updated 05/23/2003 AT 1:00 AM ET
•originally published 05/23/2003 AT 11:00 AM ET
LEGAL EXIT: Dylan McDermott, Lara Flynn Boyle, Kelli Williams, Lisa Gay Hamilton, Marla Sokoloff and Chyler Leigh are all leaving “The Practice” after David E. Kelley Productions and 20th Century Fox TV did not pick up their options, said the Hollywood Reporter. The dramatic downsizing is being blamed on the drastic reduction – an estimated 50 percent – of the licensing fee paid by ABC for the Emmy-winning series. The Reporter also says that Kelley wishes to follow the lead of “Law & Order” and “ER,” which have revolving doors when it comes to casting.
GYPSY J.LO: A former friend who claims Jennifer Lopez stole his idea to adapt the tragic opera “Carmen” to the screen has slapped her with a $5 million lawsuit. Adam Shankman says that he was directing Lopez, 32, in “The Wedding Planner” when he first told her she’d be perfect as the fiery gypsy woman, reported New York’s Daily News. Said Lopez’s rep: “We have not seen the complaint, but I’m surprised that anyone would have the audacity to claim intellectual domain over a property as well known as ‘Carmen.’”
WELL-GROOMED: “Jen, I love you,” tire company heir Andrew Firestone, 27, gushed to the Chicago account manager from Chicago on Sunday night’s season wrap-up of ABC’s “The Bachelor.” “I think that we fit perfectly together and I look forward to a life of adventure, happiness and family.” He then assumed the traditional position – getting down on one knee to place an oval-shaped Harry Winston diamond engagement ring on her left hand and ask, “Jen, will you marry me?” She said yes.
BIG ‘HARRY’ DEAL: The June 21 arrival of J.K. Rowling’s “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix” will come with an 8.5-million-copy hardcover American press run – probably the biggest ever in the publishing industry, the Wall Street Journal reported. And while the book will no doubt be a massive hit, the Journal also wonders if it will be successful enough to warrant such a printing, not to mention the estimated $3 million to $4 million promotional budget that Scholastic Inc. intends to lavish upon it. Adding to the concern: the new book promises to be a cumbersome 896 pages and will cost a healthy $29.99.
TROPHY BOY: At Sunday’s Drama Desk Awards, honoring theater in New York, there was a tie in the hotly contested category of outstanding leading actor in a musical. The winners: Antonio Banderas for “Nine” and Harvey Fierstein for “Hairspray.” As they dashed to the stage, Fierstein, 48, flamboyant and openly gay, opened his arms wide to embrace the sexy Banderas, 42, who leapt right into Fierstein’s catch. Fierstein then attempted to carry Banderas right off the stage and into the night.