Comedy Central's hot commodity Dave Chappelle inked a massive deal with the Viacom-owned cabler for two more seasons of his hit series Chappelle's Show. According to the Hollywood Reporter, the deal could be worth about $50 million, catapulting Chappelle, 30, into television's top earners. He'll be paid approximately $5 million per episode with a 10-episode commitment per season, will have a chance to profit from the show's DVD sales, and has set up a multimillion-dollar deal with Viacom's Paramount Pictures to star in features include an adaptation of the autobiography of Rick James, the funk veteran whom Chappelle has lampooned on his show. The ratings for Chappelle's Show have been high and have also helped to boost other longtime staples including The Daily Show With Jon Stewart and South Park."Life without Chappelle's Show would not have been very bright as far as getting or exceeding those numbers again," said Lauren Corrao, senior VP of original programming and head of development, told the Reporter. "It means a great deal to growing our schedule. We're thrilled to have him back."
MTV Music Video Awards adds more to its celeb roster
Dave Chappelle is also making an appearance at the 21st annual MTV Music Video Awards, joining other celebs including Paris Hilton, Lenny Kravitz, Ludacris, LL Cool J, Jon Stewart and Sean "P. Diddy" Combs, The Associated Press reports. MTV announced that hip-hop artists Lil' Jon, Petey Pablo, the Ying Yang Twins and Terror Squad featuring Fat Joe will perform, along with Usher, Kanye West, Yellowcard, Jet, Hoobastank and Jessica Simpson. The show will air live Aug. 29 in Miami, Fla. Jay-Z's jarring video for "99 Problems," which depicts his own murder as a metaphor for his retirement from rapping, leads with six nominations. Beyonce, No Doubt and OutKast received five nominations each.
VH1 to air Jackson movie
VH1 will debut its original movie on beleaguered pop star Michael Jackson Friday, AP reports. Man in the Mirror: The Michael Jackson Story traces the trials and tribulations of Jackson's life from his Motown days to his present legal woes, starring UPN's One on One's Flex Alexander as the King of Pop, who performed all the dance moves.
Franken brings radio show to cable TV
Liberal political humorist Al Franken is headed back to television next month with plans to bring his radio show to the Sundance cable TV channel, a spokesman told Reuters on Monday. Starting Sept. 7, Sundance will package the best of Franken's three-hour weekday radio program into a one-hour telecast of highlights that will air at 11:30 p.m. the same night, with repeats at 2:30 a.m. and 7 a.m. the next morning. His radio show debuted on March 31 as part of the fledgling Air America radio network, billed as a liberal antidote to the predominantly right-leaning talk-show culture whose ranks include Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and Bill O'Reilly.
Chris Rock releases first album in five years
Funnyman Chris Rock is preparing to release Never Scared, his first album since 1999's Bigger and Blacker, Reuters reports. The album, due Aug. 31 through Geffen, features material from his HBO special of the same name as well as a handful of music parodies and new comedy sketches including a parody of OutKast's hit "Hey Ya!" dubbed "Crackers." The album will also include a DVD with behind-the-scenes footage from the HBO special. Rock, who has been on hiatus from film for the past two years, will be heard in the 2005 animated feature Madagascar and is set to star in the remake of the football-themed The Longest Yard starring Adam Sandler and rapper Nelly.
Schwarzenegger settles bobblehead doll dispute
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has settled a lawsuit against Ohio Discount Merchandise Inc., the company that produces bobblehead dolls featuring a gun-toting Schwarzenegger in a business suit. Under the new agreement, the company can produce dolls, priced at $19.99, but without the gun. Ohio Discount also agreed to donate a portion of sales to Schwarzenegger's nonprofit Arnold All-Stars after-school program in Los Angeles, the AP reports. But Ohio Discount's co-owner, John Edgell, said he opposes the settlement and plans to seek an injunction. His partner Todd Bosley said he severed ties with Edgell when he sought offers for a "Groping Arnold" bobblehead, after accusations surfaced that said Schwarzenegger had groped several women during his years in Hollywood.
Valenti comments on Hollywood's changing landscape
Jack Valenti, who announced in June he was stepping down as MPAA president and CEO after nearly four decades, said in an opinion column in Monday's Los Angeles Times that his greatest achievement as head of the Motion Picture Association of America was that he survived. "To endure in a volatile, unpredictable arena populated by egos the size of small planets is not an inconsiderable achievement," Valenti, 82, wrote. Valenti also noted the vast changes in Hollywood during his 38-year tenure, including huge increases in production and marketing costs; reliance on make-or-break opening weekends; the explosion of the DVD market; and the piracy risk digital cinema presents. Dan Glickman, the former U.S. agriculture secretary under President Clinton, takes over as MPAA chief Sept. 1, while Valenti will continue to oversee the movie ratings system.
Green Day hits the road
Green Day will be touring in support of their new album, American Idiot, due Sept. 21 via Reprise, Reuters reports. The routing for the tour is not yet finalized, but is expected to get underway Oct. 19 in Ft. Worth, Texas, with rock act New Found Glory and up-and-coming rock outfit Sugarcult in tow. American Idiot is the follow-up to 2000's Warning, which debuted at No. 4 on The Billboard 200 and has sold 1 million copies in the United States, according to Nielsen SoundScan. Before the fall tour, Green Day will perform American Idiot in full at a handful of dates closer to the album's release.
Guylaine Cadorette contributed to this report.