A Nation in Pain: Actress Sharon Stone, distressed by last month's Columbine High School massacre in Colorado, has given her guns to police and asked that the weapons be destroyed. The actress, who played a gunslinger in the 1995 movie "The Quick and the Dead," called officers to her Beverly Hills home May 14 to pick up her shotgun and three handguns. She was particularly "moved by the incident at Columbine High School," said Officer Mike Partain, a police spokesman. "Our world has changed and our children are in danger," Stone said in a statement this week. "I choose to surrender my right to bear arms in exchange for the peace of mind of doing the right thing." Stone, who said she had kept the weapons for protection, urged others to surrender their guns, too, and relinquish their "fear and anger. We as a nation are in pain."
Julia Returns: Actress Julia Louis-Dreyfus--best known for her Emmy-winning role as Elaine on "Seinfeld"--joins Drew Carey as she returns to television in the first original live-action musical written for ABC's "The Wonderful World of Disney." She'll star as the Blue Fairy in "Geppetto" while Carey ("The Drew Carey Show") plays the famous Italian toy maker and father to Pinocchio, the wooden puppet who wants to be a real boy. "Geppetto," which begins production June 7, tells the classic Pinocchio story from Geppetto's point of view. Tom Moore directs from a script by David I. Stern, with music and lyrics by Stephen Schwartz ("Pocahontas," "The Hunchback of Notre Dame"). Mike Karz and Jim Pentecost are executive producers.
Pax's New Pieces: Two one-hour drama series, an hourlong dramatic anthology and a variety show will debut on Pax TV's fall prime-time lineup, Jeff Sagansky, president and CEO, announced this week. The fledgling broadcast network's season begins Aug. 23. The new dramas are "Hope Island" (Sundays at 8), set just a ferry ride away from Seattle and dealing with a newly ordained minister who envisions a new life for himself there, and "Twice in a Lifetime" (Wednesday at 8), exploring the idea that there is a pivotal notion or decision or act in everyone's life that gives them a second chance. "Twice" marks the prime-time return of Emmy-winning producer Barney Rosenzweig, noted for "Cagney & Lacey," "Christy" and "The Trials of Rosie O'Neill." The anthology series, based on best-selling inspirational books, is "Chicken Soup for the Soul" (Tuesday at 8), while the variety show is "The Star Machine" (Monday at 8). They join two returning series--the drama series "Little Men" (Friday at 8) and the reality series "It's a Miracle" (Thursday at 8). Sagansky said that by having original programming across the weekday landscape, Pax's strategy is to "take the network to a higher ratings mark and establish in the viewers' minds that Pax TV is the place to go for . . . original family entertainment."
White Tigers Debut Too: Forty-nine white tigers being raised by Siegfried and Roy are making their television debut in a bid to raise public consciousness of the plight of the endangered animals. The famed illusionists announced that they are joining with Exxon and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation to help preserve the animals. A 30-second television commercial will feature the pair and their animals. Many of the white tigers are used in their stage show at the Mirage hotel-casino in Las Vegas.
Silents' Auction: The largest known private collection of silent movies--a group of 1,500 16mm and 35mm films from the collection of slain Los Angeles theater owner Lawrence Austin--will be auctioned by Butterfield & Butterfield Sunday and Monday. Included in the sale--which the auction house said could raise as much as $200,000 for Austin's estate--will be such classic films as Cecil B. DeMille's "The King of Kings," Mary Pickford's "Madame Butterfly" and Lon Chaney's "Phantom of the Opera." Two men have been sentenced to life in prison for Austin's 1997 murder.
Silents' Preservation: The National Film Preservation Foundation has received a $1-million federal grant to preserve rare silent films at New York's Museum of Modern Art, George Eastman House in Rochester, N.Y., and the UCLA Film and Television Archive, it was announced this week at the White House by Hillary Rodham Clinton. Through the project "Saving the Silents"--part of the overall "Save America's Treasures" program, including historic sites--archivists will produce new preservation masters and exhibition prints of 67 shorts, serials and feature films from the first four decades of American cinema. Included are works by D.W. Griffith, Cecil B. DeMille, Erich von Stroheim and Douglas Fairbanks. Many of them have not been seen in complete form for more than 70 years. "Time is running out to save the treasures created by America's first filmmakers," said Roger L. Mayer, board chairman of the national film foundation and Turner Entertainment Co. president.