ARRESTED Not wanting Robert Downey Jr. to have all the fun, Wu Tang Clan member ODB, whose real name is Russell Tyrone Jones, was arrested himself Monday night in Philadelphia. Jones was detained on warrants issued after the rapper ran away from a mandatory drug rehab center in Pasadena, Calif., and then missed an Oct. 17 court hearing. AP reports that Jones had been ordered in November 1999 to attend the treatment program when he pleaded no contest to possessing body armor in February 1999 and making a terrorist threat at a West Hollywood nightclub in September 1998.
INFLUENTIAL According to a British poll of rock and pop acts, David Bowie is the most influential musician in the industry. London based weekly New Musical Express conducted ”Under the Influence” throughout this year, asking hundreds of recording artists to pick the artists that inspired them most. The 52 year old glam rocker came in ahead of Radiohead (No. 2) and the Beatles (No. 3). Rounding out the very eclectic top 10 are: rappers Public Enemy; jazz legend Miles Davis; German techno group Kraftwerk; punk rockers the Sex Pistols; Eminem; singer – songwriter Nick Drake; and alt rockers the Smiths. Big American names include Stevie Wonder (No. 11), Bob Dylan (No. 16), and Beck (No. 19).
DVD RECORD DreamWorks’ two disc ”Gladiator” DVD conquered the all time sales record last week, shipping 3.6 million units to retailers and selling more than 2 million copies to holiday buyers. DreamWorks’ take for DVD sales and rentals and VHS rentals comes to an estimated $60 million. Twentieth Century Fox’s ”X-Men” had broken the record earlier this month, grossing $57.5 million in first week sales and rentals. But ”Gladiator”’s numbers are more impressive, since, unlike ”X-Men,” they don’t include VHS sales: DreamWorks won’t release a VHS version for sale until early 2001.
CASTING Casey Affleck (”Drowning Mona”) and Scott Caan (”Gone in 60 Seconds”) have signed on to play brothers in the ever growing cast of ”Ocean’s Eleven” for director Steven Soderbergh. A remake of the 1960s Rat Pack pic, the Warner Bros. film stars George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Julia Roberts, Matt Damon, Don Cheadle, and Alan Arkin. And those aren’t even the above the title stars. Okay, just kidding…. ”Frequency” star Jim Caviezel will star opposite Ashley Judd and Morgan Freeman in Twentieth Century Fox’s thriller ”High Crimes,” which begins shooting this week in San Francisco. Based on Joseph Finder’s novel, ”Crimes” follows a high profile defense attorney (Judd) who must represent her husband (Caviezel) when he’s accused of a war crime. Carl Franklin (”One True Thing”) will direct…. Jennifer Connelly (”Requiem for a Dream”) is in talks to costar in Ron Howard‘s upcoming drama ”Beautiful Mind” for Universal and DreamWorks. The project is based on the true story of John Forbes Nash Jr., a genius mathematician (to be played by Russell Crowe) who suffered from schizophrenia but went on to win a Nobel Prize. Connelly, currently starring in Fox’s high finance drama ”The $treet,” will portray Nash’s college sweetheart and wife.
TUBE NEWS CBS is facing a huge scheduling dilemma — when does the Tiffany Network air ”Survivor II” come this January? While CBS won’t give away the precious time slot, many rival executives and TV analysts believe network honcho Les Moonves will move ”Touched by an Angel” to make room for a Sunday night at 8 p.m. tribal council. Now that Steven Bochco‘s diverse medical drama ”City of Angels” has been canceled, Thursday night seems a natural slot for the slightly sagging ”Angel.” However, rumor has it that CBS may also plug ”Survivor” into Thursdays at 8 p.m. or Wednesdays at 8 p.m. (the original’s summer time period). Bottom line: Every competing programming exec needs to know where to put dead air in their lineup…. Emmy winner Hank Azaria and Jim Belushi (”Return to Me”) have each signed deals with Touchstone Television to star in their own sitcoms. Azaria, who’s best known in the TV industry for his many voices on ”The Simpsons,” will play a comedy writer who uses his own experiences as sketch material for the NBC show. Belushi, on the other hand, will star as the father in a family comedy (exec produced by ”Ellen” veterans Tracy Newman and Jonathan Stark) for ABC…. Jenny McCarthy is teaming with ”Cursed” exec producer Ira Ungerleider to star in a comedy for Fox. The former star of NBC’s shortlived ”Jenny” will headline an ensemble comedy of young L.A. twentysomethings. Hmmm… sexy young Angelenos? Isn’t that what every Fox show is about?… MTV has ordered an additional six episodes of the boy band parody ”2Gether,” which aired its last episode this past weekend. The bonus shows will air in January, with Pamela Anderson and Melissa Joan Hart lined up to guest star.
WEDDING BELLS (AGAIN) Geena Davis, 44, will walk down the aisle for the fourth time with her new fiancé, Reza Jarrahy. A 29 year old surgeon, Jarrahy proposed over Thanksgiving weekend, Davis’ publicist said Monday. No wedding date has been set. A little advice, Reza: Don’t plan any big budget adventures to direct Davis in.
CONGRATULATIONS Stone Temple Pilots frontman Scott Weiland and his wife Mary had their first child, Noah Mercer Weiland, on Nov. 19 in a Los Angeles hospital. Weiland, 33, announced through his publicist Monday: ”It was the most glorious moment in my life. He is healthy, wealthy, and wiser than me.”