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Don't Get Anything in Your Eye

August 8, 2005 12:00 AM

To prepare for his role as Col. Tom Parker in the CBS miniseries "Elvis," Randy Quaid worked with a dialect coach to perfect Col. Parker's combination Dutch-Southern accent and immersed himself in biographies of the man who held sway over Elvis Presley's career. "They had a very complex relationship, almost like [Elvis] made a deal with the devil," Mr. Quaid said. "It was father-son and love-hate." His efforts paid off with Mr. Quaid's third Emmy nomination, for best supporting actor in a miniseries or movie. The Emmy nom is his first since 1987's "LBJ: The Early Years"; he was also nominated for 1984's "A Streetcar Named Desire." Mr. Quaid is one of Hollywood's busiest actors. He has upcoming roles in three feature films and the CBS disaster miniseries "Stage 7: End of the World," scheduled to air in November, which is a sequel to last year's "Stage 6: Day of Destruction." He said he's had fun making big disaster epics. Even though they involve a lot of standing around and pretending against a blue screen, he said, "It's something you can't improvise" because of the exacting special effects. "You have to talk to the director a lot," he said. Then, "They turn the fans on and you hope you don't get anything in your eye." -NATALIE FINN



Brand Extenders

E! Entertainment Television has been revamping many of its offerings. Now it is also moving into brand spinoffs for the retail market. The network is introducing four show "extensions" this month: "The E! True Hollywood Story Book" and a bonus DVD, an "E! True Hollywood Story" daily calendar with celebrity facts, the "101 Reasons Why the '90s Ruled" book and a DVD celebrity trivia game called Pop-a-razzi. The products are based on the network's signature shows, "The E! True Hollywood Story" and its "101 Entertainment Countdown Series." E! is working on its next installment of merchandise for the holiday season and also intends to develop Style network-branded consumer products. "We really hope there is a drive and desire for people to have fun along with us outside of watching the shows," said Stephen Earley, VP of marketing solutions at E! Networks. And if you want to know why the 1990s ruled, according to E! the answer is "Seinfeld." -DAISY WHITNEY





Adopting Investors

Public television stations have always relied on financial support from viewers, but Boston's WGBH-TV is taking its search for viewer support to the next level. The station has launched the Web site adoptionfilm.org in the hopes of getting funds for a proposed documentary with the working title "Adoption: American Revolution." WGBH has secured partial funding for "Adoption" but has to have additional funding in place by the end of 2005, which prompted the Web site and a call to all interested viewers to "invest" in the project. Blink isn't sure what the tangible return on the investment will be for viewers, but the satisfaction of helping fund a documentary that looks at the impact of adoption in America is surely priceless. -CHRISTOPHER LISOTTA