Top Story: Case Against Phil Spector Delayed
Detectives in Los Angeles will not be ready to present a case against music producer Phil Spector at his scheduled court date next week, The Associated Press reports. Spector, 62, was arrested for investigation of murder after the body of actress Lana Clarkson was found in the entrance hall of his mansion in suburban Alhambra, Calif., on Feb. 3. In an Esquire magazine interview last month, Spector implied Clarkson may have shot herself, but sheriff's investigators have discounted suicide as a possible cause of death. Spector, whose "wall of sound" recording technique transformed 1960s pop music, is free on $1 million bail.
Enough Exposure for Cameron Diaz
Cameron Diaz believes she already has enough exposure. City News Service reports her attorneys will appear in a Santa Monica, Calif., courtroom today to request certain details be kept private in her suit against photographer John Rutter, whom the actress is suing to stop the release of photos taken during a modeling shoot. Rutter claims Diaz signed a release for the photos, one he says is a topless shot. He says he has verbally agreed not to sell the photos, which are being held in a safe deposit box until the outcome of the injunction hearing that begins Aug. 18.
Fox Searchlight Expands Beckham
Banking on the recognition of Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl co-star Kiera Knightley, Fox Searchlight will further expand its soccer drama Bend It Like Beckham, releasing it wide for the first time. Fox Searchlight distribution president Steve Gilula told Variety it seemed like a good idea to capitalize on Knightley's newfound fame and the film's continued popularity. "Our screen count kept going down, but our screen averages have held real well," Gilula said. "We were hearing that the awareness of the film kept rising, but the movie wasn't playing anywhere." Beckham, which co-stars Parminder Nagra, reached the box office Top 10 in May with just 555 play dates, and through Sunday had earned $26.3 million domestically.
Law and Order, CSI Top Ratings
Reruns of Law and Order and CSI: Crime Scene Investigation beat out a crop of new shows in the Neilsen ratings for the week of July 21-27 in the summer battle for TV domination, the AP reports. NBC won the week, averaging 7.7 million viewers followed by CBS ( 7.4 million); ABC (5.8 million); Fox (5.6 million); UPN (2.8 million); the WB (2.3 million); and Pax TV (820,000). The top 10 shows were: CSI: Crime Scene Investigation CBS; Law & Order, NBC; Law & Order: Criminal Intent, NBC; Without a Trace, CBS; Law & Order, NBC; Everybody Loves Raymond, CBS; CSI: Miami, CBS; 60 Minutes, CBS; The King of Queens, CBS; Law & Order: SVU, NBC.
Prinze Jr. Inks MTV Deal
Freddie Prinze Jr. has inked a development deal with MTV to develop and co-write a teen movie comedy for the cable network. Prinze will write the project with his writing partner Conrad Jackson, with Stan Rogow (The Lizzie McGuire Movie) set to executive produce. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the untitled TV movie revolves around a group of teenagers trying to throw a prom, takes a comedic look at how the graduation ceremony is changing with the increasing cultural diversity of the typical student body.
Heavy D Drops 135 Pounds
Rapper-turned-actor Heavy D, whose real name is Dwight Myers, says he's dropped 135 pounds in the last year but said the loss wasn't prompted by health concerns, the AP reports. "I went on a couple auditions and one director was kind enough to say, 'Look, you would've had this part but you're not fitting, you're stifling yourself,'" he told the Television Critics Association last week. But the rapper, who earned three Grammy nominations and scored a hit with "We Got Our Own Thang" with Heavy D and the Boyz, said he has no plans to change his name. "There's a lot of checks involved with 'Heavy D,'so that name stays." Heavy D plays a mechanic in the planned show The Tracy Morgan Show for NBC.
Ja Rule Feuding With 50 Cent
Ja Rule says his feud with fellow New York rapper 50 Cent is the real deal. "We just don't like each other," he told AP Radio during a trip to South Africa. "You have a lot of artists (who think) a good beef will help their record sales. I think that's fickle." Ja Rule, whose latest album is The Last Temptation, says rappers like 50 Cent are just pretending to live a certain lifestyle. "I'm here, and I'm 'in the club popping the bub,'" he said. "That's what I do."
Role Call: Hawn in Bride and Joy, Leto Joins Alexander
MGM is in negotiations to option the Washington Post article Bride and Joy: Guiding Mom Down the Aisle as a starring vehicle for Goldie Hawn. That project, based on an article written by Francesca Segre that appeared in the Sept. 30 edition of the Post, centers on a newly engaged couple from different backgrounds trying to plan and execute a New Year's Eve wedding. Hawn would also produce the project through her Cosmic Entertainment banner ... Jared Leto is the latest thesp to join the cast of the Oliver Stone-directed epic Alexander for Intermedia and Warner Bros. Leto will play Alexander's top general and lifelong companion. Hephaistion. The film already stars Colin Farrell as Alexander, with Angelina Jolie as his mother and Anthony Hopkins as the general and future pharaoh Ptolemy.