Who would have guessed that Bud Selig is a revolutionary thinker?
(Who would have guessed that Bud Selig of all people would give me fodder for an article?)
Baseball's commish has ratified the owners' vote to drop two Major League Baseball teams before the start of next season. (Never mind the myriad legal battles that stand in his way.)
Now that the nation's downsizing trend has made its way to baseball burgs, Hollywood.com has taken the "drop-two" concept to entertainment groupings that might need a trim.
And, unlike baseball, we're not afraid to name our two, either.
Group: Harry Potter characters
Which Two Get Canned: Professor Dumbledore and Hermione Granger
Why: Both are stuck-up, righteous, know-it-alls. Who needs 'em?
Group: ABC primetime shows
Which Two Get Canned: Dharma & Greg, America's Funniest Home Videos
Why: True, the whole lineup deserves to be canned, but these shows rotted on the vine a long time ago.
Group: 'N Sync
Which Two Get Canned: Lance and Joey
Why: For one, they can't sing. For two, they starred in that God-awful movie, On the Line.
Group: James Bond movies
Which Two Get Canned: The Living Daylights, License to Kill
Why: Even George Lazenby was a better Bond than the wooden Mr. Dalton.
Which Two Get Canned: Ross and Monica
Why: The other four--especially Chandler--are actually funny at times.
Group: Destiny's Child
Which Two Get Canned: The two who aren't Beyonce
Why: Because we don't even know the names of the two who aren't Beyonce.
Group: Jackson 5
Which Two Get Canned: Marlon, Randy
Why: As if we'd ever get rid of Tito...
Group: Star Trek
Which Two Get Canned: Sulu, Transporter Chief Kyle
Why: They're the first two to go when a recession finally hits the Federation.
Group: Star Trek: The Next Generation
Which Two Get Canned: Commander Riker, Wesley Crusher
Why: Extraneous. Captain Picard needs Riker like he needs a third leg, and the young Mr. Crusher is just a skinny snot rag.
Group: Led Zeppelin
Which Two Get Canned: John Bonham, John Paul Jones
Why: They aren't Robert Plant or Jimmy Paige. This was essentially a two-man band.
Group: The Brady Bunch
Which Two Get Canned: Jan, Sam
Why: Their names have three letters. And Jan is just a whiny little snot rag. Hmm, maybe she should date Wesley Crusher.
Group: Rocky Franchise
Which Two Get Canned: IV, V
Why: Five was way too many Rocky movies. Even Sugar Ray Leonard didn't un-retire this many times.
Group: Late night TV hosts
Which Two Get Canned: Conan O'Brien, Charles Grodin
Why: Can't get rid of Jay or David; they have too much money. And we like Craig Kilborn and Charlie Rose too much.
Group: Star Wars movies
Which Two Get Canned: Return of the Jedi, Phantom Menace
Why: Jedi was the weak link of the first trio, and Attack of the Clones--despite the inane title--will be infinitely better than Phantom Menace.
Which Two Get Canned: Chloe, Luka
Why: Both of them have lost that lovin' feeling.
Which Two Get Canned: Ringo, George
Why: (See comment above, re: Led Zeppelin.)
Group: The Simpsons
Which Two Get Canned: Skinner's mom, Rod Flanders
Why: Agnes had sex with the Comic Book Guy, which is unforgivable. Rod, the elder Flanders son, has already left the straight-and-narrow path set by his dad: How boring.
And an honorable mention goes to The Sopranos, who don't need to be on this list. They do a good enough job of contraction all by themselves.
Pop singer Britney Spears has been caught once again with the wrong brand of drink on her hands. Spears, who signed a $97.5 million deal with Pepsi earlier this year, was reportedly seen drinking Coca-Cola during her stay in Sydney, Australia and was seen drinking Sunkist when she was leaving a recording studio on Wednesday. But Pepsi has not lost their faith on their young spokeswoman, as they continue to play her tune on television commercials and on the telephone. "You know, after all that's happening in the world right now, this is not a big event," Larry Jabbonsky, director of public relations for Pepsi Cola Co. told Hollywood.com on Thursday. "You can move on from there."
