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Archive for Thursday, April 23, 2009

People in the news

April 23, 2009

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‘Project Runway’ to air Aug. 20 on Lifetime

Los Angeles — “Project Runway” finally has a date to reunite with fans after sewing up its legal battle: The show’s sixth season will start Aug. 20.

Lifetime, the new cable TV home for the designer-competition series, announced the season premiere along with a new companion series, “Models of the Runway.”

“Project Runway,” hosted by model Heidi Klum and once part of the Bravo channel lineup, had been trapped in lawsuit limbo. It was the subject of a dispute involving NBC Universal, which owns Bravo, the Weinstein Co. and the Lifetime channel.

The dispute began last April when NBC Universal sued Weinstein after the production company made a reported $150 million deal with Lifetime for “Runway.”

In a settlement announced earlier this month, NBC Universal said it would be paid by Weinstein for the right to move it to Lifetime.

‘Millionaire,’ Regis return to nights on ABC

New York — ABC is reviving “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire” this summer, complete with host Regis Philbin.

A decade after “Millionaire” became a smash hit, it will return to prime time as an 11-night event, says ABC. It premieres Aug. 9, concluding Aug. 23.

The quiz show burst on the U.S. scene in August 1999. Philbin coined an instant catch phrase by asking his contestants, “Is that your final answer?”

Ratings slid when ABC aired the show too often, and it was canceled as a series in 2002. But renewed interest has been signaled by “Slumdog Millionaire,” this year’s Oscar-winning drama about a young contestant on a version of the show in India.

A syndicated daytime version has aired in the U.S. since 2002, with Meredith Vieira as host.

MTV preparing to film Montag, Pratt nuptials

Los Angeles — Will they or won’t they — again?

Heidi Montag and Spencer Pratt, the reality-TV couple whose on-again, off-again relationship has been chronicled by MTV’s “The Hills,” weren’t present at a panel celebrating the series Tuesday night because they’re preparing for their Saturday wedding, the show’s executive producers told the crowd at the William S. Paley Television Festival.

“It’s a big gigantic event that takes the two of them to pull off,” said Adam DiVello.

“And a white dress,” added Liz Gateley.

DiVello said the show’s crew was preparing to film the event. It won’t be the first time that Montag, 22, and Pratt, 25, have attempted to tie the knot on camera. The pair appeared before a deputy commissioner at a Beverly Hills courthouse last December — but didn’t say “I do” — after acknowledging their Nov. 19 marriage ceremony in Mexico was only symbolic.

Other tidbits uncovered during the panel: Crew members said they often make deals with the paparazzi so they can film the show in peace, and producers said they’re in negotiations for another season.

Farrow sets 21-day limit on Darfur fast

New York — Mia Farrow is so determined to embark on a potentially dangerous hunger strike, not even her doctor can talk her out of it.

The 64-year-old actress and humanitarian plans to begin fasting on Monday, and she has set a limit of 21 days — or until her health worsens. Farrow, who will drink water only, says she approached her doctor for advice, asserting, “Please don’t even try to talk me out of this.”

Farrow’s hunger strike is a show of solidarity with the people of Darfur. She was inspired to do it after the Sudanese government expelled international aid agencies from the country last month.

Farrow says her doctor will be on call. In preparation, she’s taking vitamins and eating fruits and vegetables, and she’s gained 9 pounds.

“I’m just an actress,” Farrow said Wednesday by phone from her home in rural Connecticut. “I’m not presuming anybody will care whether I starve to death or whether I go on a long hunger strike or what. But it’s a personal matter. I can’t be among those that watch — and I honestly couldn’t think of anything else to do. ...

“I’m going to spend time with each of my children between now and Monday and try to, you know, really alleviate whatever worries they might have or concerns. ... I’m still a parent and I don’t want to die.”

Aykroyd visits New Orleans project site

New Orleans — Add Dan Aykroyd’s name to the list of celebrities helping New Orleans rebuild neighborhoods devastated by Hurricane Katrina.

The actor on Wednesday toured an area where developers plan to build homes for police officers, firefighters and other “first responders” on 21 storm-battered properties in the Gentilly neighborhood. Aykroyd has lent his time and money to the Blue Line Foundation, one of the project’s developers.

The “Saturday Night Live” alumnus and star of “The Blues Brothers” said building affordable homes for public safety workers is key to New Orleans’ recovery.

Katrina hit the Gulf Coast in August 2005, breaching the New Orleans levees and devastating much of the city.

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