Last week production on the biopic was suspended after Bette Midler had to pull out on doctors' orders. Now it's been reported that her replacement is none other than 'The Queen' star, Helen Mirren.
Mirren will play Linda Kenney Baden, a defense attorney who represented disgraced music producer Phil Spector during his first trial for murdering Lana Clarkson.
Production was suspended Tuesday after she failed to turn up for filming, and Deadline reports that Midler had to pull out on doctors' orders after suffering a herniated disc.
David Mamet told the crew that HBO and the insurance company were looking at recasting the part, which has since been confirmed by the cable network.
Mamet wrote the film, which is being exec-produced by 'Rain Man' director Barry Levinson.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the legendary actress will play Linda Kenney Baden, a defense attorney for Spector during his first murder trial. Midler's last scripted TV role was in her sitcom, 'Bette,' in 2000.
'Arrested Development' star Jeffrey Tambor has also joined the cast as Bruce Cutler, a member of Spector's defense team. Al Pacino will play Spector.
Spector was convicted of second-degree murder after prosecutors argued that the record producer shot Lana Clarkson in 2003.
In other TV news ...
• From 'Bitches' to 'Belles' to 'B'? ABC's new soap starring Leslie Bibb, Annie Potts and Kristin Chenoweth has gone through three name changes before even hitting air. Originally filmed as 'Good Christian Bitches,' the show was announced to the public as 'Good Christian Belles' and will now go by 'G.C.B.' [Variety]
• HBO is launching a new reality series starring Freddie Roach. The new series will focus on boxing legend Roach and his Wildcard Boxing Club in Hollywood. Peter Berg will direct and executive produce the series. [HBO]
• Actress Phyllis Avery has died. Avery starred in 'Meet Mr. McNulty' (later retitled 'The Ray Milland Show'), 'Rawhide' and 'Perry Mason.' She was 88. [THR]
Midler and a few friends wrote a song for him ("You Made Me Watch You", a rework of 'You Made Me Love You'), part of which she performed on his desk. It was "a real tribute to him, because we all loved him and wanted to give him a good send-off." Fallon joked that he'd watched the episode "150,000 times" and called it "one of the greatest things I've ever seen ... You were funny but also touching."
British boxer David Haye is the current WBA World Heavyweight Champion. He's fought 26 times and won 25 fights, including 23 knockouts. And during his time on the talk show, he managed to knock Bette Midler right out of her chair. David entered into a lengthy discussion of his pre-fight routine, with includes altering his diet ... and his sexual habits.
"You can have sex, but you can't ... 'unload'" Haye told host Graham Norton. It was at this point in the discussion that Ms. Milder simply couldn't take it anymore. She put her hand to her forehand, pretended to faint -- and collapsed to the side, falling off the couch.
According to RadarOnline, an MTV attorney in Indianapolis was served with a subpoena requesting footage from 'Teen Mom' that depicts "all or potentially all physically violent encounters between Amber Portwood and Gary Shirley, in addition to any raw footage of the reunion shows in [which] Portwood and Shirley discuss any such violent encounters on the show 'Teen Mom,' either aired or unaired."
Mitch Carroll, spokesman for the police department in Portwood and Shirley's town of Anderson, Ind., told Radar that "MTV sent all the material ahead of time and once the subpoena was issued they said we could have access to the records."
In other TV news ...
• Production on 'The Biggest Loser' was halted Monay due to a labor dispute. Union representatives allegedly showed up on set and led a crew walkout. Production has still not resumed. [Deadline]
• Yet another scandal has rocked the U.K. version of Simon Cowell's 'X-Factor.' Fans are upset that one judge abstained from voting in this weekend's installment, which forced a fan favorite out of the competition. The judge's vote would've resulted in a tie, which means the fan vote would've determined who stayed. [Guardian]
• 'Battlestar Galactica' showrunner Ron Moore is planning an "ambitious" Coast Guard drama with NBC. The new action-adventure series follows the men and women aboard The McCulloch. [The Hollywood Reporter]
"When do you throw out your socks?" asked host Tom Papa. Mandel replied, "I'll be honest with you, I'll wear them [only] once or twice."
