BIG DEALS The ”Dieter” lawsuit that embroiled Mike Myers for the better half of the year doesn’t seem to have done him any harm. The ”SNL” grad remains hot Hollywood property and he has two big offers to prove it. First, he might take on the role of the bumbling Inspector Clouseau in an upcoming remake of ”The Pink Panther.” And he’s been an offered a ”Dieter” size paycheck of $20 million plus to fill Peter Sellers‘ shoes in the detective comedy, Variety reports. Meanwhile, he’s also contemplating a turn opposite Anne Heche and Helen Hunt in a faux documentary titled ”Timepiece.” This flick is set to begin filming in February. So, he’d better make up his mind quick. Besides, he doesn’t want to anger ”Pay It Forward”‘s mother of God.
SPLIT After six years, Ben Folds Five are folding. The band’s three members announced today their desire to pursue separate musical interests. ”The band is splitting on good terms. We are very proud of our three albums, our little hit, and our audience,” the group said in a statement. ”Now it is time to bow out with dignity rather than to make that final ‘cash in’ record and tour, which of course is very tempting.” All three musicians are putting together groups of their own, which may soon show up on the club circuit. For now, fans can console themselves with their final single, ”Lonely Christmas Eve,” from the soundtrack to the upcoming Jim Carrey family flick, ”How the Grinch Stole Christmas.”
AWARDS Okay, everyone can breathe a sigh of relief. The date and venue have been set for next year’s Grammy Awards. The star studded musical event will take place on Feb. 21 at L.A.’s Staples Center for the second year in a row. Sisqó, Boyz II Men, Lucy Pearl‘s Raphael Saadiq, and Dwight Yoakam all made themselves available for sound bites at the press conference announcing the event. ”Today I’m basically here in support of the Grammy,” Sisqó told Launch. ”OK, I’m kissing a little ass, trying to secure my Grammy spot.” We thought he already got all of his ass kissing over with in the ”Thong Song” video.
MUSIC NEWS In other Sisqó news, the singer also told Launch that the long anticipated Dru Hill reunion may not happen after all. Clashes among the former bandmates have made it tough to get the album going: ”For the Dru Hill project that we were gearing up to do, [there have been] some shocking new developments,” he said. ”Normally what happens with a group when they try to do what we’re trying to do, it’s got some friction, so I don’t know if it’s gonna happen”…. Meanwhile, another long lost group is preparing for a comeback. Guns N’ Roses will not only play at the third annual Rock in Rio for a Better World Festival in January, they’re planning an extensive tour after that. A full itinerary has yet to be released…. Kenneth ”Babyface” Edmonds has a new album coming out. Sort of. ”Babyface: A Collection of His Greatest Hits” — which will feature two new tracks — will hit stores Nov. 14. Until then, we’ll wait in silence for that little sliver of light to enter our dark, maddening world.
NIXED Oh, Kathie Lee, where art… thee? Promos for Kathie Lee Gifford‘s latest solo effort, ”Heart of a Woman,” may have hit major radio markets throughout the country, but you won’t catch any between segments of her former show, ”Live! With Regis.” On set ”spies” tell the New York Post that Gifford and company purchased ad time during the program. But ABC refused to air the commercials, returning her dough with ”no explanation.” (Maybe someone at the Alphabet played the record.)
TV NEWS Another rookie TV show bites the dust. NBC has axed the 9 p.m. Monday night drama ”Deadline” after only five episodes. The show about a crime solving journo by ”Law & Order” creator Dick Wolf racked up about 9.8 million viewers for its Oct. 2 premiere. But since then, it has lost nearly half its audience among those aged 18 to 49…. The ”South Park” guys are taking on the world of politics. Creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker have signed on to do 10 episodes of a live action political comedy series to be called ”Family First.” However, they’re waiting until after Nov. 7 to cast the role of the lead: Will he be a phony, commercially driven scion OR a phony, commercially driven scion?
SWITCH Oliver Stone is getting a taste of genuine strife. Kevin Costner has ditched the director’s upcoming pic ”Beyond Borders.” The relief worker drama — inspired by Nobel Prize winning organization Medicine Without Borders — is supposed to begin filming in February or March, according to the Hollywood Reporter. Stone’s studio is now in negotiations to get ”The English Patient”’s Ralph Fiennes to fill Costner’s role opposite Angelina Jolie. (Catherine Zeta Jones had originally been cast to costar with Costner, but she also dropped out. Sounds like a conspiracy….)
CASTING It seems Meg Ryan just can’t stay away from Aussie hunks. The recent tabloid fave has signed on to join ”X-Men”’s Hugh Jackman in a romantic time travel comedy titled ”Kate & Leopold.” Next, Jackman will form his own rock band…. Tommy Lee Jones is considering a new flick helmed by ”Rules of Engagement” director William Friedkin. The new action flick, titled ”The Hunted,” is about a villain who murders in order to become the focus of a manhunt. It’s very unique, really.