Oct 4, 2004  •  Post A Comment


Melissa Etheridge and Salma Hayek will star in two separate shows for ABC. Ms. Etheridge will play a lesbian rocker-turned-music teacher in a comedy pilot for 20th Century Fox Television and Brad Grey Television. Linda Wallem is writing the script and will serve as executive producer along with Ms. Etheridge and Brad Grey. Ms. Hayek will star in the American version of the hit Spanish-language telenovela “Betty La Fea,” the story of a homely fashion industry secretary who falls in love with her handsome boss. Ms. Hayek’s Ventanarosa Productions will produce the hour-long American version of “Betty” along with Ben Silverman, who owns the rights to the Colombian production. The pilot will be written by Kerry Ehrin. … Joely Richardson will star in a Lifetime original movie, “Lies My Mother Told Me.” The telefilm is inspired by the true story of a con artist, played by Ms. Richardson, who spends her life running from the law with a daughter in tow. “Lies My Mother Told Me” will premiere in 2005. … Vivica A. Fox and Mos Def will host the first “VH1 Hip Hop Honors.” The special will salute groundbreaking acts such as DJ Kool Herc, DJ Hollywood, KRS-One, Public Enemy, Rock Steady Crew, Run DMC, the Sugarhill Gang, Tupac Shakur and the Graffiti Movement. The show will air Oct. 12 on VH1. … Fitness guru Jake Steinfeld and Lions Gate Television are working together on a television series in conjunction with the release of Mr. Steinfeld’s upcoming book, “I’ve Seen a Lot of Famous People Naked and They’ve Got Nothing on You!” The series, tentatively called “Be the Boss,” will solicit aspiring entrepreneurs and challenge them to present, test, defend and market their product or business ideas. … Jamie Foxx will host “Genius: A Night for Ray Charles” on CBS. The all-star tribute to Ray Charles includes appearances from Quincy Jones and Bruce Willis and musical performances by Reba McEntire, Norah Jones, Kenny Chesney, Al Green and Stevie Wonder. The special will air Oct. 22 at 10 p.m. (ET) on CBS. … Jonathan Togo joins the cast of CBS drama series “CSI: Miami” beginning Oct. 11. Mr. Togo will play a police officer working toward a master’s degree in genetics. “CSI: Miami” is produced by CBS Productions and Alliance Atlantis Communications in association with Jerry Bruckheimer Productions. … John Larroquette is set to appear in Hallmark Channel’s “McBride.” The telefilm is the first of three original movies in the Hallmark Channel Mystery Movie franchise scheduled to debut in January 2005. Robert Halmi Jr., Larry Levinson and Dean Hargrove are executive producers. … Kimberly Williams-Paisley and Annabella Sciorra will star in Lifetime’s original movie “Identity Theft: The Michelle Brown Story.” The telefilm is inspired by the true story of one woman’s attempt to regain her stolen identity. “Identity Theft” is scheduled to debut in November on Lifetime.


Chris Keyser and Amy Lippman are developing an hour-long drama for Showtime. Mr. Keyser and Ms. Lippman will create, executive produce and write the untitled pilot. Shawn Levy will direct. … Producer McG is setting up an hour-long pilot for The WB. The project, described as a romantic dramedy, is from Warner Bros. TV and McG’s studio-based Wonderland Sound and Vision. Jeremy Miller and Dan Cohn will write the script and executive produce with McG.


Beth Klein has been named senior VP of talent and casting for Showtime Networks. Ms. Klein will oversee casting for Showtime’s series and movies and for the Showtime Independent Films division. Ms. Klein will report to Robert Greenblatt, president of entertainment for Showtime Networks. … Nina Howie and Jodie Platt have been promoted to VPs of the comedy series department for Touchstone Television. Ms. Howie and Ms. Platt both will be responsible for overseeing new comedy development and current series. Ms. Howie has been responsible for shows including “Hope & Faith,” “My Wife and Kids” and “Life With Bonnie.” Ms. Platt has worked on shows including “According to Jim,” “8 Simple Rules” and “The Geena Davis Show.”

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