Weather or Not: A hailstorm of post-Twister movie offers will not lure Helen Hunt away from her NBC sitcom, Mad About You. Come September, the 32-year-old actress will become one of the show’s producers and get ”more responsibility, more meetings with writers, and [more involvement] in hiring,” according to her spokesman. As for shooting a sequel, it turns out Hunt is not signed to do a follow-up to the blockbuster, which has made $169 million in its first four weeks. The same goes for costar Bill Paxton, who next appears in The Evening Star, though he sounds more open to the idea of another tornado tale. ”We could film it for a 1997 release,” he says, ”and call it Let’s Twist Again Like We Did Last Summer.”
Coming Up Rosie: Fledgling daytime-TV hostess and Kmart shopper Rosie O’Donnell vows that her new syndicated chat-fest will be unlike most others. ”I will not humiliate the guests and make them want to weep,” says O’Donnell, who just made her debut with George Clooney. ”Sure, if I get Lisa Marie, I’ll want to know about Michael Jackson, but first I’ll sit down with her and say, ‘How far do you want to go?”’ O’Donnell promises to ”not just read off the cue cards like a zombie” and ”to cry less than Kathie Lee. Does she weep every day now or what?” In the coming weeks, O’Donnell will try out her newfangled ways on Nathan Lane and Martin Short, but she’s still working on nailing a certain royal subject. ”I’d love to get Fergie,” says O’Donnell. ”I think we’d just dish.”
Instant Replay: Empower America codirector William Bennett, along with Democratic senators Joe Lieberman and Sam Nunn, and National Political Congress of Black Women chair C. DeLores Tucker, staged a Washington, D.C., press conference May 30 and played a familiar tune: ”obscene” rap and rock lyrics. After providing examples from such rappers as Bone Thugs-N-Harmony and Tupac Shakur, Bennett announced plans for a radio campaign and an 800 number for parents to lodge complaints against music labels distributing rap. The companies included Sony, BMG, and Time Warner, which sold its stake in rap-heavy Interscope Records after Bennett & Co. staged a similar protest last year, only to make the list again this year for distributing artists like Ol’ Dirty Bastard and Junior M.A.F.I.A. While a Bennett spokesman boasted that ”we spent hundreds of hours in the last year compiling the songs,” the complaints rang false to Hilary Rosen, head of the Recording Industry Association of America. In a statement, Rosen said the campaign was ”finding scapegoats instead of solutions” to the country’s youth problems.