MUSIC ONLINE The latest Backstreet Boys album, ”Black & Blue,” doesn’t come out until Nov. 21, but those of you ready to burst with anticipation can catch four of the quintet’s new songs AND the ”Shape of My Heart” video on the group’s official website. The site features streaming audio tracks of the songs ”The Call,” ”Get Another Boyfriend,” ”I Promise You (With Everything I Am),” and ”Time.”
CASTING Ben Affleck and Matt Damon are in talks with Miramax’s Dimension Films to reteam with their ”Dogma” pal Kevin Smith on his new project, ”Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back.” The comedy, Smith’s fifth feature, is scheduled to start production in January with the director and Jason Mewes reprising their roles as the title characters…. Samuel L. Jackson may star in the Universal drama ”Truck 44,” which writer/ actor/ director Peter Berg (”Very Bad Things”) will start shooting early next year. The ”Shaft” star will play the leader of a group of corrupt firefighters who, in attempting to rob a renowned city office building, set a fire instead…. Johnny Knoxville is rapidly becoming MTV’s latest celebrity. The cocreator and host of ”Jackass” is in negotiations to star opposite Sarah Jessica Parker in the romantic comedy ”Life Without Dick.” The directorial debut of screenwriter Bix Skahill (”Chain of Fools”), ”Dick” follows a woman (Parker) who falls for the hitman hired to kill her boyfriend (Knoxville). The Columbia picture begins shooting next month in Los Angeles.
FINED The Screen Actors Guild is fining Tiger Woods $50,000 for shooting a nonunion car commercial during the recent strike against advertisers. When the strike began in May, Woods issued a statement promising not to star in any scab ads, but in July, Woods did just that, appearing in an Olympics themed commercial that aired nearly nonstop throughout the Sydney Games (the ad was shot in Canada). Originally fined $100,000, SAG officials decided to waive the penalty by half, unless the superstar golfer ever crosses the picket lines again, at which point he faces the other $50,000 fine, plus possible removal from the union. Let’s see, for a guy who makes $80 million a year, $50,000 is about an hour and a half of work. Not bad.
TUBE NEWS NBC is shuffling two of its most promising new shows. Starting the week of Dec. 4, ”Ed” will move from Sunday to Wednesday night, where it will anchor the Peacock’s three drama night (”The West Wing” and ”Law & Order” follow). Primetime soap ”Titans,” which used to claim that Wednesday time slot, will shift to Monday nights at 8 p.m. Guess people don’t like sex and politics together after all.
DECISION 2000 As if the state of Florida wasn’t already drowning in media coverage, Cher will join Rev. Jesse Jackson at a rally this afternoon in West Palm Beach to call attention to the questionable veracity of 22,000 votes in the state’s presidential election.
REEL DEAL Rod Lurie (”The Contender”) is close to striking a deal with DreamWorks to direct ”The Castle,” a $50 million to $60 million drama about a court martialed general who winds up leading a military prison insurrection. Robert Redford and Mark Wahlberg are currently in negotiations to star, according to the Hollywood Reporter.
DUETS Carlos Santana will reportedly record the song ”Primavera” from his Grammy winning 1999 album ”Supernatural” with Mexican pop singer Christian Castro, according to Billboard.com. Castro’s current Spanish language single ”Por Amarte Asi” is No. 3 on Billboard’s Hot Latin Tracks chart.
HONORED Barbra Streisand was chosen Friday as the 29th recipient of the American Film Institute’s Lifetime Achievement Award. The AFI Award, which has been presented to Hollywood legends like Orson Welles, Alfred Hitchcock, James Stewart, and Elizabeth Taylor, will honor the ”Funny Girl” with a tribute on Feb. 22, 2001. In case you’re wondering whether Babs is worthy, check out her stats: one Tony, two Oscars, two Peabody Awards, three Emmys, 10 Golden Globes, 10 Grammys, and the record for best selling female recording artist of all time.
SIGNING OFF CNN anchor Bernard Shaw announced Friday evening that he is leaving the network on Feb. 28, 2001. Shaw, 60, who started at CNN when it debuted in 1980, said he is stepping back to focus on book writing and to spend more time with his wife and two children. A seasoned political commentator, Shaw became the face of cable news when he led the network’s coverage of the Gulf War from Baghdad. A CNN spokeswoman announced that the network does not plan to replace Shaw; coanchor Judy Woodruff will helm ”Inside Politics” and ”CNN World View” solo.