Peter Guber, the former head of Sony Pictures, was among several people with entertainment industry backgrounds chosen Friday to be on the jury in Winona Ryder's shoplifting trial, Reuters reports. Guber, who now runs Mandalay Entertainment, ran Sony from 1988 to 1994 and worked with Ryder on the 1993 film The Age of Innocence. Ryder's attorney, Mark Geragos, prompted laughter inside the courtroom when he asked Guber, "You're not afraid of working in this town again (if Ryder is convicted)?" Guber responded, "Me? No." He went on to tell Superior Court Judge Elden Fox that he believed he could be fair and impartial. The six-man, six-woman panel also includes an employee of a major movie studio and a freelance TV producer. Opening statements are scheduled to begin this afternoon in Beverly Hills.
A private service is planned for Richard Harris, who died Friday of Hodgkin's Disease at the age of 72. Harris will be remembered at a private funeral in London and his ashes will then be scattered in the Bahamas, where the actor had a home, The Associated Press reports. No date has been set for the funeral.
Aretha Franklin's 5,000-square-foot Michigan residence burned to the ground Friday, the AP reports. The house had an estimated value of $812,000, according to township records. Nobody was in the house at the time the fire broke out and an acquaintance of the singer said she hadn't lived there in two years. The cause of the fire is under investigation.
Pixar Animation Studios, the makers of the animated comedy Monsters, Inc., is considering dusting off its classic 1989 short Knick Knack and attaching it to the upcoming adventure pic Finding Nemo. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the studio's goal is to attach a short film before every Pixar animated feature. Nemo opens in theaters May 30, 2003.
Warner Bros. Pictures has acquired the rights to author George P. Pelecanos' crime series about fictional Washington detective Derek Strange. According to The Hollywood Reporter, director Curtis Hanson (8 Mile) will helm and produce the series, which so far includes Right as Rain and Hell to Pay.
NBC has ordered nine more episodes--a full-season order--of its new sitcom Good Morning, Miami. According to The Hollywood Reporter, NBC execs said the show held on to 79 percent of the Will & Grace audience. The order leaves the Tuesday night sitcom In-Laws the only new NBC show still in limbo. American Dreams, Boomtown and Hidden Hills were all picked up last week.
Comedian Christopher Titus, whose half-hour Fox sitcom Titus was canceled after a 2 1/2-year run, may be returning to network TV. According to Variety, Titus is developing an as-yet-untitled series with an hour-long drama format for NBC about buddies who work as bounty hunters. Titus will executive produce, write and star in the show.
About 10 concertgoers suffered minor injuries at rapper Bow Wow's concert Saturday night at the Target Center in Minneapolis after a railing gave way, the AP reports. The incident happened towards the end of the show as fans were pressing forward to get a glimpse of the little rapper as he worked his way through the crowd. The railing--about 12 feet long and 5 feet off the ground--snapped in three places, causing fans to fall forward.