Originally created 11/05/04

People in the News

NEW YORK - Freddie Prinze Jr. is set to do television.

The 28-year-old "Scooby-Doo" actor has signed a deal with Warner Bros. and ABC to create and star in his own sitcom.

Although the clean-cut Prinze has popped up for guest spots on "Boston Legal" and "Friends," he's most noted for his turns in both "Scooby-Doo" movies and the slasher film "I Know What You Did Last Summer."

"This was something I wanted to do for a long time," Prinze told The Associated Press while on the set of his latest movie.

"It's tough working on the road all the time. I love my family. I love my wife. I miss them. I want to be in Los Angeles. A TV schedule, especially half-hour, allows you the opportunity to go and make movies when you want to make movies and then still be able to satisfy yourself creatively from home."

In the sitcom, Prinze will portray a Puerto Rican raised in a household of women, an experience he said is based on his own life. Prinze was raised by his mother in New Mexico after his father, "Chico and the Man" star Freddie Prinze, committed suicide in 1977.

"I told them I won't do TV unless I'm the executive producer, unless I'm the creator, unless I'm a writer on the show," Prinze said. "If that's a problem, I understand that and respect that. I have to make sure it's represented the way it is. The only way to do that is if I have one boss and not seven."

Prinze, who's married to "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" star Sarah Michelle Gellar, is filming the coming-of-age drama "Nailed Right In" with Alec Baldwin and Mena Suvari in New York. He said he has no fears about the wishy-washy world of TV sitcoms.

"When I focus on something, I usually succeed in this business," Prinze told the AP. "I'm more scared about flying."


NEW YORK - Kris Kristofferson will be inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame next week with help from Faith Hill and Willie Nelson.

Hill and Nelson will perform in a tribute to the 68-year-old Kristofferson on "The 38th Annual CMA Awards," to air live on CBS Tuesday night from the Grand Ole Opry House in Nashville, Tenn.

"Kris Kristofferson has an incredible body of work as a songwriter and performer," Country Music Association Executive Director Ed Benson said in a statement.

"He is very deserving of this honor and recognition during the CMA Awards," Benson said. "The challenge was narrowing a lifetime of contributions he has made to this industry to a representative sampling of his work."

Kristofferson won the CMA song of the year award in 1970 for "Sunday Morning Coming Down." He has hosted the show twice, in 1985 with Anne Murray and in 1986 with Nelson.


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CURRITUCK, N.C. - Currituck County is among the sites being considered for a theater district backed by Randy Parton, brother of country music star Dolly Parton.

Officials with Currituck County and the North Carolina Northeast Partnership plan to host a reception for Randy Parton on Thursday in Raleigh before a Dolly Parton concert there, said Wayne Leary, economic developer for Currituck County.

"Currituck has the location and the demographics to make it the No. 1 place being considered," Leary said Monday.

Randy Parton and his wife, Deb, toured Currituck County last week, looking at potential sites.

The site would begin with one theater, said Paul O'Neal, chairman of the Currituck County Board of Commissioners. The site could eventually include several venues for musical and variety entertainment similar to parts of Dollywood in Pigeon Forge, Tenn., Leary said.

Randy Parton performs with Randy Parton's Country Heart and Soul in Dollywood.

An announcement on the project should come early next year, officials said.


NEW YORK - Universal Pictures, citing good buzz from early screenings, has moved up the release date of "Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason" one week to Nov. 12.

Previously scheduled to debut Nov. 19, the movie will instead expand from about 500 theaters to 2,500 theaters nationwide on that date, the studio said this week.

"After the tremendous response to our early press and word-of-mouth screenings - as well as from exhibitors... we looked at the competitive landscape and realized that we had the goods for our target audience and the flexibility to deliver the film... in selected markets one week earlier," Nikki Rocco, Universal Pictures' president of distribution, said in a statement.

"This will give us a jump-start on the holiday business," Rocco said.

"Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason" stars Renee Zellweger, Hugh Grant and Colin Firth reprising the roles they originated in 2001's "Bridget Jones's Diary."


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