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November 12, 1999

This week, bizbuzz is brought to you by:
and Billy Cardwell.

Sorry for such the short length this week, but most of HGNews is preparing to attend Exoticon. Be there and go to our panel to find out just how we're able to entertain you with such new content everyday

An attorney representing David Duchovny is charging that Fox-TV made "sweetheart deals" with its own Fx cable network that prevented Duchovny from receiving his contracted share of profits from the series. Peter Nelson told CNN Tuesday: "The problem began when the [financial] statements would arrive showing what the profits were on The X- Files, and to our surprise, after six years of the show being on the air as one of the most successful shows of all time, according to Fox, there were no profits, or virtually no profits." Ordinarily, producers make the lion's share of profits in syndication, but Nelson charges: "The biggest problem was that Fox never put the show on the market. Had Fox put the show on the market, we believe that the bidders would have bid the price up significantly." After investigating and auditing the records, we have discovered the the true reason there were no profits is because they had to move the entire production to LA so little Davey could be closer to his wife and Goliath.

Action, the best-reviewed new show of the fall season, is on the verge of cancellation due to low ratings, the New York Post reported. Yanked from Fox's schedule during the November sweeps, the show, starring Jay Mohr, is scheduled to return on Dec. 2. (Its lead-in will be the third episode of Greed.) But exec producer Chris Thompson told the Post , "We could be filming our last show here. It's extremely possible." Thompson indicated that prospects appear slim that Action will remain in action. "We all know what this is and we all know what the rules are and that the numbers dominate it," Thompson said. "This show isn't getting the numbers and I can't fault Fox -- they gave us a huge promotional push when we premiered. They paid their money and they took their chance." The people at fault are YOU! We've continually pushed this show and you keep watching Stark Raving "F'n" Mad? What the hell is wrong with you people? Get with the program!

Although the premise seems too preposterous to be true, USA Today claims that Fox is developing a two-hour live special to air during next February's sweeps in which 50 women will compete to marry a multimillionaire. The multimillionaire, yet to be named, would provide a list of attributes for his bride and the women would then compete in elimination rounds over who best fits the bill. Finally, USA Today says, "in a move that could be more stunning than any $1 million payoff, the special will conclude with the wedding of the winning woman and her multimillionaire." An unnamed executive of a rival network told the Post, "There are a lot of geeks worth millions who can't get a date to save their [heinie]. ... That's probably who they're going to get -- the kinda guy who's always got a finger up his nose and will be worth more money than you and I will ever see in our lives." And we sooooo didn't make that quote up either. Sorry, we can't top that till Harry Knowles get's his first million.

The Beverly Hills outlet of Christie's auction house is planning to put on the block next Thursday the Oscar that Herman J. Mankiewicz won in 1941 for his screenplay of Citizen Kane. The Los Angeles Times reported that the Oscar, consigned from the Mankiewicz family, is estimated to be worth between $200,000 and $300,000. Although nominated in nine categories, the Academy Award for best screenplay was the film's only prize at the ceremony. Early reports are that David E. "Balthayzr" Kelly is thinking of getting it because his wife, Michelle, is tired of just being probed with his Emmys

Stock car racing organization Nascar will that Fox and NBC will be its television rightsholders for the next six years at $400 million annually. The fee is four times what Nascar was receiving from its broadcast partners. Under the new deal, Fox Sports will air Nascar events from February to June on the Fox broadcast network and Fox Sports Net on cable. NBC will carry the summer and fall Nascar events, with Turner Broadcasting's TBS getting a cable window during the period. The new deal means current partners ABC, ESPN, CBS and TNN will no longer have Winston Cup and Busch National races after 2000. All that for a bunch of rednecks driving really fast in a circle. GOD BLESS AMERICA!

Columbia Pictures has acquired the feature rights to Marvel Comics' "Doctor Strange: Master of the Mystic Arts" and is fast-tracking the property as a potential live-action franchise. Don Murphy of Columbia-based Angry Films will produce. "Doctor Strange" is the second Marvel property Columbia is developing, joining the long-in-the-works "Spider-Man," which the studio obtained after a sticky legal battle that ended in March. As with all Marvel properties, don't expect to see Dr. Strange's powers till the last 15 mins of the last episode, which should also be the first.

Pop superstar Michael Jackson is about to play hard-drinking writer Edgar Allan Poe in a big-budget independent thriller, according to a report in a US newspaper. Industry journal The Hollywood Reporter claims the 41-year-old will take the title role in The Nightmare of Edgar Allan Poe, which will start shooting in Montreal late next year. This is truely the role he's been preparing his whole life for. Little did people know that all the facial work and the skin peeling and bleachings were so one day in the future, he could play a fey, white poet.

Many members of the Kennedy family had a hand in the production of Mary, Mother of Jesus, which airs Sunday night, the Los Angeles Times reported. The executive producers of the film include Eunice Shriver, a sister of John F. Kennedy, and Robert Jr., her son. Shriver told the newspaper that her daughter Maria, an NBC news correspondent, participated in writing the script as did Maria's husband, Arnold Schwarzenegger. Thanks to his learning experiece on the set of Batman and Robin, expect lots of puns with characters saying "Holy mother of God!" when seeing unusual things.

Analysts were expecting a big box office this weekend for Pokémon -- The First Movie which opened Wednesday. The film is timed to coincide with school Veterans Day holidays, which fall either today, Friday or Monday, depending upon the whims of school districts. Norman Grossfeld, who is credited as the producer and adaptation writer of the movie, told CNN that he expects parents will be accompanying their kids to see it. "I think that parents are desperate to try to get involved in the world that their kids are involved with nowadays with Pokémon," he said. According to reviews of the movie ,they are likely to be mystified by what is going on on screen. Nevertheless, Donna Friedman, a Kids WB exec, told CNN, "Part of why kids love this show so much is because it's something that they own, that it's a whole world that only they understand." That and the parents like to see the kids cry when Ash dies at the end.

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