News Roundup: Nov. 4

Top Story

CBS has decided to air the episode about a fictitious anthrax threat against the nation’s capital on their drama series, The Agency, the network confirmed on Friday. The episode, which will now air on Nov. 8, was originally slated for broadcast on Oct. 11 but got bumped twice, first due to President Bush’s nationally televised news conference that evening and again the following week over public anxiety about the real-life anthrax scare unfolding in Florida, New York and Capitol Hill. Tracey Rabb, the show’s publicist, told Reuters that “everybody feels the show is produced responsibly, there isn’t anything in inappropriate in the episode, and you really can’t do a serious drama about the CIA without colliding with topical events.”

In Courts

Michael Greene, the president and chief executive of the National Academy for the Recording Arts and Sciences, denied allegations on Friday that he sexually assaulted or physically abused a female employee, Reuters reported. Greene released a statement saying that NARAS’ primary focus should be preparing for the Grammy telecast in February and that the “grief and distraction of a long, drawn-out legal action…would end up crippling the productivity and morale of the organization.” But attorney Gloria Allred, who represents the employee, Jill Geimer, called Greene‘s statement “self-serving and pathetic” after her client was given a $650,000 settlement.

Rap artist Jay-Z‘s back-up singer Demme Ulloa has filed a copyright lawsuit in Manhattan’s Southern District Court on Oct. 31 against the rapper and his various label affiliations, claiming she wasn’t paid for her contribution to Jigga’s hit single “Izzo (H.O.V.A.),” reports. The singer is seeking a permanent injunction to stop further sales of the song, $1 million and damages relating to record sales to be determined by a judge. A hearing is scheduled for Nov. 8.

In General

Geraldo Rivera is quitting his prime-time talk show on CNBC after seven years to become a war correspondent for Fox News Channel, AP reports. Rivera‘s last CNBC show will be on Nov. 16. The anchor said he wanted to do more reporting but that was difficult when he was committed to a talk show four nights a week. He was particularly frustrated recently when he was asked to do a special for NBC on why Muslims hate America, and was told he couldn’t leave the country. “I’m a reporter, that’s how I see myself. And the war on terrorism is the biggest story of our times. I’ve got to get out there. When you’re an anchor, you’re literally anchored. I had to break the chain,” Rivera said in a statement.

Danny DeVito is attached to direct an as-yet-untitled ABC comedy pilot from The Simpsons writers Bill Oakley and Josh Weinstein, according to Variety.The show will be a satirical comedy about a n extended family that is very eccentric, but very close-knit. The series is being targeted for fall 2002 but could end up on ABC as early as this spring.

After putting Madonna‘s childhood home for sale on the Internet auction site eBay, owner Tom Angres gave up on taking bids after pranksters tried to set the price at $99 million, AP reports. Angres purchased the four-bedroom home for about $270,000 and set the price at $324,000, which he said is the appraised value the house. After failing to resell the house on eBay, he is now resorting to a more traditional auction sale. The Material Girl’s childhood home goes on the auction block Nov. 17. It is still unknown what auction house will attempt to resell the home.

Michael Jackson is set to make his very first in-store appearance on Nov. 7. The superstar, who hasn’t released a studio album in 10 years, will appear at the Virgin Megastore in Times Square to promote his recently released Invincible, reported on Friday. CBS will also air a television special on the King of Pop on Nov. 13, featuring excerpts from Jackson‘s star-studded 30th anniversary concerts at Madison Square Garden in September.