By Cindy Elavsky
CORRECTION: It was recently reported in this column (as well as many other entertainment columns) that Mariska Hargitay would be in only 13 episodes of this coming season’s “Law and Order: SVU.” Well, I am happy to amend that report with news from the Big Guy himself: Showrunner and executive producer Warren Leight contacted me to dispel the rumor. He told me: “Mariska will be in all 22 ‘SVU’ episodes this season. Rumor she is leaving at 13 just wrong.” With Christopher Meloni’s Detective Stabler leaving, it’s a relief to learn Mariska’s Detective Benson will be sticking around.
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Q: It seems like every other year, there is a rumor that “Jurassic Park 4” is going to made. But so far, no movie. Will it ever happen? — Paul G., Miami
A: All signs point to “yes.” Producer/director Steven Spielberg told a crowd of enthusiastic sci-fi fans at last month’s San Diego Comic-Con fan convention that there will be another “Jurassic Park,” and it might be only two to three years away. Steven said that he has a story and a screenwriter ready to go for the fourth movie of the dinosaur-clone series, and Steven himself will serve as producer.
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Q: I really love MTV’s new teen comedy, “Awkward.” The actor who plays Matty looks really familiar. Can you tell me what else I might have seen him in recently? — Cara D., via e-mail
A: Beau Mirchoff, 21, plays Matty, the nice-guy jock with a heart — and it appears he also has a thing for our heroine, Jenna. You might remember Beau from “Heartland,” or from his turn as Drea de Matteo’s son on “Desperate Housewives.”
Of his year on “DH,” Beau told me: “I learned so much from all the people on that set. They are pros, and they know what they’re doing. I learned a lot from Jeffrey Nordling, who played my father, and Drea de Matteo, who was my mother. I had a big crush on Drea. I hope it didn’t read on camera. That would have been creepy.”
Playing a teen on “Awkward” has Beau remembering his own awkward time in high school: “Everything seems like such a dire situation. Like it’s the last time you’ll be able to do something. Or it’s the end of the world if you can’t go out with that girl. But it’s really not, and it’s so insignificant looking back. But you’re growing up and you’re figuring things out.”
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Q: I was so sad to hear about the passing of singer Amy Winehouse. Do authorities know what caused her death? — Grant D., via e-mail
A: Toxicology reports will probably take weeks to get back, so it might be a while before we know what killed the troubled songstress, who was only 27 when she passed away on July 23. Amy had publicly battled addiction, but police say there were no signs of drug or paraphernalia in her home at the time of her death.
Write to Cindy at King Features Weekly Service, P.O. Box 536475, Orlando, FL 32853-6475; or e-mail her at [email protected] For more news and extended interviews, visit www.celebrityextraonline.com and twitter.com/Celebrity_Extra.
© 2011 King Features Synd., Inc.