How To Piss Off Steve Martin
In one easy step.
Bionic Woman and Journeyman are dead. E.R. has one season left, with a finale in late February.
As for new shows, Silverman has heavily hyped My Own Worst Enemy, the new Jekyll-and-Hyde show with Christian Slater. We had no idea Slater was this hot, but Silverman repeatedly compared casting him to earlier snarings of Steve Carell for The Office and America Ferrera for Ugly Betty. They chased Slater to London and Spokane! Once the network got him, it skipped the pilot and went straight to series.
Silverman cautioned that the schedule remains fluid, invoking—and mixing—sports metaphors: "We're constantly playing a three-dimensional chess game. …We obviously are going to need to be able to call audibles." (link)
March 28, 2008
Order in the court: Your Hollywoodland correspondent decided to take a firsthand look at the Pellicano trial on Thursday, arriving in the midst of seemingly endless testimony about how phone companies work.
Even Pellicano—balding, wearing unfashionable glasses and his prison-issue, olive-drab windbreaker—yawned as he watched the endless cross-examination. Seated along the defendant's row with Pellicano were accused co-conspirators from the phone company and the police department. The courtroom, with its high vaulted ceiling and rows of recessed lights, felt like a weird converted airplane hangar.
There was momentary hope that things might perk up when the phone company guy got off the stand and Freddie DeMann, former partner with Madonna in Maverick Records, stepped up. He testified about shelling out $135,000 for Pellicano to snoop on his son-in-law to establish whether he was cheating on DeMann's daughter. He admitted to listening to revealing taped phone conversations involving that son-in-law. The testimony was awkward but not devastating. One fact seemed worth noting: Others who admitted on the stand that they had listened to tapes that were allegedly made illegally have testified under a grant of immunity. But there was no mention of immunity during DeMann's testimony, and yet he hasn't been charged with anything.
Pellicano did not question him. The attorney representing ex-cop Mark Arneson tried to ask DeMann if he didn't think his daughter was better off after Dad got the dirt on her husband. The relevance of that as a legal defense was obscure; the judge sustained an objection, so DeMann didn't answer.
More pathetic was former phone company employee Teresa Wright, who wept copiously while she admitted that she conducted "hundreds" of unauthorized searches at the behest of Rayford Turner, an old friend and colleague who was sitting there in court down the row from Pellicano. She acknowledged tearfully that she, too, is awaiting sentencing.
This week's biggest drama involved an announcement in court on Tuesday that lawyer Bert Fields was planning to take the Fifth if called to testify. (Recall that Fields is the lawyer who hired Pellicano on behalf of many clients over many years, including Brad Grey and Michael Ovitz.)
Kim Masters is an NPR correspondent and the author of The Keys to the Kingdom: The Rise of Michael Eisner and the Fall of Everyone Else.
Photograph of Anthony Pellicano by Westley Hargrave/Splash News. Still from Valkyrie © 2007 Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios. Photograph of Steve Martin by Noel Vasquez/Getty Images.