"Sopranos" preview? Fuhgeddaboudit!

John "Artie" Ventimiglia isn't squealing; Trump signs on for some richly repulsive reality TV. Plus: Sigourney Weaver zaps an "Aliens 5" rumor and, oh brother, Clooney isn't seeing Kidman.

Published February 9, 2001 5:02PM (EST)

I'm starting to wonder if HBO hasn't threatened to reward the actors on "The Sopranos" with a brand-new pair of cement shoes if they reveal details about the upcoming season.

At the Museum of Television & Radio's annual gala at the Waldorf-Astoria on Wednesday night, I found myself seated next to John Ventimiglia, who plays restaurateur Artie Bucco on the "family" show.

Like Artie, Ventimiglia is sparkly-eyed and sweet, although as he himself points out, sometimes people don't recognize him because "I look much younger in real life." (It's true. He does.)

But although Ventimiglia was open and warm about nearly any topic we touched on -- and generously posed for photos with one of the cater waiters, who, he said, showed him the ropes when he was a struggling actor supporting himself as a banquet waiter -- he clammed up big time when the topic turned to "The Sopranos."

Under no circumstances, he said, glancing nervously at his plate, could he reveal details about the upcoming season, which starts next month.

So what happens to actors who sing like canaries? "I don't think that's something we really want to discuss," says HBO spokeswoman Tobe Becker.


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Which time?

"I've been a broad since I was 3. Actually, I was about 40 when I was born."

-- Shirley MacLaine on being labeled a "broad," in Us Weekly

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Trump TV

Just when you thought reality TV couldn't get any ickier ...

Donald Trump is getting in on the action.

No, The Donald has not signed up for the next installment of "Temptation Island." But he has, it seems, agreed to host "Billionaire," a show in which he challenges contestants to spend $1 million in half an hour.

The premise? Four contestants -- each of whom is challenged on the spur of the moment during a moment of duress -- compete to see who can dispense with the cash the fastest. Show creator David Anson Russo insists that's harder than it sounds.

"The show has a premise as irresistible as 'Indecent Proposal,' giving people 30 minutes to realize the American dream," Russo boasts to Variety.

"I like the selection process, because they'll be taking people in strange situations," Trump shares. "They will be enlisted when they're about to get married or there'll be a husband in a delivery room, waiting for the birth of his child. He can take a pass, or say, 'Honey, I'll be back in an hour.'"


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Juicy bits

George Clooney would like to make something perfectly clear: He and Nicole Kidman are just friends. Just because they greeted each other warmly at the Golden Globes recently is no reason to think they've been playing doctor. "George and Nicole co-starred in 'The Peacemaker' and had not seen each other in two years," Clooney's publicist, Stan Rosenfield, told the U.K. movie site Popcorn. "That accounts for their happiness at the Globes."

Also clearing up a rumor: Sigourney Weaver. Reports that she had scored a $22 million offer to star in "Alien 5" are completely false, her spokesman insists. In fact, Variety reports, there are no plans in the works for another "Alien" sequel at all. Well, how 'bout a sequel to "Gorillas in the Mist"?

The whistle's been blown and it's time to wade ashore. "Baywatch Hawaii" has been canceled after two years on the air. Its last episode will air on May 21. "It's been a great run," publicist Kristin McEntee told the Associated Press. "It lasted longer than we thought. It's sad." Let us all now say ... aloha.

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By Amy Reiter

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Celebrity Donald Trump George Clooney