Gold Derby nuggets: James Gandolfini back on TV? | 'Lost' finale supersized | Finalists for Student Oscars announced
• James Gandolfini won three of his six Emmy bids for best actor in the drama series "The Sopranos," which signed off in 2007. Variety reports that the actor is now considering a return to TV with a Gotham-based remake of "Taxi 22," a Quebecois hit about a tough-talking cabbie. Emmy nominee David Flebotte ("The PJs"), who has exec-produced on "Desperate Housewives" for the last two seasons, is handling the adaptation for Gandolfini's production company. As Jeff Sneider reports, "Since wrapping 'The Sopranos,' Gandolfini has exec produced the HBO documentary 'Alive Day Memories: Home From Iraq' and flirted with several of the network's projects, including a show set in the Arctic and another show that would cast him as an executive at a cable news channel. With HBO, he's also developing the feature 'Hemingway,' about the love-hate relationship between Ernest Hemingway and war correspondent Martha Gellhorn." THE WRAP
• Bennett Marcus checks in with Tony Awards champ Julie Taymor ("The Lion King") about the status of the delayed Broadway musical version of "Spider-Man." Says Taymor about the tuner with songs from Bono and the Edge of U2, "We’re going to be announcing very shortly because we’re doing our final casting. So I think once we get those contracts done, then we’ll make an announcement [of the] date. But I’m in it; we’re doing it. It’s happening. This fall." NEW YORK
• Borys Kit reports that Elizabeth Perkins is bowing out of "Weeds" after five seasons. Perkins contended for three supporting actress Emmys and two Golden Globes for her portrayal of the cynical Celia on the Showtime series, which returns for a sixth season on Aug. 19. THR
• "Entourage" has inked a deal with adult film star Sasha Grey to appear as a version of herself in the upcoming seventh season. Show creator Doug Ellin says he got the idea of having his lead character, movie star Vince Chase (Adrian Grenier), fall for such a girl, a la Charlie Sheen’s love affair with adult film star Ginger Lynn in the late 1990s. Ellin says he saw Grey in Steven Soderbergh's "The Girlfriend Experience" last year and "I wouldn’t have done this storyline if Sasha passed. Luckily she was okay with doing it." TV GUIDE
• The finale of "Lost" has added an extra 30 minutes and will now run for 2 1/2 hours on May 23. In 1983, the "MASH" farewell after 11 seasons also ran for 150 minutes; however, as that show was usually just a half-hour, it was easily cut into five stand-alone episodes for syndication. The alphabet net has found lots of slots for the Emmy Award-winning series "Lost" as it signs off after six seasons. The penultimate episode airs in the regular Tuesday night time slot on May 18. On Saturday, May 22, ABC will run the two-hour pilot that first screened in September 2004. All of the following night will be given over to "Lost." First there will be a two-hour retrospective and then the finale to (hopefully) wrap up all the mysteries. And, after the delayed local news, there will be a special edition of "Jimmy Kimmel Live."
• Two of the four Tony Awards nominees for best choreography -- Bill T. Jones ("Fela!) and Twyla Tharp ("Come Fly Away") -- are also in contention at the upcoming Fred and Adele Astaire Awards. The other nominees are Sergio Trujillo ("Memphis"), Marcia Milgrom Dodge ("Ragtime") and Steven Hoggett ("American Idiot"). The nominating committee included former New York Times chief dance critic Anna Kisselgoff, Dance Magazine editor Wendy Perron, dance columnist Sylviane Gold and former New York City Ballet dancer and Vail Institute artistic director Damian Woetzel. Emmy Award-winning "High School Musical" director and choreographer Kenny Ortega will receive the Douglas Watt lifetime achievement prize at the June 7 kudos. PLAYBILL• Oscar champ Cher ("Moonstruck") is auctioning off the Bob Mackie gown she wore to this year's Golden Globes to benefit an education initiative in Haiti. PR NEWSWIRE
• The academy has culled the 497 films entered by students at 122 colleges and universities down to 37 finalists from 21 schools for the 37th annual Student Academy Awards. Academy members will now view these films at special screenings and vote to select the winners. Gold, silver and bronze medal awards, along with accompanying cash prizes of $5,000, $3,000 and $2,000, respectively, will be presented in each of four categories. In addition, from a record 61 entries from 36 countries, five films will contend for the honorary foreign film award, All the winning filmmakers will be brought to Los Angeles for a week of industry-related activities and social events that will culminate in the award ceremony on June 12 at the academy’s Samuel Goldwyn Theater. Student Academy Award winners have gone on to earn 40 Oscar nominations and win seven Academy Awards. The most recent of these was Pete Docter, who co-directed the 2009 best animated feature "Up." In addition, Gregg Helvey, a 2009 Student Academy Award winner, also helmed the live-action short nominee "Kavi" last year. AMPAS
Top photo: James Gandolfini backstage at the 2003 Emmy Awards. Credit: ATAS.
Middle photo: "Lost" logo. Credit: ABC
Bottom photo: Student Academy Awards logo. Credit: AMPAS