LAWSUITS Woe to he who hints that Arnold Schwarzenegger can’t terminate with the best of ’em. The Globe has settled Arnold’s $50 million lawsuit against the tabloid for writing that a 1997 heart operation left him with a ”ticking time bomb in his chest.” The paper has paid an undisclosed amount to Schwarzenegger’s charity, the Inner City Games Foundation, and Arnold said, ”Most importantly, I am pleased that the Globe has finally acknowledged its mistake and is willing to set the record straight that I am in excellent health.” Now, if the Globe had said ”End of Days” was a ticking time bomb, no court could have convicted…. The Pet Shop Boys have won a libel case against author Roger Scruton, who, according to the Associated Press, claimed in his book, ”An Intelligent Person’s Guide to Modern Culture,” that the Boys had little to do with their own songs and that their music was largely created by sound engineers. The lawyer for Scruton and his publisher admitted the theory was groundless, and her clients would pay undisclosed damages and reimburse the Boys’ legal costs.
TOP SELLERS In the least-surprising record news of the year, the Backstreet Boys were named the best-selling artist of 1999 by the Recording Industry Association of America. Their second album, ”Millennium,” sold more than 10 million copies, while their first album from 1997 sold 3 million more this year. Coming in a close second in both sales and predictability was Britney Spears, who also broke the 10-million mark.
CASTING The Mexican Salma Hayek will return to her native language for ”La Gran Vida (The Great Life),” a Spanish comedy about a suicidal man who arranges for his own death but wants out of the deal when he meets a beautiful waitress.
OFF THE AIR What says ”Happy Holidays” better than ”You’re cancelled!” Just in time for Christmas, ABC has axed the sitcoms ”It’s Like, You Know…” and ”Oh Grow Up.” At least”Grow Up” creator Alan Ball can take solace in the fact that he just got a Golden Globe nomination for writing ”American Beauty.” ”You Know” creator Peter Mehlman can take solace in the fact that… well… his show won’t have to worry about pesky Y2K problems.
RECORDING PLANS Everclear will release two albums next year, showcasing their two musical personalities. Art Alexakis told MTV News that the first album, ”Songs From an American Movie, Volume I: Learning How to Smile” (out in April), will exhibit the band’s more melodic, poppy tendencies, while ”Songs From an American Movie, Volume II: Good Time for a Bad Attitude” (out around October) will be more raucous and loud. Will a Volume III show their Latin side?
OBITUARY French director Robert Bresson, called the Dostoevsky of French cinema by Jean-Luc Godard, died Saturday at the age of 98. Bresson was known for such austere, spiritual films as ”Les Dames du Bois de Boulogne” and ”Diary of a Country Priest.” He began his feature-filmmaking career in 1943 and released his last movie, ”L’Argent,” in 1983.