Magazine article Newsweek

Newsmakers

Magazine article Newsweek

Newsmakers

Article excerpt

Deja Vu All Over Again

Robert Downey Jr. used to have a recurring role on "Ally McBeal." Now his only command performance is in the California court system. The troubled thespian was picked up by cops outside a seedy, $45-a-night Culver City motel for being under the influence of a controlled substance. Following the arrest--his second drug bust since he was released from prison just eight months ago--Downey will have to remain in a residential drug-treatment facility for at least six months. "Ally" is filming the season's remaining shows without him. "As for next year, we haven't had any discussions with him, and I don't anticipate any discussions any time soon," said a show rep. Even his agent seemed unsure of the actor's professional fate. "We're not even there yet," said Alan Nierob. "I'd say we're going day to day." As Chaplin, Downey won critical acclaim and an Oscar nomination. As Ally's beau, he earned laughs and a Golden Globe. As himself, he gets nothing but pity. Viewer Discretion Is Advised So she has minimal journalism experience, no high-school diploma and a slew of public embarrassments to her name. (We mean photos of her in ultracheesy spacesuits from the sci-fi "Babylon 5"--not just stills from her Italian erotica efforts.) Is that any reason to think Andrea Thompson, best known as a detective on "NYPD Blue," can't be a highly respected anchor for CNN's revamped "Headline News"? "Sure, it'll be new for viewers, but they'll adapt," says Thompson, who turned in her badge last year to become a real-life cub reporter in Albuquerque, N. …

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