Blonksy, Sheedy join ''Harold''
Plus: Drew Barrymore developing '80s music video competition show for VH1, auditions get underway for next season's ''Idol,'' E! pulls plug on ''The Simple Life,'' and more...
Blonsky, Sheedy tapped for Harold
Nikki Blonsky (Hairspray), Ally Sheedy, and Colin Quinn have joined the cast of teen comedy Harold. Blonsky will play Rhonda, the awkward best friend of balding teen Harold (Spencer Breslin), while Sheedy plays Maureen, Harold’s mother who helps her prematurely aging son cope with incessant teasing. Quinn portrays a drunken barfly who’s a regular at a strip club Harold frequents, and Cuba Gooding Jr., who is one of the movie’s producers, also appears as a school janitor who befriends Harold. Filming just got underway in Great Neck, N.Y., Blonsky’s hometown. The 18-year-old actress said she had no idea they would be filming there when she signed onto the project. It is Blonsky’s first role since she landed the starring role as Tracy Turnblad in musical feature Hairspray. Sheedy will next appear in the upcoming indie drama Day Zero. (Hollywood Reporter)
Barrymore developing VH1 ’80s competition show
Drew Barrymore is has been tapped to executive produce VH1’s Clash of the Music Videos, a music-video competition show. It is not yet clear if Barrymore will also appear in the show, which is set to debut in 2008. Strokes drummer Fabrizio Moretti will also produce. The show will give two contestants a set amount of money to remake a classic 1980s music video, with the stars of the original video serving as judges to select a winner. The series could expand into a franchise, eventually incorporating new genres. (Variety)
Auditions begin for next Idol
Thousands of hopefuls started lining up outside Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego at 3 a.m. on Monday (July 30) as auditions for the seventh season of American Idol began. Producers expected about 10,000 people to show up. Six more auditions will take place in coming weeks in Dallas, Omaha, NE, Atlanta, Charleston, SC, Miami, and Philadelphia. The show returns in January. (Hollywood Reporter)
E! pulls plug on Simple Life
E! Entertainment Television has said that this season of Paris Hilton/Nicole Richie’s The Simple Life, the series’ fifth, will be the last. The series finale will air Sunday (Aug. 5) at 10 p.m. The show debuted in 2003 on Fox, where it ran for three seasons before moving to E! last year. The show’s ratings are down 20 percent this year, averaging 843,000 total viewers through eight episodes, compared with 1.1 million for season 4’s 10 episodes. (Hollywood Reporter)
Underwood in ABC’s Money
Blair Underwood (The New Adventures of Old Christine, L.A. Law) has landed a recurring role on ABC’s upcoming drama Dirty Sexy Money as a wealthy nemesis to Tripp Darling (Donald Sutherland). The show is about an idealistic lawyer (Peter Krause) who goes to work for Darling, the patriarch of one of New York’s richest families. Underwood is in postproduction on his feature directorial debut, the indie The Bridge to Nowhere, which stars Danny Masterson, Bijou Phillips, and Ving Rhames. He will next be seen in HBO’s upcoming half-hour drama series In Treatment. (Hollywood Reporter)
Reynolds starring opposite Bullock in Proposal
Ryan Reynolds (Smokin’ Aces, Fireflies in the Garden) will star opposite Sandra Bullock in the romantic comedy The Proposal for Touchstone Pictures. The story is about a demanding female boss (Bullock) who makes a deal with her young male assistant (Reynolds) to agree to a sham engagement and marriage to avoid deportation to Canada. (Hollywood Reporter)
Franklin directing Snitch
Director Carl Franklin (Devil in a Blue Dress, Out of Time) has been tapped to helm Snitch, New Line Cinema’s thriller based on true events chronicled in a PBS Frontline documentary. The story is about a father, whose son faces 30 years in prison after being set up in a drug deal, who goes undercover in the drug world to clear his son’s name. Franklin will next direct an episode of HBO’s The Pacific. (Hollywood Reporter)
Screen Gems sets up three movies with Maxim
Screen Gems and Maxim magazine have teamed for three new features. Virginity Rocks, which has been set up with writer Melissa Carter (Talk of the Town), is about a transfer student who clings to her virginity and gets the school’s most promiscuous girls to abstain from sex. This prompts the boys to encourage the school stud to try to bed the new girl and end her ”virginity rocks” campaign. Also in development is Fired Up, a comedy Will Gluck (writer on The Loop) is writing and will direct, about two horny guys who attend a cheerleading camp, and Mardi Gras, a comedy about three college guys who head to New Orleans for a wild time. (Variety)
Daryl Hannah, John Schneider tapped for Hallmark movie
Daryl Hannah, John Schneider, and Armand Assante (Gotti) are starring in Hallmark Channel’s three-hour original movie Shark Swarm, about usually tame sharks that transform into man-eaters when a greedy corporate real estate developer (Assante) releases toxins into the water. Two local fishermen (one of whom played by Schneider) become aware of the toxic dumping and plot to stop it in order to save the town and its residents. Hannah will play Schneider’s wife. The movie, set to air in 2008 as part of Hallmark’s recently announced slate of 30 original movies, has already started production. (Hollywood Reporter)
Imax taking on Scorsese’s Rolling Stones documentary
Imax Corp. will do a super-size version of the upcoming Rolling Stones documentary, directed by Martin Scorsese. Imax’s digitally-remastered large-format version of Shine A Light, which captures the Stones in concert, will release on Sept. 21, the same day the movie releases to traditional theaters. (Hollywood Reporter)
Goldmans get Simpson book rights
A federal bankruptcy judge has awarded the rights to O.J. Simpson’s canceled If I Did It book to the family of the late Ronald Goldman to satisfy a $38 million wrongful death judgment against the former football star. (Hollywood Reporter)
People.com: Star Jones admits that she had gastric bypass surgery in the September issue of Glamour.
Rush & Molloy: Anne Hathaway broke down in tears at a restaurant in the Hamptons last weekend as she fought with her wealthy Italian boyfriend, Raffaello Follieri.
Ben Widdicombe: One-time American Idol co-host, Brian Dunkleman made jokes about wishing Ryan Seacrest had AIDS during a set at the Laugh Factory in West Hollywood.