February 28, 2005 12:00 AM
Desperate to See Whom in Bra and Panties?
That's Felicity Huffman putting her hand over Marc Cherry's mouth. He's the creator and exec producer of ABC's red-hot hit "Desperate Housewives," on which Ms. Huffman plays Lynette Scavo. They were among the featured panelists in a recent tribute to the show at the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences in North Hollywood, Calif. Ms. Huffman was asked by emcee Leeza Gibbons about Ms. Huffman's comment that it was nice to be the "least sexy" of the housewives. "Yeah, that's me," said Ms. Huffman, who is married to actor William H. Macy. That brought a quick retort from Marcia Cross, who said, "That's not true." Then Eva Longoria piped up: "Not true. She's going to be in panties and bra soon." Which caused Ms. Huffman to exclaim, "Oh, God," and Mr. Cherry to ask the audience: "Do you want her to have a nude scene?" That brought applause, cheers and Ms. Huffman's hand over his mouth as she addressed the audience: "I have to take a poll as well. Would you like to see Marc in bra and panties?" That brought laughter. She added: "I'll do it when he does it." Mr. Cherry cut in: "See, the difference here ..." Ms. Huffman cut in: "Is that I work for him." That made Mr. Cherry smile and say: "Yeah, there you go." --ALEX BEN BLOCK
Now that the Golden Globe and Academy Awards are behind us, get ready for the Actors Hall of Fame, which wants to raise the bar for how performers' skills are recognized. A nonprofit based in New York, its mission is to honor actors and their craft in a more substantial way, said founder and Chairman Rusty Citron, a showbiz vet who has been a studio exec, producer and marketer. Mr. Citron recognizes this may be an odd time to launch more kudocasts. "Award shows' ratings," he acknowledged, "are not on the high end of the bell curve." But he wants to combat that trend. Mr. Citron hopes to televise annual induction ceremonies and develop a reality show and other series and specials around the concept. The first group of honorees, announced last year, included legends such as Fred Astaire, Lillian Gish and acting coach Constantine Stanislavski. The 2005 inductees, to be announced later this year, will be more contemporary. --CHARLEY DANIELS
"The Simpsons" writer Don Payne drew big laughs at the 57th Annual Writers Guild Awards in Hollywood, where he was honored for the episode "Fraudcast News," about a media mogul who uses his control over a powerful news outlet to promote his right-wing agenda. It was an obvious reference to Rupert Murdoch, the chairman of News Corp., which controls Fox Broadcasting, which airs "The Simpsons." Mr. Payne then added: "I want to thank Rupert Murdoch for not having me killed." That made us Blink, so we called for reaction. "`The Simpsons' writers and creators have often had fun at the expense of their corporate masters," responded Mr. Murdoch's spokesman. "As long as it makes good, entertaining television, it's never been a problem." He noted Mr. Murdoch voiced an episode in 1999 in which he referred to himself as a "billionaire tyrant." Mr. Murdoch's participation, the spokesman added, "shows the spirit in which he takes the show." --ALEX BEN BLOCK