News Roundup: June 13

News Roundup: June 13


Top Story

The Associated Press reports Sarah “Fergie” Ferguson has signed a development deal with Universal Television on Wednesday for a syndicated U.S. talk show. “I’m not talent, I’m not a celebrity, I’m not an actress, I am just me,” the former British royal told AP. “I love being with people, whether they’re famous or not.” The show, to be called Fergie, is slated to premiere in September 2003.


Dustin Hoffman is returning to Vegas–but not as an autistic card-counting whiz. He’ll be receiving the first Marquee Award from the fourth annual CineVegas International Film Festival on Saturday. But the whole gambling thing won’t be totally lost on Hoffman–he is also participating in a celebrity blackjack tournament fundraiser, along with fellow actors James Woods, Kevin Pollak, Joe Pesci and Chazz Palminteri. All those guys seem like they’d be into playing cards, don’t they?

Sixteen never seemed so sweet. Power twins Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen turned 16 this week–and are further expanding their billion-dollar empire. Along with the merchandising of their videos, games, dolls, cosmetics, books and clothing for the “tween” (8-12) age group, they are now adding a new line of apparel for teens at Wal-Mart Inc., among several other things. Can’t wait to see what they’re up to at 30.


Speaking of kids growing up fast, AliasJennifer Garner is in negotiations to star in Revolutions Studios’ 13 Going on 30, which would earn her a cool $3 million, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Described as a female Big, the film is about a 13-year-old who wishes she were popular. At her birthday party, she spends a humiliating seven minutes in a closet, and when she emerges, she finds herself five days shy of her 30th birthday–beautiful and very popular.

The 77-year-old Charlton Heston is reprising his role as the chariot-fighting Ben-Hur–but only in voice-over. He has provided the voice for the character in a new animated version of Ben-Hur, being released on video this fall by GoodTimes Home Entertainment.

Tube News

Prince William as an actor? Not if the royal family has a say in the matter. In an upcoming The Simpsons episode, the family travels to London, where Bart strikes up a friendship with the prince. William wanted to lend his own voice to the animated character, but Buckingham Palace flatly refused, Sky News reports. Ah, no worries, Wills, at least you can still watch the show.

Music News

Bono, who’s lately been busy trying to help the Third World out of debt, and U2 topped Rolling Stone magazine’s list as the top-earning band of last year. The Irish rockers took in an estimated $61.9 million from touring, recording and publishing. Following them on the list were rap mogul Dr. Dre, The Beatles, the Dave Matthews Band and Madonna.

In Memoriam

Famed fashion designer Bill Blass, whose elegant designs were worn by the likes of former first lady Nancy Reagan and newswoman Barbara Walters, died Wednesday of cancer at his home in Washington, Conn., the AP reports. He was 79.