Top Story: Dixie Chicks Give Two Cents on Schwarzenegger
Must be something about being on tour in Europe that inspires the Dixie Chicks to spout off on politics. Rolling Stone reports the country trio had plenty to say about another high-profile Republican besides President Bush. "[Arnold Schwarzenegger] is a great film star," banjo player Emily Robison told a German newspaper, "but I find his run for governor absolutely insane." She added, "America should be governed by people who have a clue. I hope he doesn't win." Maybe bodybuilders will ban the country singers this time.
Schwarzenegger's Ex-Girlfriend Writes Memoirs
On the heels of controversy surrounding reports of Schwarzenegger's naughty behavior decades ago, now it seems his first girlfriend, Barbara Outland Baker, is writing a memoir of her relationship with the Austrian actor called Surviving Arnold, Reuters reports. Baker, now an English professor at a California community college, dated the then Mr. Universe from 1969 until 1974. "I'm trying to sell it as an insider's account of Mr. Schwarzenegger's early years…with over 100 never-before-published photographs of Arnold," her book agent told Reuters. "She's been writing it for years, but obviously now is an opportune time to try to sell it."
Farrell Wields a Mighty Pen, Diaz Does Not
Irish hunk Colin Farrell has been named "best signer" by Autograph Collector magazine in its 12th annual poll of celebrity autograph givers, The Associated Press reports. "Colin is extremely generous with fans and collectors, and goes out of his way to sign for everyone he can at his movie premieres. ... He just flat-out loves to sign autographs," contributing editor Jeffrey Woolf, who helped compile the annual Best and Worst Signers list, told AP. The worst celebrity to be approached for autographs, he says, is Cameron Diaz. "She might be an Angel for Charlie, but Cameron is nothing short of a witch when it comes to signing autographs," Woolf said. Some of the best included Kate Bosworth, Jennifer Love Hewitt, The Osbournes and Jennifer Garner, while some of the worst included Bruce Willis, Demi Moore, Orlando Bloom, Catherine Zeta-Jones and Christina Aguilera.
FCC Rules Stern Is Legit Newsman
The Federal Communications Commission ruled shock jock Howard Stern's daily radio show is a legitimate news program, exempting it from federal equal time rules on political coverage, Reuters reports. The FCC decision opens the way for the show to book two of the sexier candidates for California governor: Arnold Schwarzenegger, who had been slated to appear on Stern in August, and porn star Mary Carey. The Communications Act requires broadcasters to treat political candidates equally when selling or giving away air time, although exceptions are made for news programs. Media Access Project, a media watchdog group, plans to appeal the ruling, claiming it is a reversal of decades of U.S. media regulation designed to promote fairness in election coverage.
Simon and Garfunkel Return
The singing-songwriting duo Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel announced Tuesday their plans to put aside their longstanding differences and launch a U.S. tour together for the first time in 20 years, Reuters reports. The Old Friends tour will hit 32 cities, starting at the Palace of Auburn Hills in Michigan Oct. 18.
ABC Scores Ratings Touchdown
The opener of the NFL football season between the New York Jets and Washington Redskins last Thursday gave ABC its first nightly win in many months in the Neilsen ratings for the week of Sept. 1-7, the AP reports. NBC won the week, averaging 8.3 million viewers followed by a tie between CBS (7.8 million) and ABC (also 7.8 million); Fox (6.3 million); UPN (3 million) and the WB (2.9 million). The top 10 shows were: NFL Monday Night Football: N.Y. Jets vs. Washington, ABC; 2003 NFL Showcase, ABC; CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, CBS; Law & Order, NBC; NFL Post-Game Show, Fox; Everybody Loves Raymond, CBS; The King of Queens, CBS; Law & Order: Criminal Intent, NBC; and CSI: Miami, CBS.
Sales Galore at Toronto Film Fest
Films were snapped up left and right at the Toronto Int'l Film Festival Tuesday, Variety reports. Jim Jarmusch's Coffee & Cigarettes was bought by United Artists for domestic distribution. Sony Pictures Classics picked up the Korean film Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter…and Spring, while Newmarket Films acquired the Danish flick The Green Butchers.
