News, Nov. 17: Jerry Lewis in Rehab, American Cinematheque Honors Kidman, Final Word on Screener Ban, More…

Top Story: Lewis Hospitalized for Steroids

Jerry Lewis has been hospitalized several weeks to help wean himself off the steroid medication, prednisone, which he had been taking to combat his pulmonary fibrosis, The Associated Press reports. The 77-year-old comedian voluntarily checked himself into a Las Vegas hospital on Oct. 13 to try to recuperate and strengthen his lungs, as well as bring down the noticeable bloating which occurs with taking the drug. “The important thing is he’s fine and I would say in a few months he’s going to be active again in the business,” agent Jeff Witjas told AP. “He’s slimming down to his normal weight. This is all a good thing.” Lewis‘ manager Claudia Stabile told AP the hospitalization was designed to improve his condition, but she didn’t know if he would switch to an alternative drug for treating the illness after stopping prednisone. “Hopefully the condition will improve enough where he won’t have to take meds,” she said. AP reports the entertainer is expected to be out in time for a March 4 show being planned at the Orleans hotel-casino. Along with pulmonary fibrosis, which is an increase in fibrous tissue in the lungs, Lewis has been plagued with other ailments, including spinal meningitis, chronic back pain and diabetes.

Kidman Gets Award

Nicole Kidman gave credit to the directors she has worked with in her acceptance of the American Cinematheque award Friday night in Los Angeles. Reuters reports the 36-year-old actress paid tribute to her “film family” including directors Baz Luhrmann (Moulin Rouge), Stephen Daldry (The Hours), Robert Benton (The Human Stain) and Anthony Minghella (Cold Mountain), who were among those seated with her at the head table. “I am proud of one thing,” the Oscar-winning Kidman said in acknowledging the tribute, which was presented to her by last year’s Oscar best actor Adrien Brody. “It is that I have searched out or I have been searched out by visionaries, and I’ve surrendered whatever I have to them.” Also in attendance were her two children, Isabella and Connor. The 18th annual ceremony will air on AMC Dec. 1.

Potter Books Break Sales Record

Setting a new record Monday, sales for the Harry Potter books hit 250 million worldwide, to Potter author J.K. Rowling‘s agent, Christopher Little, told Reuters. They have been sold in more than 200 countries and translated into 60 languages, ranging from Gujarati to Ancient Greek. The latest, launched in India this month, was in Hindi, Reuters reports. “J.K. Rowling‘s books have paved the way for a new generation of exciting children’s writers, causing a revolution in children’s enthusiasm for reading,” Little told Reuters. The agent also added Rowling has started writing the sixth installment, but no release date has been set.

MPAA’s Final Word: Screener Ban Stays As-Is

The Motion Picture Association of America’s chief Jack Valenti gave the final word Friday that screeners will go to Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences voters only, putting an end to the speculation that the MPAA and the studios would make further compromises for other organizations such as the Golden Globes’ Hollywood Foreign Press Association. Many were very disappointed since Valenti had been taking meetings with the various organizations over the last few weeks and seemed sympathetic to their concerns, Variety reports. “I was a little bit surprised, truthfully,” Independent Feature Project/New York executive director Michelle Byrd told Variety. “It felt like in the conversations we’ve been having, he’s been a man of his word. So we were hopeful. Everybody would’ve been happy to see the ban lifted, but I think now it’s final.”

Beckhams Heading for Splitsville?

Soccer star David Beckham and his wife, former Spice Girl Victoria, are continuing to deny British tabloid reports that their marriage is on the skids. Last weekend, London’s Sunday Mirror ran a story claiming Victoria threatened to walk out unless her husband moved back to Britain from Spain, where he plays for Madrid’s soccer team. AP reports a spokesperson for the couple called the statement “rubbish” and stated they may consider legal action. “Contrary to newspaper reports, our marriage is not in crisis,” the Beckhams said in a statement last September in rebuttal to a similar tabloid story saying their marriage is in trouble.

Raids Seize Thousands of Counterfeit CDs

New York authorities confiscated over 55,000 compact discs and recording equipment in raids of four locations as a result of an 18-month investigation, Reuters reports. “We have undercover agents working with police on the streets to fight piracy,” Recording Industry Association of America spokeswoman Amy Weiss said. Some of the seized compact discs contained music that had yet to be released to the public. Most were urban or Latin music styles.

CBS CEO Tisch Dies

Self-made billionaire Laurence “Larry” Tisch, best known for rescuing CBS Inc. from a hostile takeover in 1986 and running the network until 1995, died Saturday in Los Angeles from complications of gastric cancer, Variety reports. He was 80.

Producers Top Broadway Sales

The limited run of The Producers starring original cast members Nathan Lane and Matthew Broderick broke box office records when tickets went on sale Sunday. As of midnight, sales on Sunday totaled $3.6 million for a 12-hour period–the highest one-day take in Broadway history, John Barlow, a spokesman for the show, told AP Monday. For more information about getting tickets, check out the special offer on