The Insider

May 27, 2002  •  Post A Comment

Last call … till littlest ‘Girl’ is 21?
Among those trackside recently at Hollywood Park was the youngest of The WB’s “Gilmore Girls,” Alexis Bledel. She and a handful of companions shared a table and raised a few beer glasses at dollar-beer-and-dog night. Last time The Insider scanned a teen-mag profile of the model-turned-actress, she was not scheduled to turn 21 until mid-September, which would make Ms. Bledel old enough to indulge in all the hotdogs she wants, of course, but not quite old enough to be enjoying Bud or Bud Light, which was on tap at the track that night.
The Insider, as directed, dutifully e-mailed a description of the not-at-all-rowdy sighting and a request for comment or clarification to Ms. Bledel’s personal publicist. The Insider, who has a reputation as being a bit of a nag, is still waiting for a reply.
Whether this is a case of immature imbibing or misunderstood youth, it’s got all the ingredients for a Very Special Episode on “Gilmore Girls” next season. The Insider’s spy might be available to consult.
A trial balloon for Mr. Sorkin?
Meanwhile, The Insider wondered just what “The West Wing” creator and lone writer Aaron Sorkin meant when he told “Today’s” Katie Couric: “I’ve been writing the show now for three years, and my time will be over pretty soon and somebody else will come in and …“
Someone else will come in and what? The Insider doesn’t know, because Ms. Couric interrupted to say: “Really? You would be willing to hand your baby over to somebody else?”
Was the often-honored executive producer-not to mention soul, voice and essence of “Wing”-starting the negotiating clock early? (The show and Mr. Sorkin are only locked up through the 2002-03 season.) If he was, was his comment directed to NBC or to producer Warner Bros. Television? Was he merely looking for a little love? Or plain old “veg” time? Because this wasn’t the first time that Mr. Sorkin had expressed a sense that it might soon be time to step back from “Wing.” Multiple sources told The Insider he said the same thing to “Extra” but that the syndicated magazine didn’t include the comments in its recent piece.
At the studio and the network, The Insider’s questions were met with words to the effect of, “He’s not leaving the show.” Mr. Sorkin’s personal publicist said flatly: “No one loves their job more than Aaron Sorkin.”
Maybe. And there’s nothing “Wing” nuts can do if this is just a negotiating ploy. But on the chance that Mr. Sorkin is just asking for a little reflection of his industry’s affection, maybe a little extra consideration of Mr. Sorkin at the Emmy ballot box would be just the tonic. On the other hand, Mr. Sorkin did kill off the luscious Mark Harmon waaaaay too soon. So maybe a little coyness on our part is just the ticket to convince Mr. Sorkin to spend the summer plotting the resurrection of C.J.’s Secret Service agent. Or maybe an identical twin political adviser in complete sync with President Bartlet? Please. Pretty please. Instead of Ron Silver?
Art imitates Zucker’s life
Officially, Max Mutchnick and David Kohan’s newest comedy for NBC’s “Must See” Thursday night lineup is titled “Good Morning, Miami,” but everyone at NBC seems to refer to it as “The Story of Jeff Zucker’s Life.” Mr. Zucker, of course, is the pheeeenom news producer turned pheeeenom entertainment president who bought “Miami,” which just happens to be his hometown and just happens to be about a talented young producer (Mark Feuerstein) determined to dig a local morning news show out of last place.
“I would only hope that I could have inspired Max and David to come up with `Good Morning, Miami,’ but the details are quite different from my life,” Mr. Zucker said.
“I Led Two Lives” is the title The Insider feels is most applicable to this chapter of Mr. Zucker’s life, since his wife and two young kids remain based in New York and there’s a lot of commuting involved for all. “Business brings me back there quite a bit,” said Mr. Zucker, who happily noted, “My family is coming out full time next month for the summer.”
So long, farewell, auf wiedersehen and `hi’
The ice in the lemonade Tom Cruise handed Rosie O’Donnell at the end of her long talk show goodbye hadn’t even melted when it became clear that Ms. O’Donnell is not swearing off TV altogether. On “Good Morning America,” which devoted the better part of a half-hour to Ms. O’Donnell’s talk show bow later that morning, Ms. O’Donnell coyly suggested to Diane Sawyer that viewers might be able to look forward to, say, “Superkids” segments on a morning show much like, say, “GMA.” Of course, “Today” also has made its affection known, most recently with a segment in which Ms. O’Donnell talked about ending her talk show.
Indeed, The Insider hears that Ms. O’Donnell, who spotlights foster children in a “Superkids” feature in her eponymous magazine, has had discussions with multiple networks and her interest has, in the words of one network source, “gotten bigger than just the morning shows.” A spokeswoman for Ms. O’Donnell says only that Ms. O’Donnell is “exploring a lot of possibilities with several networks. She does have a magazine she’s actively involved with.”