Susan Lucci

HOLLYWOOD — When “All My Children” was canceled, we reported that its biggest star, Susan Lucci, was headed for “Desperate Housewives,” but we were proven wrong … sort of. Producer Marc Cherry had other plans for Lucci. Now we know what they were. Lucci will topline the new Lifetime series “Devious Maids,” originally made as a pilot for ABC, about five maids who work for rich Beverly Hills families. The Lifetime Network said it would be interested if ABC wasn’t.

If only we could’ve been a fly on the wall when Lucci was told, “You know how you had to relocate to Los Angeles when “All My Children” moved from New York to Hollywood … well, now you’ve got to relocate to Atlanta for this one!” ABC would have paid top dollar for the show, which Cherry is producing with “Desperate Housewives” star Eva Longoria, but Lifetime is a cable network and the show had to scale down and shoot in Georgia to cut costs. Former “Melrose Place” hunk Grant Show also is on board. “Devious Maids” will debut sometime in 2013. A primetime show, even on cable, is a step up for Lucci — if she can keep her career from going south!
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Cheyenne Jackson, who had a recurring role on “30 Rock,” has joined Michael Douglas and Matt Damon in the HBO Liberace biopic “Behind the Candelabra,” which starts filming this month. The “out” actor, who married his physicist partner of 10 years, recently admitted, “I’m not allowed to say who I’m playing, but it’s pretty exciting.” Gee, let’s see … I don’t know, could he be one of Liberace’s former boyfriends?
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A source close to Dennis Wilson and the biopic “Drummer” tells me that Aaron Eckhart has bowed out of playing the late Beach Boy. Eckhart suddenly decided to do “Olympus Has Fallen,” in which he plays the president of the United States as the White House is under attack from terrorists. Gerard Butler plays his head of security; Angela Bassett and Ron Livingston also star. And, here we go again … “White House Down,” with almost the same plot, is shooting with Oscar-winner Jamie Foxx as the president and Channing Tatum as his head of security.

Eckhart already has filmed “The Expatriate,” playing an ex-CIA agent on the run with his daughter as his employers mark them both for termination, and has the title role in “I, Frankenstein.” He plays the monster, now named Adam, who’s revived in the future to stop a war between two immortal clans. “The Expatriate” will be released in September, with “I, Frankenstein” due out in 2013. Guess playing the most famous movie monster and the president of the United States makes playing a Beach Boy pale by comparison!

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© 2012 King Features Synd., Inc.