Jennifer Connelly in ''Earth Stood Still''
Plus: ABC postpones ''Cashmere Mafia'' premiere because of strike, MSNBC talking to Rosie O'Donnell about new talk show, ''Shield'' creator Shawn Ryan won't cross writers' picket lines, and more...
Connelly joins Reeves in Earth
Jennifer Connelly will star opposite Keanu Reeves in 20th Century Fox’s feature remake of Robert Wise’s 1951 sci fi movie The Day the Earth Stood Still. Kathy Bates is also in negotiations to star. Scott Derrickson (The Exorcism of Emily Rose) will direct from a David Scarpa (The Last Castle) script. The story is about an alien who comes to Earth carrying a message for all humans: Live in peace or be destroyed. Connelly is set to portray Helen Benson, the scientist who first encounters the alien, named Klaatu (Reeves). Patricia Neal played Helen in the 1951 original. Production is scheduled to start next month. Connelly is currently in theaters in Tony George’s Reservation Road. (Hollywood Reporter)
Strike causes ABC to hold Cashmere Mafia
ABC has canceled its planned premiere later this month of new drama series Cashmere Mafia due to the WGA strike. Cashmere, which stars Lucy Liu, Frances O’Connor, Miranda Otto, and Bonnie Somerville as successful, driven women in New York City, was set to debut at 10 p.m. on Nov. 27, behind the finale of Dancing With the Stars, before moving to its regular spot at 9 p.m. Tuesdays. ABC has opted to hold the show in case it needs more scripted programming later in the season. Instead, the network will bump the two-hour Dancing With the Stars finale to 9 p.m. on Nov. 27 and air specials in the Tuesday 9 p.m. slot. (Variety)
MSNBC talking with Rosie O’Donnell about new show
MSNBC is in talks with Rosie O’Donnell about a new, primetime talk show that would air at 9 p.m. weeknights, between Keith Olbermann’s Countdown and documentaries. That slot would have her up against CNN’s Larry King and Fox News’ Hannity & Colmes. Neither of MSNBC’s two most recent 9 p.m. shows, Live With Dan Abrams and Scarborough Country, have been able to compete in the slot. An O’Donnell show would focus on current events, and its premiere would coincide with the upcoming presidential election. There is no deal yet in place and neither NBC nor O’Donnell’s reps will comment. O’Donnell left daytime talk show The View last spring after a stormy stint that lasted less than a year. (Variety)
Shield creator refuses to cross picket line
In an email that made the rounds through Hollywood on Monday (Nov. 5), Shawn Ryan, showrunner on The Shield, stated that he would not cross the picket line for any of his shows, not even to perform his non-writing duties. ”I obviously will not write on my shows. But I also will not edit, I will not cast, I will not look at location photos, I will not get on the phone with the network and studio, I will not prep directors, I will not review mixes,” Ryan wrote. ”I can’t in good conscience fight these bastards with one hand, while operating an Avid with the other. I am on strike and I am not working for them. PERIOD.” Similarly, The Office stars B.J. Novak and Mindy Kaling, who also double as writers, did not cross the picket line on Monday to shoot episodes that were written before the strike started. Though showrunners and actors are required under their contracts to fulfill their non-writing duties during the strike, most insiders say it’s unlikely that networks and studios would go after hyphenates who stand by the striking writers’ union. (Variety)
Big Love‘s Tripplehorn joins Grey Gardens movie
Jeanne Tripplehorn (Big Love) will play Jackie Kennedy Onassis in HBO Films’ Grey Gardens, which tells the true story of two eccentric members of the Kennedy clan. The story was already adapted into a Tony Award-winning Broadway musical. Jessica Lange and Drew Barrymore already have been cast as Big Edie and Little Edie, the aunt and cousin of Onassis who made headlines when the health department threatened to raid their vermin-infested 28-room East Hampton, NY mansion. Also joining the cast are Daniel Baldwin, who plays Julius Krug, the former secretary of the interior and secret true love of Little Edie; Ken Howard (Cane), who plays Big Edie’s husband; Malcolm Gets (Caroline in the City), cast as Big Edie’s accompanist; and Arye Gross (The Practice), who portrays Albert Maysles, the filmmaker who co-made the 1975 documentary the film takes its inspiration from. Shooting is underway. (Hollywood Reporter)
WE launching high school documentary series
WE tv is launching High School Confidential, a new documentary series that aims to gives viewers an in-depth look into the lives of 14 diverse adolescent girls through their four years of high school. The storylines will revolve around themes like self-image, sexuality, risk and experimentation, complex family dynamics, and religion. Creator/executive producer Sharon Liese came up with the idea as her own teenage daughter started class at a 1,200-student high school in suburban Kansas. The show will premiere in March. (Hollywood Reporter)
Fox Reality orders second season of Academy
Fox Reality Channel has ordered a second season if its unscripted series The Academy with shooting slated to start this month for a May premiere. The first season featured the grueling 18-week training process that recruits endure to become a Los Angeles County Deputy Sheriff. Season two will go behind the scenes as the LACDS trains another class of recruits. (Hollywood Reporter)
AP via Yahoo!: A photographer has filed a lawsuit seeking unspecified damages against Keanu Reeves, accusing the actor of hitting him with his Porsche on March 19. The suit, filed in Los Angeles Superior Court, alleges that Brazilian photographer Alison Silva suffered shock and serious injuries.