Oscar-winning composer and lyricist Jay Livingston, whose collaboration with Ray Evans led to hits such as "Silver Bells," "Que Sera, Sera" and "Mona Lisa," died of pneumonia Wednesday at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. He was 86.
Rapper Snoop Dogg was charged with marijuana and drug paraphernalia possession in Amherst, Ohio, on Wednesday after officers stopped two of his tour buses for speeding. Drug-sniffing dogs found six bags marijuana weighing about 200 grams in the cargo hold of the bus, The Associated Press reported. Charges for possession of marijuana could lead to a maximum $100 penalty. Drug paraphernalia possession could lead to a maximum sentence of $250 and 30 days in jail.
The Rosie O'Donnell Show returns live on Monday, Oct. 22 after taking this week off due to the anthrax scare at NBC, PageSix.com reported. O'Donnell shut down production last Friday after Tom Brokaw's assistant tested positive for anthrax.
Actor Robert De Niro has dropped plans to produce and play a phobic therapist in Scared Guys for director Dean Parisot (Galaxy Quest). Instead, he'll reprise his role as a mobster being treated by a shrink (Billy Crystal) in Analyze That, the sequel to the hit 1999 comedy Analyze This. According to Reuters, De Niro will reportedly earn near $20 million for the role. Film production begins in February.
Divorce lawyers for Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman are in Los Angeles this week hashing out money issues. According to New York's Daily News reports, Kidman's team is bracing for a court fight, arguing that she's within her rights to raise their children as Catholics rather than Scientologists.
Former Beatle George Harrison, 58, has recorded his first single since being treated for cancer earlier this year, Reuters reported. Harrison co-wrote the song, called "A Horse to Water," in his house with his son Dhani and recorded it with British musician Jools Holland. The song will appear on Holland's album Small World, Big Friends, to be released in Britain on Nov. 11. On the record, Holland duets with other artists as well, including Dire Straits' guitarist Mark Knopfler, Van Morrison and Eric Clapton.
The Grammy Awards, the top honors in the music industry, will take place on Feb. 27 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, event organizers said on Wednesday. According to Reuters, the organization is also planning to announce, within the next few weeks, the winners of the second annual Latin Grammy Awards, which were canceled following the Sept. 11 attacks.
'N Sync's Chris Kirkpatrick will be the first member of the boy band to turn the big 3-0 on Thursday. Being involved in a group at such age would never have been acceptable in former boy bands such as Menudo, but for the Tampa-based group, age is no limit. "We try to convey to everybody that we're just learning just like everyone else," Kirkpatrick told ABCNews.com. "We're on this planet to be here, y'know, as humans."
When we say that MTV’s Video Music Awards is filled with unscripted surprises and guest appearances, we aren’t joking.
The most unexpected moment of the awards ceremony definitely belongs to Michael Jackson, who popped out from behind a giant Etch-A-Sketch screen on the cartoon-inspired set at the end of 'N Sync’s performance.
"We begged and begged and begged [to get Jackson to come onstage]," 'N Sync’s Chris Kirkpatrick said during the after-party broadcast. "We couldn’t tell friends, family or anybody," JC Chasez said.
Jackson was also one of the many artists who comedian Jamie Foxx, this year’s host, refused to let get away without a bad joke at their expense.
"Michael is charging $2,500 for his concert, but kids get to go for free," Foxx said. "He loves children."
Oh, but believe me, that was nothing compared to what came next.
While commenting on the recent penchant among artists for shortening their names, like Sean "Puffy" Combs to "P. Diddy" and Jennifer Lopez to "J.Lo," Foxx took the liberty of renaming Backstreet Boy A.J. McLean to "Long Island Ice-T."
