Entertainment News from August 1999

Barry Meyer and Alan Horn are named co-chairmen of Warner Bros., replacing Terry Semel and Bob Daly, who resigned in July. Meyer, who was in charge of Warner's television division, will oversee day-to-day operations, and Horn, the cofounder of Castle Rock Entertainment, will work exclusively with the film arm of the company.

Actor Robert Downey, Jr. is sentenced to five years in jail for violating probation. In June, he admitted to falling off the wagon and was sent directly to jail to await sentencing. He'll serve 14 months in jail.
David Duchovny files suit against Twentieth Century Fox Film Corp., claiming the company, acting with the complicity of series creator Chris Carter, cheated him out of millions when it sold syndication rights to theThe X-Files at a bargain-basement price to lower the profitability of the show, thereby reducing the amount owed to Duchovny, who gets a piece of the X-Files pie. Carter is not named in the suit. Though it may sound as if Duchovny may be picking up some of the traits of his conspiracy-theorist character, Fox Mulder, it's not the first time Fox has been accused of shortchanging its talent. The producers of Home Improvement and Alan Alda, who shared profits of M*A*S*H, also filed similar suits against Fox. Both parties settled out of court.
William Shatner's wife, Nerine Kidd, is found dead in the couple's Los Angeles swimming pool. Police rule the death an accident.
Actor and liberal Democrat Warren Beatty tells the New York Times he's seriously considering a run for the Presidency. The Bulworth star said he's not thrilled with either Democratic candidate, Al Gore or Bill Bradley. “I have some very strong feelings, the most important of which at the moment is campaign finance reform because its tentacles reach into every other issue,” he said.
ER's Eriq La Salle signs on for another three seasons with the top-rated medical drama and will earn a whopping $27 million for his services as perennially grumpy Dr. Peter Benton.
Planet Hollywood Inc., the chain of restaurants owned in part by Bruce Willis, Demi Moore, Sylvester Stallone, and Arnold Schwarzenegger, announces plans to file for bankruptcy.
Contestants on ABC's hit Who Wants to Be a Millionaire should start asking host Regis Philbin if “that is your final answer.” Indeed, David Honea was sent walking after he answered that Lake Huron is the second largest Great Lake in area. Honea, who was only five questions away from the big jackpot, accepted defeat gracefully but later asked the producers to recheck their facts. Honea was correct and earned himself another shot at a million bucks.
Former Diff'rent Strokes star Gary Coleman files for bankruptcy, citing legal fees and medical bills as the cause of his misfortunes.
Liz Taylor takes a spill in her Bel Air home, breaking a bone in her back. Doctors expect her to make a full recovery.
Geena Davis loses her chance to make the U.S. Olympic archery team. In the trials, held in Bloomington, N.J., Davis finished 24th out of 28. Only the top 16 went on to the next round of competition. Davis took up the sport only two years ago, so there's no reason she can't look ahead to 2004.
Martin Lawrence collapses while jogging and slips into a coma caused by heat stroke. The actor was trying to lose weight for an upcoming movie and was jogging in several layers of clothing in 85-degree heat.
Oliver Stone agrees to undergo drug rehab treatment as part of a plea bargain stemming from his June arrest on alcohol and drug charges. He will not be charged with a felony.
Talk-show host Montel Williams announces that he's been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. He plans to continue hosting his show and acting.
Sitcom stars Jenna Elfman and David Hyde Pierce are tapped to host the 51st Annual Emmy Awards, which will be broadcast on September 12. Both have been nominated in the comedy category — Elfman as Best Actress for Dharma and Greg and Hyde Pierce as Best Supporting Actor for Frasier.
Jamie Tarses resigns as president of ABC Entertainment, saying “I never want to be an executive again.” Her tenure at ABC was highly scrutinized from the get-go, with the media putting more emphasis on her youth and beauty than on her ability. The 35-year-old former NBC executive was responsible for The Practice and Dharma and Greg, but never quite measured up to expectations. While at NBC, she engineered Thursday's Must See TV.