NEWS ROUNDUP

ABC Greenlights Abrams Comedy Pilot

Plus: Adrien Brody, Sarah Polley cast in Vincenzo Natali's science fiction thriller ''Splice,'' Comedy Central not renewing Spade's ''Showbiz,'' Britney does not win back custody of her sons, and more...

J.J. Abrams
Image credit: Alexandra Wyman/WireImage.com
J.J. Abrams

Abrams, Grey's writer get ABC pilot
ABC has greenlit Boundaries, a one-hour comedy pilot from director/producer J.J. Abrams, to be written by Grey's Anatomy writer-producer Jill Soloway, who will also produce. The show is about a failing cable access psychologist who rediscovers her true purpose when she is forced to take a job as a mobile notary. It is the first major broadcast project to stem from Abrams' six-year deal, signed in 2006, between his Bad Robot and Warner Bros. TV. A previous pilot, medical drama The Anatomy of Hope, based on Jerome Groopman's book, went to HBO earlier this year. Abrams has worked extensively with ABC as executive producer of the series Lost, Alias, What About Brian, and Six Degrees. He is currently developing a new Star Trek movie for Paramount Pictures. Soloway, a former writer-producer for Six Feet Under, is working on ABC's Grey's Anatomy as a consulting producer. During her three-year stint on Six Feet, she earned three best drama series Emmy nominations as part of the show's producing team. (Hollywood Reporter)

Brody, Polley pair for science fiction Splice
Adrien Brody and Sarah Polley (The Secret Life of Words) will star in director Vincenzo Natali's (Nothing) science fiction thriller Splice. The story is about two young scientists (Polley and Brody) who ignore legal and ethical concerns and become superstars by splicing different animal DNA to create fantastical new creatures. The screenplay was written by Natali, Antoinette Terry Bryant, and Doug Taylor. Pan's Labyrinth director Guillermo del Toro will executive produce with Don Murphy and Susan Montford via their Angry Bulls production company. Steven Hoban of Copperheart Entertainment and Franck Chorot of Gaumont will also produce. Brody stars with Owen Wilson and Jason Schwartzman in The Darjeeling Limited. Polley just completed shooting on HBO's John Adams miniseries, and her drama Away From Her has just earned her a Directors Guild of Canada Award. (Hollywood Reporter)

Comedy Central not renewing Spade's Showbiz
Comedy Central will not renew its weekly series The Showbiz Show With David Spade for a fourth season. The show averaged about one million total viewers in each of its three seasons. It is being rumored that Comedy Central may replace Showbiz with David Allen Grier's Chocolate News, in which the comedian examines pop culture in a mock news-magazine format. Spade currently stars in the CBS comedy Rules of Engagement. (Variety)

Britney does not win back custody of her sons
A court on Wednesday (Oct. 3) granted Britney Spears visitation rights to her two sons but left custody with their father, Spears' ex-husband Kevin Federline. Spears was ordered to surrender custody of 2-year-old Sean Preston and 1-year-old Jayden James to Federline on Monday (Oct. 1) because she failed to apply for a driver's license and allegedly could not produce evidence that she complied with an order to take a drug and alcohol test. A temporary driver's license was issued to Spears late Tuesday (Oct. 2). A court spokesperson says that an order detailing visitation rights, which is likely to be issued today (Oct. 4), will grant Spears monitored visits every other day. Also on Wednesday, Spears' former bodyguard filed a child abuse referral with the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services and met with department representatives for nearly two hours. (AP via Yahoo!)

