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NBC’s “Friends” Spin-Off “Joey” Begins Casting

Will the “Friends” spin-off “Joey” establish itself as a successful series in its own right, as “Frasier” did in the wake of “Cheers,” or will it revive talk that the castmembers from NBC’s highest-rated comedy can’t go it alone?

Less than a week after “Friends” filmed its final scenes, NBC is hard at work casting that series’ spin-off, FilmJerk has learned from its sources. As has been already revealed, the series from Warner Bros. Television will take place in Los Angeles, with Joey Tribbiani (Matt LeBlanc) moving there to pursue an acting career. But we are now able to reveal that Joey’s newest friends will include be a hairdressing sister, a nephew described as “socially awkward a la Seth Cohen from “The O.C.”” and a love interest.

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Film Adaptation of “The Celestine Prophecy” Gearing Up for a March Start

With Mel Gibson’s “The Passion of the Christ” generating a great deal of advance publicity and tracking indicating a big 5-day opening weekend, it’s no wonder that another spiritually-focused film is moving towards production. FilmJerk.com has learned from its sources that James Redfield’s “The Celestine Prophecy,” a bestseller that spent more than 3 years on the <i>New York Times</i>’ bestseller list, has gained financing from Barnet Bain Films (1998’s “What Dreams May Come”) and is now looking to cast its lead actors for a late March principal photography start in Los Angeles and Ocala, FL. Armand Mastroianni, a veteran of television movies and series, has been tapped as director.

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More Details on “Buffy” Alum Marti Noxon’s Potential New Series Uncovered

When Fox announced that it had ordered a pilot for the supernatural series “Point Pleasant” – a drama from former “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” executive producer Marti Noxon and 20th Century Fox Television – the description of the project given as solely having “a supernatural series…[that] will focus on a beachside community that is turned upside down when a mysterious girl washes ashore.” FilmJerk.com has obtained additional information on the one-hour drama pilot that is in consideration for the 2004-2005 network season; like most of the pilots in contention for the early summer/fall, filming is scheduled to begin in early March.

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Vin Diesel’s "Pacifier" Begins Filming April 10, Now Casting Lead Child Role

The question of whether action star Vin Diesel can do comedy is getting closer to being answered. FilmJerk.com has learned that filming on Walt Disney Pictures’ “Pacifier,” which he will star in, is scheduled to begin April 10 in Toronto, with casting now underway for four of the five children he will protect in the film. Will his first comedy establish him as the Sylvester Stallone of the current generation or an actor capable of making the transition?

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The Marketing Eye: Wrap-Up of the Films Advertising During the Super Bowl

The game was one of the most memorable in recent memory, but the advertising managed to come in a few notches below, according to many accounts. While the New England Patriots pulled ahead of the Carolina Panthers to win Super Bowl XXXVIII, the ads shown – unless it was from Anheuser-Busch – were an uninspiring crop. And, of course, this includes the ads highlighting upcoming films releases as well, with only 3 of the 9 spots featuring films placing in the top half of USA Today’s Ad Meter poll. And I’m still surprised at the rankings there— it was almost opposite to the reaction I saw in the New York City bar that I checked out, Brother Jimmy’s on the Upper East Side.

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Shatner and Burns Set to Reprise Roles in “Miss Congeniality” Sequel

William Shatner and Heather Burns will both reprise the roles they played in the original “Miss Congeniality” in the forthcoming sequel, FilmJerk.com has learned. Production for “Miss Congeniality 2,” which returns Sandra Bullock to the central role of Gracie Hart, will begin April 5 in Los Angeles. Additionally, producers are now looking to cast several lead and supporting roles— and, interestingly, the quite-busy Michael Caine, who played Victor Melling in the original and was expected back, is not presently listed as part of the cast.

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