News Roundup: May 24


Top Story

Wal-Mart, Borders, Blockbuster, Kmart and other retailers selling video and DVD copies of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone will have a few select stores stay open late on Monday to accommodate those customers wishing to get their hands on a copy when it officially goes on sale Tuesday–that’s midnight. In Great Britain, Harry Potter videos were released May 11, with a record 1.25 million copies sold on the first day.


The Associated Press reports Barry Watson, who plays the hunky eldest son on WB’s hit show 7th Heaven, has been diagnosed with Hodgkin’s disease. “He begins treatment this week, and both he and his doctors are extremely optimistic about a full recovery,” Watson’s publicist said in a statement Wednesday. No other details have been released.

Veteran TV newswoman Barbara Walters has donated $1 million to Sarah Lawrence College, her alma mater. The donation will be used for a gallery in the new Heimbold Visual Arts Center at the Yonkers, N.Y., school.

Irish rock star Bono is putting his singing career on hold. Instead, he and U.S. Treasury Secretary Paul O’Neill have begun a tour of HIV/AIDS-plagued African nations to assess what can be done to help. On Friday, they visited Soweto, South Africa, where they learned the world’s biggest hospital was misusing funds allocated for treating pregnant women affected with HIV.

Topless or not, Russian tennis star Anna Kournikova was named the sexiest woman in the world by FHM, a British men’s magazine. Even though she isn’t even ranked in the top 50 women tennis players, she outranked other beauties such as Britney Spears and Jennifer Lopez (who won the previous two years) in FHM‘s annual sexiest women poll.

In the Biz

Hot off the success of Spider-Man, Sony has decided to push back the release of its newest comic-book adaptation, Daredevil, to Feb. 14, 2003, President’s Day weekend. The film, currently in production and starring Ben Affleck, was set to be released Jan. 17, but Variety reports the studio believes the February release date will generate bigger box office grosses.

Tube News

Well, here’s another one entering the talk-show fray. Sarah “Fergie” Ferguson, the outspoken redhead who was, for a brief moment, a British royal, is thinking about hosting her own talk show in the United States. Her spokeswoman told Reuters, “She is considering it, but it is not a done deal.”

NBC will be putting a new name to “reruns” this summer. The network will air six episodes of The Rerun Show, in which an ensemble troupe will re-create and spoof scenes from classic TV sitcoms such as The Facts of Life and The Partridge Family. It’ll air Tuesdays at 8:30, starting mid-July.

Music News

After long months of waiting and waiting, we now know the title track to the newest Bond movie, Die Another Day. Called “Can’t You See My Mind,” it will be performed by Madonna. Now we can sleep at night.

MTV launched the first-ever MTV Video Music Awards Japan on Friday. American rockers such as Nickelback, Boyz II Men and Sheryl Crow joined Japanese stars such as Rip Slyme and rapper Zeebra in a show to honor groups such as The Backstreet Boys with the award for best group of the year and Japan’s Chemistry with the award for top pop band.

In Memoriam

Mad Magazine’s longtime cartoonist Dave Berg, best known for his “The Lighter Side of” comic strip in the infamous publication, died of cancer May 16. He was 81.