Murphy re-teaming with Norbit director for new comedy
Eddie Murphy and director Brian Robbins (Norbit) are in final negotiations to reunite for the DreamWorks comedy A Thousand Words. The story is about a man who finds out that he has only 1,000 words left to speak before he dies. Steve Koren (Click) wrote the screenplay. In addition to Norbit, Murphy and Robbins also worked together on the upcoming Starship Dave. Murphy is currently shooting the comedy Nowhereland for Paramount Pictures and has several projects in development, including a Fantasy Island movie adaptation for Columbia Pictures. (Variety)

Suspect arrested in Indiana Jones theft case
Los Angeles police have arrested a man in connection with the theft of a computer, scripts, and documents related to the upcoming Indiana Jones movie. Police set up a sting, posing as potential buyers of the items, and arrested the man on suspicion of receiving stolen property. The goods were advertised for sale through emails sent out to entertainment-gossip websites. Authorities are not releasing the man's name until the investigation is complete. Police say other parties are likely involved. (Hollywood Reporter)

Eduardo Rodriguez directing Fragile
Eduardo Rodriguez (Curandero) will direct the zombie horror movie Fragile for Rogue Pictures. Based on a Stephano Raffaele graphic novel, the story is about a recently undead soldier in a post-apocalyptic world who teams with a female zombie and a human teenager to find a cure for an airborne virus that has turned the earth's population into zombies. Meanwhile, the soldier's former military unit is hunting them down. Rodriguez is also attached to direct Open Grave for NALA Films. (Hollywood Reporter)

Family Guy sued over use of ''Wish Upon a Star''
The publishing company that owns rights to ''When You Wish Upon a Star'' is suing Fox and the producers of Family Guy over an episode that it claims parodies the song. The suit claims that ''I Need a Jew,'' sung by Peter Griffin in the episode ''When You Wish Upon a Weinstein,'' is a ''thinly veiled copy'' of the song. The episode was shot in 2000 but didn't air until 2003. Comedian Carol Burnett also filed suit this year when Family Guy lampooned her in an episode, but that lawsuit was dismissed. (Hollywood Reporter)

Filipinos upset with Desperate Housewives
A scene on Sunday's (Sept. 30) season premiere of Desperate Housewives, in which Teri Hatcher's character asks a doctor if she can check out his diplomas to ''make sure they aren't, like, from some med school in the Philippines,'' has prompted calls from angry viewers, an online petition demanding an apology, and criticism from the Philippine government. ''A statement that devalues Filipinos in health care is extremely unfounded, considering the overwhelming presence of Filipinos and Filipino Americans in the medical field,'' the petition read in part. As of Wednesday (Oct. 3), some 30,000 names were attached to the petition. ABC released a statement on Wednesday offering ''our sincere apologies for any offense caused by the brief reference in the season premiere. There was no intent to disparage the integrity of any aspect of the medical community in the Philippines.'' (Variety)

Cavemen grabs decent ratings
ABC's new comedy Cavemen debuted on Tuesday (Oct. 2) night, attracting 9 million viewers and a 3.3 share/10 rating in the adults 18-49 demographic, tying NCIS (15.5 million, 3.3/10) in that demo, but beating it in adults 18-34 as well as men 18-34 and men 18-49. (Hollywood Reporter)

Isaac Hanson hospitalized
Hanson guitarist Isaac Hanson, 26, was hospitalized after a show in Dallas on Wednesday (Oct. 3) night after complaining of severe chest and shoulder pain. He was diagnosed with a pulmonary embolism, which occurs when a blood clot in the extremities breaks away and travels to the lungs. A spokesperson says he is undergoing treatment at Baylor University Hospital in Dallas and will be re-evaluated. As a result, Hanson has canceled tonight's show in Tulsa, OK. (AP via Yahoo!)

CELEBRITY NEWS

AP via Yahoo!: Former Survivor contestant Jonny Fairplay filed a police report Wednesday (Oct. 3), alleging that Danny Bonaduce threw him and knocked out his teeth during the Fox Reality Really Channel awards. Police are investigating the incident.

Page Six: Denise Richards included a series of nasty emails she alleges Charlie Sheen sent her in documents she filed in L.A. Superior Court in the couple's custody battle. In them, Sheen hurls insults at Richards and tells her to ''go cry to your bald mom'' — Richards' mother is undergoing chemotherapy treatments for cancer.

Originally posted Oct 04, 2007