He continued, "I wash my money ... I put all the money in the pockets, and then [my wife] puts the pants into the laundry, and then she gives me the money that's been laundered."
Who knew the term "money laundering" could actually be taken literally?
More casting news after the jump.
So is this interview going to run anywhere or is this just for your personal collection?
It's going to run on TVSquad, AOL's TV blog.
You know what? I have an exciting announcement. By the way, I'm looking at it myself, I knew, but it was officially announced today. I am hosting the Shmemmys this year. Now if you recall, two years ago when I won a Creative Arts Emmy, I got in a little trouble for telling Jesus to suck it. And now, two years later, when The D-List has its highest ratings ever, they want me to host. And that is what I love about Hollywood.
Griffin has now won two Emmys for the D-List, had a string of popular stand-up specials on Bravo, and her comedy album For Your Consideration, was nominated for a Grammy this year (she lost to George Carlin's It's Bad For Ya). And this season features appearances by Paris Hilton, Rosie O'Donnell, T.I., Bette Midler, Lily Tomlin, and Christina Aguilera - quite a cast for someone supposedly fighting obscurity. Plus, her book Official Book Club Selection: A Memoir According to Kathy Griffin, hits stores in September on Ballantine Books.
Jack Paar, who took over the reins from Steve Allen in '57, put the show on the map, with big-name guests and outspoken antics. Johnny Carson, who stepped in when Paar left, made the show appointment viewing for millions of fans and became one of the most beloved TV hosts of all time.
Now, with Jay Leno's last 'Tonight Show' airing Fri., May 29, and Conan O'Brien taking the desk while Leno makes the unprecedented move to prime time, to a 10 PM slot in the fall, we look back and count down the top 20 moments of 'The Tonight Show.'
Movie actors are a unique bunch of characters in Hollywood. Adept at script memorization, method acting, and being snobby little princesses (the males included), they are somewhat limited in their performance venues. They can switch pretty easily and thrive in theater productions because most of them began their acting lives on the stage in front of adoring audiences. Decades ago they could also do radio pretty easily; most likely because they could read right from the script and no one listening would know any different.
Television? Well, that's a whole different loaf a bread! For some reason, big-named movie stars with their Oscars and Golden Globes just tank when they decide to jump to the small screen. Their failures could be due to the show they've decided to star in, who they play on the show, or the fact that they are catering to a different audience than film-goers. Whatever the reason, some of Hollywood's most famous film stars had some famously big television flops. Here are but a few of them to digest.
Simon Cowell probably remembers, but, apparently, he's as bored as the rest of us. In a TVGuide.com story, he says of Season 7, "I was a little bored ... I think [last season] the talent was great, and the ratings were great, I just think it could be more interesting and controversial."
That's why he plans to mix it up a little come January 2009, when he'll be taking a larger role in the show, perhaps compensating for executive producer Nigel Lythgoe stepping back to focus on his other show, So You Think You Can Dance.
Simon's not saying how he'll shake things up, but I have a few ideas:
Currently, Bette's encamped at Caesar's Palace doing The Showgirl Must Go On. Talking about state of today's divas and referred to The Buggles song "Video Killed the Radio Star" to take a broad shot as MTV. No, she wasn't turning all prudish and complaining about the morality of MTV. No way.
Why, on YouTube, of course! In fact, Katie has her very own page on the leading video sharing site, where she posts extended Evening News interviews and behind-the-scene footage. The behind-the-scenes stuff is where you see Katie at her most impish, doing things like snapping Larry King's suspenders as he leads her to the set of his show, singing with Bette Midler, and meeting with mommy bloggers in her office (check out the huge Warhol-esque portrait of herself she has hanging near her desk!).
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