General News

News Roundup: Oct. 25

Oct 29, 2001 | 12:33pm EST

Top Story

R.E.M guitarist Peter Buck will stand trial on Nov. 12 in west London for an alleged air rage incident, Reuters reported. Buck has been charged with being drunk on an aircraft, criminal damage, using threatening words and assaulting two crewmembers on a British Airways flight. The rock star was flying to London for the South Africa Freedom Day concert in Trafalgar Square.


Eugene "Pineapple" Jackson died of a heart attack Friday at his home in Compton, California, Reuters reported. Jackson, 84, starred in the classic 1920 silent comedy Our Gang and later appeared on the groundbreaking black television serials Julia and Sanford and Sons.

Russian filmmaker Grigory Chukhrai died Sunday at a Moscow hospital at the age of 80, The Associated Press reported. Chukhrai, who was awarded the highest Soviet artistic title, Popular Artist of USSR, directed Ballad of a Soldier, Life is Beautiful and I'll Teach You to Dream.

In Courts

Former Columbia TriStar Television executive Helene Michaels has sued the Sony-owned studio, claiming she was fired for marrying another company executive, Variety reported. Michaels alleges that studio president Len Grossi treated her negatively after her marriage to director of current programming Geoffrey De Stefano in May 2000. The lawsuit comes on the heels of Sony's announcement that it was dismantling the studio and laying off 70 employees.

In General

Things are getting ugly between DreamWorks' Shrek and Pixar/Walt Disney's Monsters Inc. as they prepare to duke it out over box office results and a possible Oscar for the new animated feature category. According to The Hollywood Reporter, plans for a THX promotional trailer for Shrek that was to be released Nov. 2, to coincide with the video release was mysteriously scrapped at the eleventh hour. The move has ignited suspicion that Pixar and the Walt Disney Co. blackballed the trailer.

Canadian actors and the association representing the country's film and TV producers reached a tentative agreement Friday, Variety reported. Following five days of negotiations, actors agreed to a 6% wage increase over two years. Steve Waddell, the national director of the Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Televison and Radio Artists said he wanted to send a message to the industry that the labor environment in Canada is a stable one.

Employment in television, film and commercial production fell to a four-year low last month, Reuters reported. An advertising slump for television networks and the impending threat of a writers and actors strike compounded by the events of Sept. 11, contributed to Hollywood's sluggish business climate.

CHiPs veteran Erik Estrada will make an extended guest appearance on the CBS soap opera The Young and the Restless, The Associated Press reported. Estrada previously appeared in the Mexican serial Dos Mujeres, Un Camino, which he credits with saving his career.

German media giant Bertelsmann AG has pumped another $26 million into the song-swapping service Napster. According to Reuters, Bertelsmann will use Napster's technology for its BeMusic operations as part of a licensing agreement between the two companies. Though Napster remains Europe's most popular music destination on the Internet, the BBC reported the number of users sharing files has halved since the song-swapping service ran into legal problems earlier this year.

Winners of the 2nd Annual Latin Grammys will be announced at a press conference at the Conga Room in Los Angeles on Oct. 30. According to a press release from the Latin Recording Academy, the entire event will be viewable at through an agreement with Yahoo! en Español and Yahoo! Music.

Fox has scheduled a new television series set in the '80s, tentatively titled Eighties. The show has been given an on-air commitment for 13 episodes and will air this winter, Variety said.

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