BOOK DEAL It’s official — Britney Spears is doing it again. After writing the nonfiction advice book ”Heart to Heart,” Britney and her mother, Lynne Spears, were shopping a book (as EW reported last week). They’ve now struck a deal — Random House will publish the Spears’ novel, which will hit bookstores in time for Mother’s Day in May. The tome will likely be titled ”A Mother’s Birth.” According to Lynne’s online diary on BritneySpears.com, it will be “a fictional book about a mother and daughter. The book is about the struggles they face being poor and living in an affluent world.” Basically, it’s a semiautobiographical rags to riches tale of a Southern teenager with a big singing voice. Yeah, the big singing voice part IS fictional.
ALL ACCESS ‘N Sync fans have yet another way to fill the boy band’s pockets with the group’s very own ‘N Sync Internet access. In collaboration with Microsoft’s Internet Service Provider, MSN, the quintet will launch ‘NSync@MSN, a branded online ISP, today. Not only can screaming teens email and surf the web, the $21.95 a month connection promises special exclusive features, like newsletters, photos, and video footage. ”We use the Internet not only as a tool to communicate with our families while on the road, but to allow us to reach out to our fans in yet another way,” said ‘N Syncer Lance Bass in a press statement. The service will also include ‘N Sync branded versions of MSN Messenger and Windows MediaPlayer. Hey, maybe Justin will instant message me if I sign up. I would just DIE.
DON’T BUY MY CD! Mark your calendars: For the first time in music history, a musician is imploring fans NOT to buy a CD of her work. Oscar nominated singer songwriter Aimee Mann has written a letter explaining that she had nothing to do with the compilation ”Aimee Mann — the Ultimate Collection,” released by Hip-O Records in September. According to Mann’s letter, the label refused to include her or her management in the production of the CD, which includes ”several things I personally consider to be absolute crap,” Mann wrote. ”I would ask everyone to please give this one a miss — I hate to see fans being subjected to this kind of music industry bait and switch.” Mann is currently involved in a lawsuit against Hip-O-Records.
CHOICE AWARDS If you need proof that the most people like drivel, check out the nominations for the 27th Annual People’s Choice Awards. Ratings bombs and critical losers ”The Michael Richards Show,” ”The Trouble With Normal,” and ”The Geena Davis Show” all received nods. Announced yesterday, the nominees (and eventually the winners) are selected via a Gallup poll, which must survey some of the staunchest couch potatoes around. The winners will be presented on January 7, 2001, at 9 p.m. CBS will broadcast the annual awards show, hosted by ”King of Queens” star Kevin James. Here’s a complete list of nominees:
Male Television Performer: Drew Carey (”The Drew Carey Show”), Kelsey Grammer (”Frasier”), Ray Romano (”Everybody Loves Raymond”)
Female Television Performer: Jennifer Aniston (”Friends”), Jenna Elfman (”Dharma & Greg”), Calista Flockhart (”Ally McBeal”)
Male Performer in a New TV Series: Tom Cavanagh (”Ed”), John Goodman (”Normal, Ohio”), Michael Richards (”The Michael Richards Show”)
Female Performer in a New TV Series: Jessica Alba (”Dark Angel”), Geena Davis (”The Geena Davis Show”), Bette Midler (”Bette”)
TV Comedy Series: ”Everybody Loves Raymond,” ”Frasier,” ”Friends”
TV Dramatic Series: ”ER,” ”Law & Order,” ”The West Wing”
New TV Comedy Series: ”Bette,” ”Ed,” ”The Geena Davis Show”
New TV Dramatic Series: ”Boston Public,” ”Dark Angel,” ”Gideon’s Crossing”
Male Musical Performer: Garth Brooks, Ricky Martin, George Strait
Female Musical Performer: Faith Hill, Britney Spears, Shania Twain
Musical Group: Alabama, ‘N Sync, Dixie Chicks
Dramatic Motion Picture: ”The Green Mile,” ”The Patriot,” ”Remember the Titans”
Comedy Motion Picture: ”Meet the Parents,” ”Nutty Professor II: The Klumps,” ”Scary Movie”
Motion Picture Star in a Comedy: Jim Carrey, Eddie Murphy, Adam Sandler
Motion Picture Star in a Drama: Mel Gibson, Tom Hanks, Denzel Washington
Motion Picture Actor: Mel Gibson, Tom Hanks, Denzel Washington
Motion Picture Actress: Sandra Bullock, Julia Roberts, Meg Ryan
CASTING Mike Myers is in talks to play Inspector Jacques Clouseau in MGM’s remake of ”The Pink Panther.” Fellow Canadian Ivan Reitman is in negotiations to direct. Myers was reportedly hesitant to play the role his comedic role model, Peter Sellers, immortalized in the 1960s. But according to Variety, Reitman convinced Myers he was the man for the trench coat. As with most of his films, Myers is expected to be involved in the writing of the project…. Another former ”SNL” star, Chris Rock, may star in the Jerry Bruckheimer produced thriller ”Black Sheep” for Disney. A director has not been announced for the project, which follows a street smart city dweller (Rock) whose identical twin, a secret agent, is killed. The CIA then asks Rock’s character to finish his brother’s assignment. Production is scheduled to start in March 2001…. Forest Whitaker is in final negotiations to join newcomer Colin Farrell (”Tigerland”) in the suspense drama ”Phone Booth” for director Joel Schumacher. The project is scheduled to start shooting early next month. Fox 2000 describes ”Booth” as a ”Rear Window” homage about a young professional (Farrell) trapped in a Manhattan phone booth after being told by a caller — a serial killer with a sniper rifle — that he’ll be shot dead if he hangs up. Whitaker will play Capt. Ramey, a police captain ordered to save Farrell. If the producers only knew that there aren’t any phone booths in Manhattan anymore…. Model turned actress (yup, another one) James King has signed on to join ”Dawson’s Creek” star Joshua Jackson (Pacey) in the comedy ”Lone Star State of Mind.” King and Jackson will play a couple desperately trying to run away from their Texas town and chase dreams of fame and fortune. Sounds like the George W. and Laura Bush story…. ”Freaks and Geeks” star Linda Cardellini (Lindsay) may play Velma in Warner Bros.’ live action ”Scooby-Doo” feature for director Raja Gosnell (”Big Momma’s House”). Scooby and the gang should be ready to solve mysteries this February, when shooting is scheduled to begin. As Velma, Cardellini would join a cast that includes off screen couple Freddie Prinze Jr. and Sarah Michelle Gellar as Fred and Daphne, and Matthew Lillard as Shaggy. How about Snoop Dogg as Scooby?
REEL DEAL ”Friends” director Michael Lembeck is in advanced negotiations to make Disney’s feature sequel to 1994’s $144 million grossing blockbuster ”The Santa Clause.” Tim Allen has signed on to reprise his role. Disney is betting that seven years isn’t too long to wait for a sequel and has tentatively slated a November 2001 release date. The new story picks up five years after the original, with Santa working as usual in the North Pole and trying to balance his hectic work and personal life. It’s those damn elves, Santa. They ruin everything.