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'SNL' Tidbits for February 13, 2000

By Sean Bradley

Do You Smell Who 'SNL' is Bookin'?

Rocky Maivia, better known by WWF fans as simply "The Rock," is scheduled to host the March 18 episode of "SNL," a source at the show says.

The three-time WWF Champion, who has been named the "Most Electrifying Man in Sports-Entertainment," will be the first pro-wrestler to host "SNL" since Hulk Hogan on March 30, 1985.

A musical guest has not been announced at this time.


Is 'SNL' the Late Night Fav?

More than one and a half million TV fans have cast their ballots and the finalists have been tallied for the second annual "TV Guide Awards." Ballots were available exclusively in two January issues of "TV Guide" magazine.

The nominees for "Favorite Late Night Show" are the same as last year: "Late Show with David Letterman" (CBS), "Politically Incorrect with Bill Maher" (ABC), "Saturday Night Live" (NBC), and "Tonight Show with Jay Leno" (NBC).

Last year, Leno somehow managed to win. This year's winner will be announced on the March 5 broadcast of the "TV Guide Awards" on Fox.


'Superstar' Shannon Nom for Blockbuster Award

Nominees for the Sixth Annual Blockbuster Entertainment Awards were announced Tuesday.

"SNL" cast member Molly Shannon has been nominated for her performance in "Superstar," the feature based on her Mary Katherine Gallagher character. In the category of Favorite Actress in a Comedy, Shannon is up against Embeth Davidtz ("Bicentennial Man"), Heather Graham ("Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me" & "Bowfinger"), and Sigourney Weaver ("Galaxy Quest").

The Blockbuster Entertainment Awards, which honors the lead and supporting actors and actresses in top performing movies in 1999, as well as music artists based on the top-selling albums for 1999, will be broadcast live on Fox in June.


Shaffer, Macdonald Pitch in for Dave

Due to its recent success, CBS has decided to bring "Late Show Backstage" back for another week. "Backstage" features interviews with celebrities supplemented by classic clips from their most memorable appearances on "Late Show."

Former "SNL" featured player Paul Shaffer will return to serve as "guest interviewer" at least one night this week, while his boss, David Letterman, continues recovering from quintuple bypass surgery. Ex-"SNL" cast member Norm Macdonald will be on as a guest, Wednesday evening, interviewed by Tom Snyder about his favorite moments on the show.

"Late Show" executive producer Rob Burnett says if Letterman's not back by next Monday, a guest-host will likely be brought in for the first time in the show's history.


Cusack Comedy Coming

A romantic comedy starring former "SNL" cast member Joan Cusack is currently in development by Emmy-winning producer James L. Brooks for ABC. This would be Cusak's primetime debut.

The series, still in the early stages of development, is reportedly based on a persona from "Lip Schtick," a 1989 radio series.

ABC is targeting the project for a midseason 2000-01 debut. Cusack and Brooks previously worked together in the Brooks' 1987 Oscar-nominated film, "Broadcast News."


Chase's 'Day' in the Sun

Original "Not Ready For Primetime Player" Chevy Chase may finally have another hit on his hands. His latest feature, "Snow Day," grossed an estimated $14.8 million and landed in a close third place in its opening weekend at the box office -- behind only "Scream 3" ($16.4) and "The Beach" ($15.0).

"Snow Day," which Paramount Pictures produced with its Nickelodeon sister company, cost about $13 million to make. It averaged a solid $5,556 per theater average.

Also featuring "SNL" alum Chris Elliot, "Snow Day" earned the best opening for a Chase film since 1989's "National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation."


Miller Earns Directing Nom for 'SNL'

Nominations for the Directors Guild Awards, considered among the top honors for a director, have been announced.

Beth McCarthy Miller picked up a nomination in the category of Best Director of a Musical Variety Show for the "SNL: 25th Anniversary" special. Others nominated in the category were: Gerard Foley for "Late Show with David Letterman," Dennie A. Gordon for "Tracey Takes On ... End of the World," Louis J. Horvitz for the "71st Annual Academy Awards," and Rob Marshall for "Annie."

Miller has never before been nominated for a DGA. The winners will be announced on March 11 (15 days before the Oscars).


Goodman Back to Weekly TV

Honorary former "SNL" cast member John Goodman may be returning to series television.

Fox is in negotiations to land Goodman as the star of a sitcom from the folks behind "3rd Rock From the Sun." The show is described as a family comedy about an "Odd Couple"-like pair of single dads living together in one house with their teenage children.

Insiders tell "Variety" that Goodman, who spent eight seasons on "Roseanne," may have reservations about returning to the grind of doing a weekly series. With or without Goodman, Fox has committed to 13 episodes of the show.


'SNLers' on the Tube

Here are appearances "SNL" alumni will be making on talk shows this week:

"Late Show with David Letterman - Backstage," CBS
* Wed 2/16 - former cast member Norm Macdonald

"The Tonight Show with Jay Leno," NBC
* Mon 2/14 - former cast member David Spade

"Late Night with Conan O'Brien," NBC
* Fri 2/18 - cast member Ana Gasteyer


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