News, Oct. 8: MD Governor’s Wife Apologizes for Britney Comment, “Siegfried & Roy” Show Finished? “2 Fast” Flying off Shelves, More…

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MD Governor’s Wife Wouldn’t Really Shoot Britney

According to a statement made by a spokesperson for Kendal Ehrlich, wife of Maryland Governor Robert Ehrlich, the first lady’s remark that she would shoot pop star Britney Spears if she had the chance was an “inadvertent figure of speech,” The Associated Press reports. Ehrlich made the statement Friday while speaking at a domestic violence conference at Hood College in Frederick, MD. Referring to her advocacy for more women to embrace education, Ehrlich remarked, “It is incredibly important to get that message to young women. You know, really, if I had an opportunity to shoot Britney Spears, I think I would.” Meghann Siwinski, a spokeswoman for the first lady, attributed the comment to Ehrlich’s concerns, as a mother, about the influence of pop culture over young children.

In Other Britney News…

A Santa Monica judge issued an injunction Tuesday ordering Japanese businessman Masahiko Shizawa not to come within 300 yards of Spears for the next three years, following accusations that Shizawa had been “tracking” the pop icon, sending her photos of himself, and attempting to contact Spears at both her and her parents’ homes. While Superior Court Judge Alan Haber ruled that Shizawa was “abnormally obsessed and fixated with Spears,” Shizawa’s lawyer insisted that his client is merely “in love.”

Beyonce To Delve Into Fashion

Pop diva Beyonce Knowles and her mother Tina are set to release two lines of clothing by next year Women’s Wear Daily reported Monday. Beyonce joins artists Jennifer Lopez, Sean “P. Diddy” Combs and Jay-Z as the latest recording artist to try to cross over into the fashion industry. According to the Knowles design duo, the first collection of clothing will consist of more “funky and hip-hop” items, including T-shirts and jeans, while the second line will feature more dressy styles. “People my age love fashion and want to dress in designer clothes, but can’t afford it. I want to do something that is affordable, but sophisticated and sexy and feminine–something I would wear,” the 22-year-old pop singer stated.

Will “Siegfried & Roy” Go On?

Despite the fact that his co-star, Roy Horn, 59, was critically bitten and dragged off stage by a 600-pound tiger during their show in Friday, Siegfried Fischbacher, 64, insists that the team’s performing career is not finished. “What happened does not mean it’s ended…Our show will go on. We’ve always been fighters. The history of ‘Siegfried & Roy‘ is nowhere near its conclusion,” the illusionist said to Reuters. However, doctors at this point maintain that it is far too early to know to what extent Horn will recover. Neurosurgeon Derek Duke described Roy’s condition as “critical” and added that his survival “is all but miraculous,” considering the nature of his injuries. Prior to this incident, the “Siegfried & Roy” show had been performed some 5,700 times without any serious mishaps.

2 Fast 2 Furious Video Sales Explode Off the Line

After only one week of availability on DVD and VHS, the fast-paced action movie 2 Fast 2 Furious has pulled in $65 million in video sales and rentals. Since Sept. 30, when the film was released by Universal Studios Home Video, some 3.5 million copies of the DVD, and 700,000 copies of the VHS version of the sequel to The Fast and the Furious have been sold or rented. This surpasses the mark left by the original title, which sold 2.9 million copies on DVD. Together, the two films constitute Universal’s most profitable DVD franchise to date.

CBS Takes Top Ratings Second Week in a Row

With CSI: Crime Scene Investigation leading the way as the nation’s top show, CBS easily came out on top of the ratings race for the second week of the fall television season. Along with CBS, NBC has dominated series television, though some of that network’s key programs, such as Friends and Frasier, have shown drops in their popularity. For the second week of the fall season, CBS attracted an average of 13.1 million viewers, followed by NBC (10.9 million), ABC (9.8 million), Fox (9.6 million), the WB (4.6 million), and UPN (3.4 million). The top 10 shows for the week were CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, CBS, Friends, NBC, ER, NBC, Everybody Loves Raymond, CBS, Survivor: Pearl Islands, CBS, NFL Monday Night Football, ABC, Law & Order, NBC, CSI: Miami, CBS, Scrubs, NBC, and Will & Grace, NBC.

Spielberg To Team Up with Sci-Fi Again

Following the success of the Sci-Fi Channel’s 20-hour miniseries Taken, which was co-written and produced by director Steven Spielberg, the two parties have announced that they will collaborate once again, according to Reuters. Though no details are available as yet, the cable network has said that the upcoming miniseries trilogy, titled Nine Lives, will be “an epic story of love, death, and beyond.” Spielberg has signed on to executive produce the new series, along with Les Bohem, who will also write.

NBC, Vivendi Announce Final Merger Agreement

According to AP, General Electric’s NBC and Vivendi Universal have reached a merger agreement that will create a new media giant, called NBC Universal, worth an estimated $13 billion per year. The finalized version of he agreement had not changed much from preliminary plans that were outlined a month ago. The deal will enable Vivendi to begin reducing the debt left under former management, and allow NBC to be more competitive against other media giants such as AOL Time Warner and Walt Disney.

Roll Call: “Real Women” Director Joins Halle Berry Film; Wilson, Vaughn Invited to Wedding

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Patricia Cardoso, director of the HBO film Real Women Have Curves, has signed on to direct an upcoming Halle Berry comedy/drama titled Nappily Ever After. Based on the Trisha Thomas novel, the story follows a woman’s rediscovery of life after shaving off her hair and showing her boyfriend the door…The Hollywood Reporter also reports that actors Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn are involved in talks to appear together in the romantic comedy entitled The Wedding Crashers. In the film, two friends routinely sneak into weddings as a way to meet women, until one of them falls in love. In January, Wilson will appear in the Warner Bros. thriller The Big Bounce.