REEL DEAL Warner Bros. has tapped director Chris Columbus (''Stepmom,'' ''Mrs. Doubtfire'') to make ''Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone,'' the first film adaptation of J.K. Rowling's best-selling children's series. Columbus was picked after Steven Spielberg pulled out to make the unfinished Stanley Kubrick project ''A.I.'' But not everyone is thrilled the auteur that brought us ''Bicentennial Man'' is going to take on ''Potter''; just check out Ty Burr's Hot Topic today.
LEGAL BRIEF Jason Priestley, of ''Beverly Hills, 90210'' fame, pleaded no contest yesterday to a misdemeanor charge of drunk driving, which resulted from a traffic accident in Hollywood, Calif., last December in which a passenger was injured. Priestley, 30, was sentenced to five days in jail, according to Reuters. The actor, who was arrested Dec. 3 after crashing his Porsche into trash cans and a parked car, was also ordered to serve three years' probation AND to enter an alcohol treatment program.
TUBE WATCH Oscar winner Geena Davis has signed on to star in an ABC sitcom called ''Lost and Found.'' The comedy follows Davis (who will reportedly earn up to $200,000 per episode) as a thirtysomething working woman who falls for a widower with kids. ABC has committed to 22 episodes of the Touchstone-produced series, which is expected to debut this fall.... ''That '70s Show'' is showing its producers, Carsey-Werner, the money. TV stations in 17 top 20 markets have snagged syndication rights for the series, which is in its second season at Fox. The teen comedy will earn approximately $3 million per episode, about the same price paid for reruns of ''Frasier.'' Not bad for a two-year-old sitcom with a 20-year-old couch in the basement.... Why pay to see the upcoming ''Charlie's Angels'' remake when you can see three multiculti babes kickin' butt on UPN for free? The pilot for the new show ''I Spike'' -- in which Daisy Fuentes (MTV's ''House of Style), Lisa Rinna (''Melrose Place''), and model Marika Dominczyk star as undercover FBI agents posing as pro volleyball players -- is shooting today.
PROTEST ROUNDUP At least one person is furious at Hilary Swank's Oscar acceptance speech: JoAnn Brandon, mother of Teena Brandon -- the subject of ''Boys Don't Cry.'' According to an AP story, Swank's reference to Ms. Brandon's daughter as Brandon Teena, ''set her off.'' ''She should not stand up there and thank my child. I get tired of people taking credit for what they don't know,'' Ms. Brandon said. Ms. Brandon also criticized ''Boys'' director Kimberly Peirce for not explaining that Teena was molested by a man when she was a child: ''She pretended she was a man so no other man could touch her,'' she said.... The National Alliance for the Mentally Ill (NAMI) has a big problem with ABC's new show ''Wonderland.'' Just two days before the hour-long series premieres, the group issued a statement criticizing the show for portraying the mentally ill as ''killer, crazies, and freaks.'' According to Variety, NAMI director Laurie Flynn wrote a letter to ''Wonderland'' producer Peter Berg saying ''Imagine if the first network television series that featured African-American characters had been set in a welfare office.'' That's right; let's use ''Wonderland'''s time slot to curl up with a video of ''One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest.''
BLOCKBUSTER ''The Sixth Sense'' has officially entered the top 10 movies of all time in box office returns. With $290.3 million (and climbing), the Oscar-nominated thriller bumped ''The Empire Strikes Back'' on Monday to cement its place in blockbuster history.
WEDDING Publicists have confirmed that ''American Beauty'' and ''American Pie'' star Mena Suvari, 21, married her boyfriend, cinematographer (''The Cable Guy,'' ''Encino Man'') Robert Brinkmann, 38. The couple wed two weeks ago in Northern California.