When the Backstreet Boys came on stage to present the Best Rap Video award, McLean thanked MTV and his fans for supporting him through his recent stay in rehab.
"Today is 64 sober, and I’m proud of it," he said.
But Foxx didn’t feel so proud of it, as he offered McLean champagne as the group left the stage. "It's apple cider," he said. "Apple cider! You can drink apple cider, can't you?"
Without a doubt, that was the most tasteless, evil joke I have ever heard.
About a half-hour through the show, Janet Jackson read a letter that a fan had written about R&B singer Aaliyah, where she said the world had gained an angel.
Missy "Misdemeanor" Elliot was accompanied by Aaliyah‘s brother, Rashad Haughton, who thanked friends and fans for supporting the singer in her career.
U2’s lead singer Bono dedicated the band’s MTV Michael Jackson Vanguard Award to the remaining members of the Ramones, who joined U2 onstage to greet the fans.
"If it weren’t for the Ramones," Bono told the audience, "a lot of bands would have never gotten started."
Many artists used the evening as free publicity, asking fans to buy their new albums. Such was the case with Macy Gray, who asked fans to "take a minute and concentrate on my dress," which read "My new album drops Sept. 18, 2001. Buy it."
While some have complained in the past that MTV didn’t play enough hip-hop, Thursday night's Video Music Awards certainly over did it.
While Jay-Z, J.Lo, and Nelly performed onstage, the only two rock performances were those of Staind and Linkin Park. Hard rock nominees like SUM 41 and Incubus went virtually unnoticed; they should have gotten the same amount of attention.
"The next guy kisses strippers on the mouth," Foxx said as a pissed-off Kid Rock came onstage and told him to "shut up" (we’ve omitted the bad words). The Kid was obviously defending his new girlfriend, Pamela Anderson, who openly told MTV’s Kurt Loder about their sex life. Some things never change.
Christina Aguilera was joined by the team "Lady Marmalade," who won the Best Video of the Year for the Moulin Rouge-inspired video. "Thank you to everyone who thought we’d make great whores," said Pink. She must have have read my mind.
And those of us who didn’t know what to expect from Spears, who promised to top last year’s strip-tease performance, were terribly disappointed this year. The look of fear on her face as she placed a snake around her neck was painfully obvious--so obvious that she couldn’t concentrate on singing the lyrics to her own song and relied instead, on her lip syncing abilities.
"You need to put your shirt back on," Foxx told Spears after her performance. You know, that might have been the only clever thing he said the entire night.
Maybe pop isn't dead.
Boy band 'N Sync sold nearly 1.9 million copies of their new Celebrity album in the week ended Sunday, Reuters reports.
The album, released July 24, holds the second-best week sales numbers in history, outdoing everyone but themselves.
In March 2000, the band's No Strings Attached sold 2.4 million copies in the first week. It has sold 10.6 million copies to date.
Eminem's The Marshall Mathers LP came in second in sales with 1.76 million in late 2000.
'N Sync did not expect Celebrity to sell as much as No Strings Attached, Justin Timberlake told MTV last week.
"All that stuff, we really don't take that into consideration," Timberlake said. "We wanna stick around for longer than the first week."
Band member Chris Kirkpatrick recently told Launch.com how ironic it would be to sell more than a 1.5 million copies of Celebrity with the perception that that their sales are in a slump.
"Music really is in a different place in the sales market, period," 'N Sync's JC Chasez told Launch.com, explaining that the state of economy has helped music sales this year. "You know, nobody's doing the numbers that they did last year. Music was just selling at an all-time high last year."
The release of Celebrity also helped No Strings Attached, which logged a sales gain of nearly 12 percent, climbing from No. 100 to No. 95.
Celebrity knocked Alicia Keys' Songs in a Minor from the No. 1 spot to No. 2 from after spending five weeks in the chart. Keys' album sold 1.7 million copies less than Celebrity.
