BREAKUP Meg Ryan has counter-filed for divorce from husband Dennis Quaid, according to Friday’s edition of Britain’s Express newspaper. Quaid filed in July amidst rumors of a tryst between Ryan and ”Proof of Life” costar Russell Crowe. Despite reports that the couple were back together again, the Express says Ryan filed her own suit at Los Angeles Superior Court, citing ”irreconcilable differences.”
WEDDING BELLS? Then again, the British papers aren’t exactly the most credible. Michael Douglas denied a report in Britain’s Sun tabloid that claimed he and fiancee Catherine Zeta-Jones are to wed in a Santa Barbara beachfront estate, according to Reuters. ”There’s not an ounce of truth about Michael and Catherine,” said Allen Burry, spokesman for Douglas’ production company Further Films. ”They are not getting married on the 30th. They are not getting married at this place. They don’t even know what it is.” Burry says the couple do intend to marry later this year but haven’t yet announced a date or location.
TUBE WATCH Cher is returning to television – as an executive producer. The pop queen has acquired the rights to a TV project called ”Style Challenge.” Based on an English show, the program features guests who receive makeovers from professional stylists. The series could be headed for the syndication route, according to Variety…. Chuck Lorre, the creator of ABC’s popular sitcom ”Dharma & Greg,” has inked a major deal with NBC to develop 13 episodes of a new romantic comedy. The new show, which the Peacock ordered at a pricey $850,000 per episode (about $200,000 more than usual for first-year shows), follows an LAPD bomb squad officer who falls in love with a movie star while they are both in rehab at the Betty Ford clinic. The untitled project could air as a midseason replacement for the 2000-2001 season, but it will likely be held over for the following fall.
CASTING Danny DeVito is in talks to star in the Warner Bros. Comedy ”Death to Smoochie,” a behind-the-scenes look at the ugly world of, you guessed it, children’s programming. According to the Hollywood Reporter, DeVito will play a Barney-like kids character, Smoochie the rhinoceros. Written by Adam Resnick (Nora Ephron’s upcoming ”Lucky Numbers”), ”Smoochie” is slated for a fall production start.
RADIO HEAD ”The Original Kings of Comedy” star Steve Harvey has signed on to host the coveted morning slot of L.A.’s hip-hop/R&B radio station, KKBT (100.3 ”The Beat”), starting Sept. 11. Harvey, who also stars in his own WB sitcom ”The Steve Harvey Show” and hosts the syndicated ”Showtime at the Apollo,” used to be a drive-time DJ in Dallas and Chicago. He replaces Ed Lover and Doctor Dre, who left KKBT when Radio One took control of it earlier this summer.
REEL DEAL Filmmaking duo Mark and Michael Polish have finished ”Jackpot,” their follow-up to the Sundance hit ”Twin Falls Idaho.” The second part of an intended trilogy, ”Jackpot” stars Jon Gries and Garrett Morris, both ”Idaho” alums. The drama is an adaptation of Lester Irving’s bio ”The Grand Tour,” with Gries portraying the singer and Morris playing his road manager. Supporting players include Alec Baldwin, Anthony Edwards, and Daryl Hannah.