By Gregory Kirschling
Updated November 05, 2004 at 05:00 AM EST

TELEVISION Pop quiz, hotshot. Dennis Hopper is on the phone — what do you do,what do you do? Ask him about his new sitcom! Believe it or not, he’ll play, he says, ”a liberal guy who has a 2-year-old baby and moves in with his very conservative son-in-law and daughter, who have no children.” The pilot shoots in March. The easy rider’s never done a sitcom — and Hopper, who ”started out in theater when I was a kid,” is a little put off by the live-studio-full-of-people sort of thing. ”The idea of an audience is always a distraction,” he insists to the Deal Report, who totally feels like Keanu Reeves in Speed right now, whoa. ”When the drunk walks in during the middle of your performance, which I guess doesn’t happen on TV, you have to react to it one way or the other. People laughing at your jokes — I guess it’s stimulating to some, but to me it’s just a nuisance. Hopefully it’s not anything that’s gonna get in the way of the performance.” Is he daunted at all by the dire state of sitcoms? ”I just know,” he laughs, ”that I’m not doing reality TV.”… Last we saw Chris Noth on Law & Order — which was last night, if you’re counting reruns, but let’s not — it was in the 1998 L&O TV movie Exiled, where he was trying to work his way back to Manhattan after being banished (or, okay, exiled) to Staten Island for punching out that politician in front of a TV crew. Now Mr. Big’s in final talks to appear in up to three more L&O movies as Det. Mike Logan, the hunky cop and very first Jerry Orbach other half. It’s unclear whether the movies will air on NBC, TNT, USA, or what — but clearly there will be no escaping them!

MOVIES The star of The Motorcycle Diaries + the director of Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind = one with-it movie! Gael Garcàa Bernal is on for The Science of Sleep, the new hush-hush feature project from helmer Michel Gondry…. And Catherine Hardwicke, director of the edgy Thirteen and the upcoming skateboard flick Lords of Dogtown, will follow these up, naturally, with Vivaldi, a Brian Grazer-produced biopic of the 18th-century Four Seasons composer. Bravissimo!