April 26, 2001

Entertainment News

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Down and Out

Robert Downey Jr.’s drug addiction has gone one hit too far — he has been fired from TV’s Ally McBeal.

On Tuesday, Culver City police found Downey in an alleyway, where he was taken into custody when officers suspected him of being under the influence of a stimulant, according to MSNBC.com.

After his arrest, Downey’s parole officer sent him to a detoxification center for at least 72 hours, to be followed by a six month stay in a live-in drug treatment center.

Only hours after his bust, Downey, 36, was ousted from his much lauded stint on Ally McBeal, playing Calista Flockhart’s love interest. As a result, Ally writers are frantically reworking the season’s final shows to account for the unexpected departure of Downey.

The Golden Globe winning actor has had drug problems in the past, but his current run-in with the law may have the most substantial impact on his future career plans. This arrest is his second since his release from jail last November.

Transfer of Power

When a TV series is cancelled, it’s usually not a big deal. But when a series jumps from one network to another, it’s a significant event for the television industry.

Starting next season, the popular series Buffy the Vampire Slayer will leave the WB for the UPN, according to E! Online. The reason for the separation? Primarily economic, since UPN outbid the Frog Network to contract the show from its producer.

UPN will now pay about $102 million for a two year license agreement with Buffy. The purchase was obviously a risky venture for the UPN, which traditionally has the lowest ratings of any broadcast network. But the addition is one that UPN executives hope will improve the overall viewership and quality of their programming.

Although most major parties are content with the move, there was still some tension during negotiations. And the show’s star, Sarah Michelle Gellar, was reportedly not too pleased with her new home next to WWF Smackdown.

Eminem Exposed

Rap star Eminem is going to display the “real slim shady” next month, when he’ll pose nude in a fold-out centerfold for the British version of Cosmopolitan.

He’ll reportedly appear alongside 16 British celebrities, including Olympic champion rowers James Cracknell and Tim Foster, in the popular women’s magazine’s “annual naked issue.” According to MSNBC.com, Eminem will be showing all skin, except for a well-placed stick of dynamite.

Gosh, Em. You’re always sparking controversy.

To the Point

CBS plans to air an hour-long special one week after the Survivor 2 finale, which will follow the 16 castaways as they return to civilization … Ben Affleck, an outspoken supporter of voting, has not pulled any levers himself since 1992 … Due to the success of Weakest Link, NBC has ordered 13 additional episodes of the quiz show … Senator Joseph Lieberman plans to introduce legislation that would allow the FTC to penalize studios that market R-rated films to children … Arnold Schwarzenegger no longer plans to run for governor of California next year … Another teenager has been injured from copycatting a Jackass stunt, but MTV has shirked any responsibility.

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