News Roundup: Sept. 6


Top Story

Rob Lowe, once one of the biggest stars of the NBC drama The West Wing, announced in July he was leaving the show following a contract dispute, but that doesn’t mean he’s leaving for good. Series creator Aaron Sorkin said Thursday that Lowe‘s character on the show, White House Deputy Communications Director Sam Seaborn, is not being killed off. “Sam Seaborn is not going to die,” he said. “So the door is always open.” Sorkin added that he wished Lowe didn’t have to leave. “It’s a difficult situation. There’s no villain in this case, and it will be regrettable if it is portrayed that way,” he said. Sorkin, however, would not reveal plans for writing Seaborn out of the series. The West Wing‘s two-hour season premiere airs Sept. 25.


The Los Angeles Times Friday reports that Notorious B.I.G. was a key player in the unsolved drive-by shooting of rapper Tupac Shakur six years ago in Las Vegas. A yearlong investigation by Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter Chuck Philips identifies Shakur‘s killer as Crips gang member Orlando Anderson, who was later killed in an unrelated shooting. Notorious B.I.G.–who was gunned down himself in Los Angeles a year later–reportedly supplied the .40-caliber Glock pistol used to shoot Shakur. The two had been part of a rivalry that split the rap community between the east and west coasts.

Heather Mills tells Vanity Fair magazine that she offered to sign a prenuptial agreement before marrying Paul McCartney, but the former Beatle wouldn’t allow it. In an article in the October issue, McCartney said he knows some people will think he’s been suckered by a gold digger. “I’m not stupid. Heather is a really nice person, or else I wouldn’t be attracted in the least,” he says. “But you’re going to find people who are going to knock her because the better story is the negative one.”

Winona Ryder did not appear at the courthouse Thursday for a conference between her attorney and the prosecutor to set a possible pretrial date for her shoplifting case, The Associated Press reports. Ryder‘s attorney Mark Geragos said outside the courthouse, “We have set a pretrial date and a trial date.” Pretrial proceedings are expected to begin within 30 days of the Sept. 12 hearing.


Comeback kid Robert Evans announced Thursday during a tribute to him at the American Film Festival in Deauville, France, that he is working on a follow-up to his autobiographical documentary, The Kid Stays in the Picture, Variety reports. Titled The Fat Lady Sang, Evans said his film would chronicle his recovery from a debilitating stroke in 1998.


Funnyman Adam Sandler and Jack Giarraputo‘s Happy Madison Prods. have inked a two-year deal to develop comedy series for Columbia TriStar Domestic Television, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The deal will provide Happy Madison with a discretionary fund and will pay for the company’s overhead. The pact is the first deal for Sony’s CTDT since shifting away from maintaining a high volume of long-term development deals with writers and producers.

Sandler is not the only one getting serious about small-screen comedy. National Lampoon, the comedy franchise behind, among others, the 1978 comedy Animal House, said Thursday it would buy Burly Bear Network, a defunct TV network that has distribution relationships with about 420 universities in the United States. According to Reuters, National Lampoon intends to develop live and animated programming for Burly Bear’s college viewers aged 18 to 24.