Role Call: Phantom To Appear On-Screen; J.Lo Produces Documentary
With an all-star cast including Miranda Richardson, Minnie Driver, Ciaran Hinds, Simon Callow, James Fleet, Victor McGuire and Jennifer Ellison, the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical extravaganza The Phantom of the Opera is coming to the big screen via Warner Bros. According to The Hollywood Reporter, it will be directed by Joel Schumacher and starts production Sept. 15 in the U.K…Jennifer Lopez will make her first foray into producing by making the documentary Los Quinces through her banner Nuyorican Prods., in association with HBO. Variety reports the film revolves around the coming-of-age ball that marks a Cuban girl's 15th birthday.
Beverly Hills, 90210 alumna Tori Spelling is set to star a new comedy series for NBC. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the still-untitled comedy centers on an up-and-coming corporate publicist at a large New York firm who is assigned the dregs of the company's accounts. Spelling will star and co-executive produce the project based on her original idea, with Roseanne scribe Lawrence Broch on board to write the script. And the timing couldn't be better for New York-themed comedy. Cynthia Nixon, who plays Miranda on the HBO comedy Sex and the City, revealed in an interview on the Fox News Channel Monday that the forthcoming episodes of the show will be the last.
Thousands of people, including Sean "P. Diddy" Combs, Queen Latifah and Ice-T, attended the funeral of DJ Jam Master Jay yesterday in Queens, New York. Jam Master Jay, whose real name was Jason Mizell, was buried at a Westchester County cemetery following a funeral service in Allen A.M.E. Cathedral. Mizell's violent point-blank gunshot murder last Wednesday in the lounge of his Queens studio stunned fans and the hip-hop community. According to The New York Times, police reported little progress in their hunt for the masked gunman.
Steven Spielberg and his wife Kate Capshaw attended the premiere of Minority Report in Havana, Cuba, yesterday. The director told the audience at the Charles Chaplin theater felt at home on the island and wished to come back many times, The Associated Press reports. On Monday, Spielberg met with President Fidel Castro to discuss U.S.-Cuba cultural exchanges, history, politics and the environment in an eight-hour meeting.
Robert Blake, who is accused of killing his wife Bonny Lee Bakely, will give a jailhouse deposition next week in a wrongful death lawsuit filed by her children, the AP reports. Blake has been held at the Men's Central Jail in Los Angeles since his arrest last April. A preliminary hearing to determine if Blake must stand trial on the criminal charges is set for Dec. 11.
Pop singer Mandy Moore, who starred in Warner Bros. Pictures' A Walk to Remember earlier this year, is being courted by the studio to star in a remake of the 1959 romantic drama A Summer Place, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The film, which originally starred Troy Donahue and Sandra Dee, is about two teenagers who fall in love at a summer resort at the same time his married mother and her married father rekindle an old affair.
Warner Bros. is also in negotiations to acquire the film rights to the comic book series Ball & Chain, Variety reports. The series--published by WB sibling DC Comics--centers on a bickering divorced couple who are granted superpowers that only work when they are together. Scribe Scott Lobdell will pen the feature adaptation.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Buena Vista is poised to join the billion-dollar club after the successful opening of its film The Santa Clause 2 last weekend. The studio joins Sony as the second distributor to reach that level in domestic box office this year.
Magic duo Penn & Teller will use their knowledge of con artistry, magic and carnival tricks for a Showtime series aimed at unveiling TV psychic, alien abduction and fad religion scams. According to Variety, the cable channel has greenlighted 13 half-hour episodes set to bow in January.
Seasoned TV producer Steven Bochco is creating an hour-long drama series for HBO set entirely around the bedroom area of a married New York couple, Variety reports. All scenes in the show will reportedly take place in the confines of the bedroom, bathroom or walk-in closet area. Bochco describes the show as "almost voyeuristic." The series is set to premiere in early 2004.