Where is Floyd Abrams when you need him? Anyone who'sseen consumer ads for FX's Bobcat's Big Ass Show might be thrown for aloop. Many newspapers -- including the New York Times and Los Angeles Times-- and other venues have censored the title to read simply Bobcat's Big Show.Regisand Kathie Lee wouldn't use the "A" word and Bobcat Goldthwait gave them apiece of his mind. But is FX ready to hire Abrams, the famed First Amendment attorney?No. "We can be as outrageous as we want on our own air. We are sensitive to outletswe put ads on," said an FX spokeswoman. Interestingly, none of the trade papersexcised the naughty word. FX has picked up the show and will go into production this weekfor another 40 episodes.
It's tough to turn Jerry Seinfeld speechless, but someof the nation's "top" entertainment writers did just that at lastweek's press conference in New York to promote his HBO special last Sunday. A wirecorrespondent witnessed a panoply of dumb questions. One person asked, "Are you stilleligible for unemployment?" Others tried to be oh so clever: "Do you thinkyou'll be 'master of your own domain' on Broadway?" (We'relaughing out loud.) Another asked if Seinfeld was going to give back the proceeds from theHBO concert -- funds earmarked for New York's public schools. Then there was,"What surprises do you have for Sunday's show?" (Seinfeld's response:"I'd like to list all the surprises, so there are no surprises.") And thewire's favorite: "What do you think about your shows in syndication?"
Some think that if Time Warner vice president Ted Turnerdidn't exist, someone like writer Damon Runyon would have invented him. Well atleast, the Denver Press Club does. The ink-stained scribblers have selected the CNNfounder to receive its sixth annual Damon Runyon award, named for the nearby Pueblo,Colo., native and given to a media member whose career reflects the work of that Guysand Dolls playwright. The organization said the mogul has agreed to accept thehonor next April. There's no truth to the rumor he will have to sing Luck Be aLady Tonight or mimic Nathan Detroit to get the prize.
Any Day Now, a drama soon to debut on Lifetime,demonstrates two Hollywood adages: never give up, and don't create enemies -- younever know whom you'll need to work with in the future. The series was a firm go forCBS eight years ago after it was pitched by executive producers Nancy Miller and DeborahJoy Levine. They proposed the series as a half-hour drama about an interracial childhoodfriendship in the 1960s South. CBS ordered six episodes but then the deal was scuttled bythe president of the production company, Orion Television. The executive argued the marketwas too soft for dramas and the series was unlikely to find its way to the moneymakingsyndication market. An executive at Lifetime remembered the pilot this year and sought outMiller to redevelop the series as an hour. Something else is different about the project,too. The co-exec producer now is Gary A. Randall. He's familiar to Miller. He wasthe Orion president who spiked the series back in 1990.
By Linda Haugsted, from bureau reports.
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