News Roundup: July 26


Top Story

A coroner’s report cited cocaine use as the cause of the heart attack that killed The Who bassist John Entwistle, The Associated Press reports. The report ruled the death was accidental, not an overdose, but significant amounts of cocaine were still found in Entwistle’s system. How much of the drug was used remains unknown. “Cocaine is a different animal,” Clark County Coroner Ron Flud told AP. “It’s not like alcohol. There’s no way we can put a number on it. You’ve got a lethal drug on board at the time you have a bad heart. That’s a bad combination.” The 57-year-old musician was found in his room at the Hard Rock Hotel in Las Vegas June 27, one day before the band was to begin a three-month nationwide tour.


Robert Blake‘s daughter, Delinah Blake, has won permanent custody of her 2-year-old half-sister, Rose, the child Robert Blake had with Bonny Lee Bakley, the woman he is accused of murdering. The actor is now in jail, pending trial.

Former L.A. Lakers basketball star Earvin “Magic” Johnson has been selected by Fortune Magazine as one of the 50 Most Powerful Black Executives. Johnson’s $500 million empire includes his real estate development company, Johnson Development Corp., and Magic Johnson Theatres, as well as his nonprofit Magic Johnson Foundation.


20th Century Fox optioned the film rights to Michael Crichton‘s (Jurassic Park) next novel, Prey, for a cool $5 million. It was the only studio allowed to bid for the manuscript, whose plot has been kept secret but apparently is a political thriller set in the world of nanotechnology. Does that have something to do with Mork from Ork?

Variety reports Mad TV regulars Will Sasso and Alex Borstein will star in Box Office Gross, a parody on the movie-going experience.

Steve Zahn will join Eddie Murphy and Jeff Garlin in Revolution Studios’ Daddy Daycare. The three will star as fathers who get laid off and decide to start their own daycare center, which becomes a rival to another center run by the evil Anjelica Huston.

Tube News

Liza Minnelli and new husband David Gest will be opening up their Manhattan penthouse to the public when VH1 airs the series Cabaret beginning in October. The show will emphasize music and will also potentially include special guest stars, such as Mary J. Blige, Alan Jackson and Barry White.

Gary Binkow, an L.A.-based producer, is suing Sharon and Ozzy Osbourne, claiming they stole his idea for “a real-life docu-sitcom” about the rocker and his family. Binkow cites in the suit that he met with the couple and executives from Miramax TV in 1999-2000 to discuss the concept and registered a treatment for the show with the Writers Guild of America.