Backstage at the 52nd annual Emmy Awards last week, Halle Berry should have been ebullient. But the actress-who copped Golden Globes in addition to the Emmy for her work in Introducing Dorothy Dandridge-confessed that she was actually rather melancholy. The years of trying to get the project produced, then the filming, then the rounds of publicity, then the awards shows are over. Berry is obviously having trouble letting go. When asked for her reaction to the award, Berry started to cry. "I'm a little sad this is the end," she said, adding that she hopes she can develop more projects with HBO.
. Another winner had a more profane reflection. James Gandolfini of The Sopranos used his moment in the spotlight to ruminate on how much he will miss the late Nancy Marchand, who played the scheming matriarch on his series. The hulking actor confessed that he was awed when the respected actress walked on the set the first day. She walked to her mark, paused and turned to Gandolfini. The actress-known for her patrician bearing and extensive stage work-said, "What the f__k is the line?" "I knew we'd get along," he added.
. The schedule for "Diversity Week"-that annual gathering of the cable clans in New York-seems to be getting more hellish. Court TV, for example, had to reschedule an event from Sept. 19 to Sept. 18 to avoid conflicting with a pair of other events, including a Time Warner CityCable gathering at Bryant Park Grill. Complicating the invitation situation is the Summer Olympics, drawing executives from NBC, NBC Cable, MSOs and the ad community "Down Under." The Olympics are making it tough for some industry groups that had intended to use the annual gathering of cable bigwigs in New York to hold budget meetings. Many of cable's "who's who" decided that a trip to Sydney to see the Olympic Games was too much to miss.
. At East Coast Cable 2000 in Baltimore last week, Comcast Corp. chairman Ralph Roberts defended son Brian's decision to travel to the Sydney Olympics, which meant that he was not around to help pick up the "Cablevision magazine/Bill Daniels Operator of the Year" award. "Business is business," Roberts said, putting things in perspective, "but sports is sports." Comcast Cable president Steve Burke was on hand with Roberts pere, though, to accept the award. He held court with Roberts and graciously answered questions lobbed by Cablevision business editor Tom Kerver. Only after the panel was over and the microphones were turned off was Burke overheard talking to a colleague about the so-called Cablevision curse, which saw such operators as Jeff Marcus and Leo J. Hindery Jr. get the award and cover shot as they were on their way out of the industry. The fact that Comcast received the 13th annual award Sept. 13 wasn't very comforting, Burke joked.
. Here's a bit of TV trivia for you: ESPN basketball analyst Jay Bilas once appeared on CBS primetime hoop-dreams series The White Shadow. Interestingly, that 1978-81 drama series has caught up with Bilas-it began rerunning on ESPN Classic earlier this month. White Shadow starred Ken Howard as an ex-Chicago Bulls player who becomes the basketball coach for an inner-city high school. Bilas-who was a 16-year-old high-school sophomore at the time-recalled being surprised that the other "players" were actually in their 20s and 30s and couldn't play hoops all that well.