News organizations aired footage of the attacks on Afghanistan as well as a videotaped message from Osama bin Laden despite CNN's exclusive deal with Qatar's Al-Jazeera network, Variety reports. Under the deal, Al-Jazeera must prohibit the use of its footage for six hours before releasing it to other networks. In return, the network gets to use CNN's footage. Rival networks are claiming that Al-Jazeera's footage falls under the "fair use" rule, which allows widespread coverage during national emergencies.
Former Spice Girl Geri Halliwell performed for British troops stationed in Oman on Saturday, Reuters reports. Dressed in military colors, Halliwell entertained the crowd at Camp South in Oman's southern desert, which was turned into an entertainment camp with big screens and tent-bars.
A plane-hijacking scene has been edited out of the French action-comedy Wasabi starring Jean Reno. According to Variety, the scene has been replaced with a more suitable ending.
Shannen Doherty will serve five days in a work-release program as part of her sentencing for a drunken driving arrest in December, Page Six.com reports. The sentence comes after the former star of Charmed and Beverly Hills, 90210 was arrested for drunk driving in December.
Anne Robinson, host of The Weakest Link, writes in her new autobiography that her mother was a domineering woman nicknamed "The Duchess." According to Reuters, Memoirs of an Unfit Mother also reveals Robinson's own shortcomings as a boozy mother in the 1960s.
Mary Hart has signed on for five more years as host of NBC's Entertainment Tonight, The Associated Press reports. The contract gives Hart, who has hosted the show since 1982, $5 million a season as well as a more creative role in the show's production, including a possible ET spin-off.
David Lynch has signed on as an executive producer of Cabin Fever, directed by newcomer Eli Roth and starring Michael Rosenbaum. According to Variety, the film is about five isolated friends who contract a deadly flesh-eating virus.
NBC has ordered a script for a half-hour kitchen-based romantic comedy starring Patrick Dempsey, Variety reports. The script will center around a sous chef and his experiences in a restaurant. Matthew Carnahan, a former chef, will pen the script.
NBC will televise Michael Jordan and the Washington Wizards' home opener against the Philadelphia 76ers on Nov. 3. According to PageSix.com, NBC will also broadcast the Wizards' Dec. 1 home game against the Orlando Magic. The network had originally planned the beginning of its NBA television schedule with a Christmas doubleheader.
Off-screen couple Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones may hook up on screen as well in the planned action-adventure "Smoke and Mirrors." The Hollywood Reporter says the film is a potential starring vehicle for the soon-to-be newlyweds.
Initial Entertainment Group, which bought the rights to the script by "Batman Forever" team Lee and Janet Scott Bachelor, plans to make the flick a big-budget affair, possibly shooting in France or Algeria.
Although Zeta-Jones is pregnant with Douglas' child, she's still in talks to star as the beautiful partner of 19th century French illusionist Jean Robert-Houdin. Set during the 1850s, the story has Houdin and young Collette (the potential Zeta-Jones role) traveling to Algeria on a secret mission for the French government. Their goal: to expose a religious sorcerer who advocates the overthrow of French colonials.
Kevin Brodie ("A Dog of Flanders") has signed on to direct. He'll also produce with Joel Douglas (brother of Michael).
Michael Douglas, 55, and Zeta-Jones, 30, became engaged last New Year's Eve.
'BUFFY' GOES IVY: Actress-cum-"Vampire Slayer" Sarah Michelle Gellar will put down the wooden stake and pick up the books as a philosophy professor in James Toback's semi-autobiographical "Harvard Man."
The Hollywood Reporter notes that after five years in development, the project may start shooting this spring.
Toback ("Two Girls and a Guy") will helm the film, based in part on his experiences at Harvard in the 1960s, which included an overdose on LSD. The story is said to combine philosophy, sex, and (what else?) basketball scandals. Gellar plays a teacher who has an affair with a college hoopster. That character was once considered for mega-star Leo DiCaprio.
IT'S NOT NIKE, BUT ... Spike Lee won't be hawking shoes in his next commercial. He'll be throwing his clout behind Democratic presidential nominee Bill Bradley.
Lee will star in, but not direct, an ad that will air in the Big Apple before New York's March 7 presidential primary.
Lee reportedly is concerned that black voters are blindly supporting Vice President Al Gore based on their loyalty to President Clinton.
"Sometimes you just got to take the gloves off," Lee told reporters Monday. "It's for real now. Bill will come out smoking."
Lee's frequent commercial co-star, basketball great Michael Jordan, has already appeared in a Bradley ad.
NEW RECRUIT: After sparring with Denzel Washington in "The Hurricane," Vicellous Shannon is ready to go round and round in the Marine Corps as the lead in the Steven Spielberg series, "Semper Fi." According to the Hollywood Reporter, the hour-long show from DreamWorks and NBC will debut in fall. Shannon will star as Wade Maddox, a smart and cocky new recruit.
TAKING IT TO 'THE $TREET': "Saving Private Ryan's" Adam Goldberg, about the only young Hollywood actor not in "The Boiler Room," gets his chance to swim with the sharks as the lead player in the Fox pilot, "The $treet." The drama, about a group of Wall Street yuppies, is being developed by Darren Star, creator of "Beverly Hills, 90210" and "Sex and the City." Variety says the show will begin shooting in mid-March.