’t been dated by recent events. ”That can be shown in its entirety. Other people also taped things, and they can be used without having our physical presence there.”
LEGAL BRIEF Jay-Z, who recently rapped the chorus ”not guilty, y’all got to feel me,” might have to rethink his lyrics after pleading guilty Wednesday morning to charges that he stabbed record executive Lance ”Un” Rivera back in Dec. 1999. Jay-Z had faced first and second degree felony assault charges in the case, but he entered a plea of guilty to only a misdemeanor charge of third-degree assault, according to a spokesperson for the Manhattan District Attorney’s office. Jay-Z’s expected sentence is three years probation, with sentencing set for Dec. 6. In better courtroom news for Jay-Z, an unrelated gun charge stemming from an April arrest was dismissed Tuesday. And in even better news, the rapper’s latest album, ”The Blueprint,” is holding steady at No. 2 on the Billboard album chart four weeks after its release.
TUBE TALK Like the Emmys, CBS’ new CIA drama ”The Agency” has been jinxed several times by recent news events. First, CBS had to pull the pilot episode, which revolved around an Osama bin Laden-linked bombing plot. CBS had scheduled a new premiere episode for last Thursday, but that got bumped by President Bush‘s press conference. Now, CBS has ultimately decided to yank that episode too because it deals with an anthrax scare. Instead, the show will premiere this Thursday with an episode about Americans taken hostage in Indonesia. That hasn’t happened yet in real life, has it?…