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Hollywood Notes

Apr 15, 2002  •  Post A Comment

Bush administration into `The West Wing’
A special episode of NBC’s “The West Wing” featuring interviews with real-life White House counterparts will include participation by the Bush administration. Although it was not announced by NBC last week, “West Wing” producer Llewellyn Wells confirmed that Bush administration Senior Advisor Karl Rove agreed to be taped for an interview last month in Washington, D.C. “The West Wing’s” docudrama special, directed by Bill Coultouris and airing 9 p.m. to 10 p.m. (ET) Wednesday, April 24, will feature a mix of scenes in which the series’ fictional characters will be balanced by the reflections of past White House officials. Contrary to a previous Internet story on DrudgeReport.com, suggesting that Mr. Sorkin was “bitter” over reportedly being rebuffed for requests of access to the White House, Mr. Wells said the show had only requested the participation of senior Bush administration officials-not President Bush himself, as once reported as well. “I’m not able to say or guess who made the decision on Karl joining us [for the interview], but we were very pleased over his participation,” Mr. Wells said.
Weitz named Endeavor partner
Richard Weitz, head of the Endeavor talent agency’s TV literary department for the past five years, has been named a partner in the agency. Mr. Weitz’s elevation marks the first time a partner has risen through the ranks of the 7-year-old agency. A spokesman said Mr. Weitz’s making partner was in the works for some time and is unrelated to the previously announced departure of co-founding partner Marty Adelstein, who left to form Original, a production partnership with filmmaker Neal Moritz.
`Trial by Fire’ slated for 2003 launch
NBC Enterprises and Court TV will co-produce “Trial by Fire,” a one-hour syndicated strip targeted for a 2003 launch. The series will be hosted by Court TV anchor Nancy Grace. “Trial,” to be distributed by NBC Enterprises Domestic Syndication, will be taped in front of a studio audience and will employ Court TV library footage to revisit famous cases.
`She Spies’ getting prime premiere
NBC Enterprises and MGM Worldwide Television have signed Natasha Henstridge to play the lead agent in their upcoming syndicated action hour “She Spies” (formerly known as “B.A.I.T.”). The studios also confirmed that the series will have a four-episode summer prime-time run on NBC prior to its syndicated launch. Under the terms of an NBC/MGM production and distribution agreement for the show, MGM will produce 20 episodes of the series and will also handle its U.S. distribution, which already includes the country’s NBC-owned stations as well as most Hearst-Argyle stations, covering more than 50 percent of the country.
Donners’ Co. producing game show
Stone Stanley Entertainment has reached an agreement with “Lethal Weapon” director and producer Richard Donner and his company, The Donners’ Co., for upcoming game show “The Real Deal” (working title). The series is designed to be a fast-paced comedy game show that gives people the “real deal” on the origin of pop culture phrases, urban legends, traditions and superstitions. The show features contestants vying for thousands of dollars as they figure out such things as where popular phrases like “three sheets to the wind” originated or where well-known names such as Godzilla and `N Sync came from.
Short takes
ABC yanked “The Court,” starring Sally Field, after just three episodes. Starting April 16, it will be replaced in its 10 p.m. (ET) time slot by previous occupant “Philly.” … UPN will air the season finale of “Roswell” at 9 p.m. (ET) Tuesday, May 14. Through 15 airings this season, the series has been averaging a 1.4 rating/3 share in adults 18 to 49, according to Nielsen Media Research national data. … The WB will keep its “Flix From the Frog” movie showcase, which started last Sunday night (7 p.m. to 9 p.m. ET), in place through the remainder of the 2001-02 season, with titles including “The Mummy” and “Stepmom.”