News Roundup: Sept. 24


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The Associated Press reports the producers of Barbershop have apologized for the film’s off-color remarks about Civil Rights legends Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King Jr. Jesse Jackson is pleased producers Bob Teitel and George Tillman have apologized but still wants the jokes cut from the DVD and video editions. “The apology is a step in the right direction,” Jackson told the AP, but added that he will “keep appealing to them” to correct the matter. In the film, Cedric the Entertainer‘s cantankerous character jokes that King was promiscuous and that Parks only got recognized for refusing to give a white person her seat because she was connected to the NAACP. The other characters in the film, however, admonish him for his disrespectful comments.


‘N Sync‘s Lance Bass, who was kicked off the Russian space launch in October because his sponsors couldn’t come up with the cash, reported for astronaut training in Moscow over the weekend regardless. Yuri Nikiforov, general director of Atlas Airspace, told AP “He will not go in October for sure, but he just doesn’t want to interrupt the (training) program.” Never say never, Lance.

Days after he was found “dazed and drooling” on a Malibu highway and arrested on suspicion of drunk driving, Nick Nolte voluntarily checked himself into a substance abuse center, his publicist, Paul Bloch, confirmed on Monday. The 61-year-old actor entered the Silver Hill Hospital in New Canaan, Conn., on Sept. 14 to “receive advice and counseling that he feels he needs at this time,” Bloch told Reuters. That, and hopefully a haircut.


Paramount Pictures is looking to make an updated version of their 1958 classic King Creole. The film starred a young Elvis Presley as a street punk who takes a job as a dishwasher in a New Orleans nightclub and becomes a surprise overnight success when he gets to perform one night.

And in more Paramount news, the studio’s new comedy School of Rock will reunite the Orange County team of actor Jack Black, writer Mike White and producer Scott Rudin. The film, directed by Richard Linklater (Dazed and Confused), is about a musician (Black) who moonlights as a substitute teacher and infects the private school where he teaches with his unorthodox, rock `n` roll ways.


The 54th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards telecast won the Nielsen ratings Sunday night, giving NBC a boost. Coming in with an average of 19.8 million viewers, the show’s numbers were a significant increase from last year’s much-rescheduled Emmys but not quite as good as the 2000 telecast.

We are talking BIG news. AOL Time Warner and the Walt Disney Co. are in talks to merge CNN with ABC News to create “a stand-alone news powerhouse,” the Los Angeles Times reported on Tuesday. The newspaper quoted sources as saying the discussions had been off and on for 18 months, receiving a lukewarm reception from AOL Time Warner initially, but now the merger is gaining momentum. CNN has been trying to find a network news partner for the last two years in an effort to cut costs, the Times said.