ROC AND A HARD PLACE
Roc, Charles Million's sitcom about a Baltimore garbage-man and his family, has become Fox's Sunday Night Live. Dutton and his castmates began doing the weekly show live last month, the first prime-time comedy to do so since the mid-'50s. Dutton says he and his colleagues, all of whom have worked together on the stage previously, are fully prepared in case of a foul-up. "We've each got our escape hatch," says Dutton, 41. "Mine is, 'Excuse me, I'll be right back. I've got to go to the bathroom.' If someone else flubs. I'll look them straight in the eye and ask, 'Don't you have something to say?' "
A STITCH IN MIME...
Actress Joan Marsh did not have thimble in hand when she and partner Eileen Atkins created The House of Eliott, the British series now airing on the Arts & Entertainment cable network, about two dressmaker sisters in 1920s London. "My dressmaking skills are zero," says Marsh, 58, who last teamed with Atkins, also an actress, 21 years ago to cook up Upstairs, Downstairs. "If my hem comes down, I staple it. I once had to sew a button on in a scene, live on television. It was the actor's own jacket. We were talking as I was sewing the button on, and gradually, as the scene progressed, I saw his eyes get more and more big and scared. When the scene was over, I looked down, and the button I had sewed on looked like a huge mushroom. It was just terrible."
Maybe because of her seven seasons playing public defender Christine Sullivan on Night Court, Markie Post loves a feisty debate—even with herself. "When I'm driving somewhere and I have a lot of time to think, I'll set up some legal case in my mind," says Post, 41, who will be playing a Senator's press secretary (and also John Hitter's love interest) on the new CBS comedy Hearts Afire. "I love to pretend that I'm the witness on the stand. I'll put myself in the courtroom where the prosecutor is grilling me, and I just ace it. I'm so bright and so articulate, the defense attorneys end up on their knees because I win the case for them. Since I have to answer the questions, I'll do both parts, but I try not to trump up the questions in my favor."
HERE'S TO RUSSIA, WITH LOVE
James Woods has a new girlfriend: actress Heather Graham, 22, one of his costars in the new movie Diggstown. "Talk about meeting cute," says the twice-married Woods, 44. "I made a vow I'd never be involved with anyone under 42 again. The day I fell in love with her, we were shooting in Sacramento. I was with my assistant, and we were eating in the coffee shop. I saw Heather eating alone. I walked by and said, 'Hi.' She was reading The Brothers Karamazov. I said, 'You're joking! When I'm on location, I read [best-selling adventure writer] Clive Cussler.' She said, 'Have you ever read Dostoyevski?' I said, 'Yeah, as a matter of fact.' I thought this could genuinely be love. I'm wildly in love with her."
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