Neil Diamond's Three-Chord Opera opened at No. 15. Actress-pop star Jennifer Lopez rebounded into the top 20 with her latest release, J.Lo, rising 49 places from No. 66 to No. 17 thanks to her latest single, "I'm Real," Reuters reports.
Maybe you line up for a concert ticket at 4 a.m. and scream your ears out the entire duration of the show.
Maybe you tape their appearances on MTV and worry that J.C. isn't getting enough rest. Maybe you have your own fan site and debate why Joey doesn't get more solos.
And maybe you pray that Justin dumps Britney after he spots you in the crowd.
And if that's the closest you think you'll ever get to 'N Sync, think again.
The pop group today announced a joint venture with the Microsoft Network, creating an Internet access service called *NSYNC@MSN. The service, available for $21.95 a month after the first month free, will give fans 'N Sync-customized Web browsers, Messenger service and Windows Media players. Users will also receive a special newsletter and exclusive access to video and photo footage.
"We're always trying to be on the cutting edge of things, and we think this is the cutting edge of where we think the Internet is going," said member Chris Kirkpatrick at a news conference in Beverly Hills, Calif.
The group, whose official site is the most popular for a band on the Net and has the largest number of chat communities on MSN, has collaborated with the Internet network to generate ideas for what they call the "ultimate online experience." These ideas include participating in chats, shooting their own digital footage and starting an online radio station that they can manage on the road.
'N Sync member J.C. Chasez told Hollywood.com that the group plans to expand on MTV's "Making the Tour" and "Making the Video" specials.
"There's 365 days in a year and [MTV] was with us for like a week. [But] people are [also] kind of interested to see what goes into making an album," Chasez said. "People never get to really see you in the studio and things like that. ... People are gonna get to see what it's like to be in the studio. See us interact with fans, see how they act, and that's how they'll be able to relate to other people. ... It'll be a great way for them to meet each other."
And while the group, who holds the record for one-week sales of 2.4 million for "No Strings Attached," groans a little about essentially signing their privacy away, they say that they're more than eager to reach out to the fans even if it means as much 'N Sync as possible.
"In other words, we'll be like 'Big Brother: The Tour,'" cracked Kirkpatrick. "You'll have us in your face the whole time ... it's kind of sick."
Fans of 'N Sync -- Kirkpatrick, Chasez, Justin Timberlake, Lance Bass and Joey Fatone -- will be able to sign up for the *NSYNC@MSN Internet Access service by going to http://msn.com/nsync or picking up an installation CD at the group's spring concerts. The service will be available only in the United States starting Dec. 1.
Now you know why mom used to say "Walk! Don’t run!" Five people were injured at a No Doubt concert when a crowd of 4,000 fans rushed the stage, crushing some of them against the railing. The incident took place at the Mesa Amphitheater in Mesa, Ariz., where the Orange County ska band was performing.
Three of the injured were taken to a nearby hospital and treated. None of the injuries were serious.
SINGING ‘SOPRANO’: He may be a "Soprano" on TV, but this Mob boss is really a tenor.
Dominic Chianese, who plays Corrado "Uncle Junior" Soprano on the HBO hit series, not only loves acting but apparently also has a knack for singing, too. The actor was recently in a Franklin, Tenn., studio recording his first album.
The project, which was recorded with studio musicians, includes standards such as "Ramona" and "For the Good Times," Dino Elefante, co-owner of The Sound Kitchen, told The Associated Press. Three of the songs are also Chianese originals.
A release date for the album is pending while Chianese shops for a record label.
J.C. Chasez of ’N Sync ROCKIN’ IN RIO: ’N Sync and Britney Spears are heading south, far south, to perform in Brazil’s third annual Rock in Rio for a Better World.
Spears and boyband members Joey Fatone, Chris Kirkpatrick, J.C. Chasez, Lance Bass and Justin Timberlake will fly to Rio de Janeiro early next year for the weeklong music fest, which kicks off Jan. 12.
Organizers are expecting 1.5 million people for the weeklong celebration. Tickets go on sale in October.