News Roundup: Nov. 01

Top Story

Veteran Hollywood Reporter columnist George Christy, who wrote “The Great Life” column for 26 years, quit the trade publication on Wednesday after probes into health benefits he received from the Screen Actors Guild caused an uproar, Reuters reports. There was also speculation about whether Christy was giving movie producers favorable mentions in return for being listed in the credits of films in which he may not have appeared. In April, Reporter editor-in-chief Anita Busch and reporter David Robb resigned after the paper ran a story by Robb and another reporter about SAG’s investigation into whether Christy was legitimately qualified for health and pension benefits.


Country singing legend Johnny Cash was admitted to Nashville’s Baptist Hospital on Wednesday for a recurrence of the bronchitis that sent him to the hospital earlier this month, Reuters reports. Cash, 69, suffers from autonomic neuropathy, which makes him susceptible to pneumonia.

In Courts

A lawyer for 30-year-old rap star Snoop Dogg appeared at an Oberlin, Ohio, court on Tuesday to plead innocent on behalf of his client, who was charged with possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia on Oct. 17. According to The Associated Press, Snoop Dogg was charged after the State Patrol stopped his tour bus in Amherst for speeding and found six bags of marijuana in the cargo hold. If found guilty, the rap star could carry a maximum sentence of $250 and 30 days in jail. A pretrial hearing is scheduled for Dec. 11.

Pop group Hanson is suing, alleging copyright infringement for providing digital downloads of their music. According to AP, the group is seeking an injunction against the digital music distributor and damages of $150,000 per song.

NBC, ABC and CBS filed a lawsuit in a California federal court on Wednesday against SONICblue Inc., the maker of the first Internet-ready personal digital video recorder. The networks claim that the personal video recorder, Replay TV 4000, would allow users to make and distribute illegal copies of television programs, AP reports. The Replay TV 4000 was supposed to hit stores in mid-November, but the networks are seeking to prevent the device from ever coming to market.

The UK record company Sanctuary (comprised of Charly Acquisitions Ltd., Charly Trademarks Ltd. and Castle Copyrights Ltd.) is suing former Rolling Stones manager Andrew Loog Oldham in London’s High Court for the rights to master recordings worth missions of dollars, Reuters reports. Oldham, 57, argues that the U.S.-based company he helped found, Immediate Records Inc., owns the rights to Stones recordings issued between 1965 and 1970. The UK record company says it owns the rights and has been involved in releasing compilations of the recordings.

In General

Looks like the Screen Actors Guild will prolong divulging the results of their presidential race as well as 40 other positions. The results were to be announced Friday, but due to discrepancies in the handling of ballots, that will be delayed for an emergency meeting of the elections committee first scheduled for Wednesday, Reuters reports. It is still unknown when the results will be announced. SAG is blaming poll administrator Sequoia Voting Systems for the decision to send out 24,000 New York ballots without signature lines on the return envelopes or instructions to sign. But Sequoia’s manager of nongovernmental services, Robin Johnson, claims that SAG has covered up the discrepancies for more than two weeks until it was forced to respond to inquiries late Tuesday.

Jim Carrey has agreed to star in an untitled comedy from writer/director Gary Ross, Reuters reports. This will be Ross’ first project since Pleasantville. In the film, Carrey will play a widower whose wife returns to haunt him when he falls for a much younger woman. “It’s a rich, lush romantic comedy about renewal and rebirth, set in New York. Getting to shoot it there was important to us, for obvious reasons,” Ross told Reuters. Production will begin in March with the film scheduled for release next Christmas.

Rapper DMX and hard rockers Incubus have landed at the top of the SoundScan album charts for the week ending on Oct. 29. DMX‘s latest Universal/ Def Jam release, Great Expectations, sold 440,000 units in its first week to debut at No. 1, while Incubus’s fourth Epic album, Morning View, which has sold 266,000 units since its release on Oct. 23, follows closely at No. 2.

NBC has taken control over Julia Louis-Dreyfus‘ sitcom, 23:12 from the people who developed it, Carsey-Werner-Mandabach, in hopes to change speculations that the show will becomes another failed comedy series from a former Seinfeld star. The show, in which Louis-Dreyfus will play a lounge singer, will debut early next year.

In an effort to make their new album environmentally friendly, Pink Floyd will plant native trees in four different natural woodlands of Scotland to create new long-term indigenous forests, reports. The band is taking the initiative in a campaign to get the music industry involved in helping to tackle global warming. The money earned from sales of their new album, Echoes, to be released on Nov. 5, will be used to buy more trees for the forests.