SURVIVOR NEWS The Machiavellian skills that brought Richard Hatch to victory on CBS‘ deserted island seem to have backfired in the truck driver free jungle of New York’s publishing world. The million dollar winner’s attempt to forge an alliance with St. Martin’s Press has been thwarted by his own misdeeds, reports Inside.com. The press acknowledged only that a nearly $500,000 book deal with Hatch is off. But sources told Inside that the ex corporate trainer tried to trick both his handlers (CBS) and his would be publishers (St. Martin’s) by submitting two different versions of his proposal for his book, entitled ”Survival Skills for Life: An Owner’s Manual.” The publishers were tempted with a dishy ”Survivor” gossip sheet; CBS was presented with a toned down autobiography about Hatch’s early life. The network has contractual control over castaways’ business endeavors in the months after the show, and one clear no no is writing a memoir about the series. (To leave more room on the market for the ”official handbook” recently published by exec producer Mark Burnett?) Once Hatch’s deception was discovered, St. Martins was left without a scoop and the deal fell through. (Check out what other NYC publishers recently told EW about Hatch’s writing skills.) Maybe Hatch should shop a different sort of book: ”How to Lose Friends and STILL Influence People.”
AWARDS Carlos Santana, Colombian singer Shakira, and the Mexican band Mana may have been the top winners at last night’s first ever Latin Grammy Awards. But eye catching attire (à la Jennifer Lopez at the Grammys) dominated the scene. As performers accepted prizes for Record of the Year (Santana and Mana’s ”Corazon Espinado”), Female Pop Vocalist (Shakira’s ”Ojos Asi”), and Best New Artist (”Buena Vista Social Club”‘s 70something star Ibrahim Ferrer), folks like Christina Aguilera and Shakira raised eyebrows with their skintight skin revealing getups Similarly, Cuban American Celia Cruz‘s electric blue tresses prompted a loud ovation. As actor Jimmy Smits put it: ”We Latins not only make great music, but we look good doing it!” Besides the star studded flash, though, the show marked the first time a program devoted solely to honoring Spanish and Portuguese language acts has appeared on U.S. prime time.
MEDIA British housewives can resume their fantasies: Liz Hurley really does think Hugh Grant is good in bed. Jane magazine issued an unreserved apology for a July article in which Hurley was quoted as saying Grant was ”less than adequate” in the sack. The ”Austin Powers” star says the quotes were fabricated, but Jane initially stood by its feature, saying that the writer had taped Hurley’s interview. Now, the editors have capitulated because transcripts reveal that the recording ”contains no derogatory statements by Ms. Hurley about Mr. Grant or her relationship with him.” The actress has said that she is deeply upset that a reputable mag would act so irresponsibility. ”Hugh and I are bitterly disappointed,” she said. ”Journalism has reached a new low.” Next year, they should put Hurley on the Pulitzer committee.
REEL SNAGS It looks like it’ll be a while before we see Tobey Maguire in tights. Variety reports that Columbia pictures has pushed back the release of ”Spider-Man” from November 2001 to May 2002. The studio says that its revised production schedule will ”enable the film’s creators to realize their ambitious vision” for the film. They also deny that they hope to avoid the impending writer and actor strikes that could cripple Hollywood this summer. ”It never played into the conversation, and was never an issue,” a rep said. Indeed, when it comes to films like ”Spider-Man,” Art is truly the only concern.
FALL TV How’s this for a ratings ploy? ABC is making an unprecedented move to win publicity for its much buzzed about medical drama, ”Gideon’s Crossing.” The network will air the series’ pilot on Oct. 11 WITHOUT commercial interruption. The show, starring ”Homicide”’s Andre Braugher is to be sponsored by Johnson and Johnson, which will feature two 60 second ads only at the beginning and end of the pilot, according to the Hollywood Reporter. Though the network expects to take a financial hit, a rep says that, ultimately, it should attract more viewers. If nothing else, it’s a great ad for the joys of premium cable.
MUSIC NEWS Kid Rock has found an unlikely audience. A conservative antiabortion group, Rock for Life issued a press release yesterday thanking the Detroit rapper for his ”History of Rock” tune entitled, ”Abortion,” reports Wall of Sound. While the musician said that the song was not intended to convey a political message (and his label initially tried to get him to change the title), the organization says it reveals ”the reality of postabortion trauma for men”…. It was no Simon and Garfunkel, but Sting drew a respectable audience of 25,000 last night for his free concert in New York’s Central Park. Special guests included Sheryl Crow, Dennis Miller, blues guitarist Jonny Lang and, of course, a representative from Best Buy, the show’s sponsor.