RESCHEDULING The much-discussed graduation finale of ”Buffy the Vampire Slayer” will finally air on the WB July 13. The show, which features a 60-foot monster wreaking violence in a high school, was yanked last month to show sensitivity to the Columbine High School massacre.
KISS NEWS Good news and bad news for KISS’s Gene Simmons. First, the good: New Line, which produced the upcoming KISS film ”Detroit Rock City,” has bought a movie pitch from the long-tongued singer for a comedy/horror movie about two bumbling dock workers who struggle to defeat the monsters they unleashed on the city by accidentally letting them out of their crates. On a less lucrative note, a former El Salvadoran nanny and housekeeper of Simmons and his wife, Shannon Tweed, is suing the couple for wrongful termination due to racial discrimination, according to the Associated Press. Paula Valladares reportedly maintains that Tweed made repeated racist remarks to her. The couple had no comment.
OUTTA THERE Sorry, girls, he’s taken: Stephen Gately of Boyzone announced to a British tabloid that he is gay and in a long-term relationship with a member of the now defunct Dutch boy band Caught in the Act. He told the Sun that he came forward because a disgruntled employee had threatened to out him anyway. The rest of the band has supported him in his decision. All the more ladies for them!
MAKING NICE? Sean ”Puffy” Combs might be close to a settlement with Steve Stoute, the record executive who pressed charges against the rap guru for leading an attack on him. The New York Daily News quotes a source as saying that Combs would pay Stoute a minimum of $500,000 in production and management fees.
VOTED DOWN Score one for freedom of speech. An amendment to a juvenile justice bill that would have required all movies, albums, and videogames to feature a government-approved description label was defeated in the House on Thursday. This defeat came one day after another measure was shot down in which selling a violent movie, album, or videogame to a minor would have become illegal.
NIXED A ”Sex in the City” episode all about threesomes has proved too racy for Thailand, and the country’s major cable provider has refused to air it. A representative from the government said that shows are censored if they ”run counter to the customs, tradition, and moral standards of Thailand,” and this episode was ”too sexy and open for our society.”
SUCCESS! Limp Bizkit finished its guerrilla tour with a full-length show in Chicago on Wednesday, after its previous surprise outdoor shows, in Detroit and Boston, were shut down by cops. This time the concert was legal because the band was technically playing on private property — the roof of a recording studio owned by Ministry’s Al Jourgensen, so 5,000 fans were able to enjoy the entire 35-minute set, according to MTV News. Limp Bizkit’s official tour kicks off Tuesday in Seattle.
CASTING Martin Lawrence is finally giving his generation a ”Turner and Hooch” to call its own. He’s set to star in the comedy ”See Spot Run” about a mailman who adopts an ex-con dog that’s far more talented than the average pooch.
REEL DEAL Hugh Hefner has finally sold the film rights to his life story, and will serve as a consultant to the project — presumably to make sure the directors get the breast sizes just right (think big). Imagine Studio heads Ron Howard and Brian Grazer won the contest to make the Hef biopic and are looking for writers.
NBA TV TROUBLE New York and San Antonio may be psyched about the NBA Finals, but the rest of the country isn’t. The ratings for Game 1 of the series were an 11.5, which is down 36 percent from last year’s first game, when Michael Jordan’s Bulls played the Jazz…. Because of the 32 NBA games not televised during the early-season lockout, TNT and TBS are returning $17 million to cable operators to make up for the lost advertising. Turner Network Sales recommended to the cable companies that they pass the savings on to you, the cable subscriber, in what could be a whopping rebate of 25 cents per household.
AUDIENCE TROUBLE Michael Jackson’s popularity might be fading in the U.S., but he always has his international audience… or does he? Sales have been slow for Michael Jackson’s June 25 benefit concert in Seoul, South Korea (which will feature appearances by Mariah Carey and Boyz II Men): Only about one-third of the 60,000 tickets have been sold so far. However, a spokesman for the concert promoter says this is a result of cultural differences. ”Koreans do not usually buy or reserve tickets in advance as much as people in other countries do, so we think the sales will begin to rise after the stars begin to arrive next week,” he told Reuters.