ANTIAMERICAN In a news conference Sunday, Oasis guitarist Noel Gallagher claimed the ”bad taste” of Americans has hurt British musicians’ sales in the U.S. ”Americans have got very bad taste, hence the Backstreet Boys,” Gallagher told reporters at the Caracas Pop Festival in Venezuela. He added that BSB ”can’t sing, can’t play, can’t dance” and ”should be shot.” The Oasis star went on to say that BSB songs are ”rubbish” and damages children’s teeth by promoting soft drinks. Oookay. Americans have bad taste. Guess that’s why we helped Oasis albums ”Be Here Now” and ”What’s the Story Morning Glory?” go multiplatinum.
IN THE MONEY Paul McCartney is close to becoming the first pop performer billionaire in Great Britain. Already a dollar billionaire, McCartney’s sterling fortune is approximately 725 million pounds. Thanks to his 150 million pound inheritance from late wife Linda and the huge proceeds from the Beatles’ compilation album ”1,” McCartney is expected to become a sterling billionaire by 2002.
AWARDS It’s not just the Hollywood Foreign Press who loved ”Almost Famous” and ”Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon”: The Chicago Film Critics Association has nominated both Golden Globe winning films for eight and seven awards, respectively. Cameron Crowe’s comedy will compete in major categories like best film and screenplay. ”Almost Famous”’ young stars Kate Hudson and Patrick Fugit snagged nominations for most promising actress and actor, against other standout newcomers Björk (”Dancer in the Dark”), Rob Brown (”Finding Forrester”), and Jamie Bell (”Billy Elliott”). Ang Lee‘s drama picked up nods for best foreign language film, director, and five other awards. Steven Soderbergh‘s ”Traffic” received six nominations, including picture, director, supporting actor (Benicio Del Toro) and supporting actress (Catherine Zeta-Jones). The winners will be announced Feb. 26 at the 13th annual Chicago Film Critics Awards.
FAREWELL Goodbye Mary Katherine Gallagher. ”Saturday Night Live” regular Molly Shannon has announced that after seven years, she is ready to leave the show, with her final appearance scheduled for Feb. 17. Shannon, who’s currently in ”Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas,” plans to continue pursuing her feature film career. She recently completed roles in two upcoming studio movies — Miramax’s ”Serendipity” and Warner Bros.’ ”Osmosis Jones” and is developing a romantic comedy with producer Robert Simonds (”Little Nicky,” ”Big Daddy”) for which she will reportedly receive a $2 million paycheck. Some of Shannon’s most popular ”SNL” characters include ”Goth Talk” cohost Circe Nightingale, joyologist Helen Madden, and spoofs of ”The View”’s Meredith Vieira and Monica Lewinsky. It’s been nice knowin’ you, Superstar.
CASTING Dylan McDermott is in talks with Sony Pictures to star in director Michael Apted‘s (”The World Is Not Enough”) suspense drama ”Enough” opposite Jennifer Lopez. McDermott would play a charming but abusive husband à la ”Sleeping With the Enemy.” We don’t think ”The Practice”’s Bobby Donnell would approve…. Delroy Lindo (”The Cider House Rules”) and Jason Statham (”Snatch”) have signed on to star with martial arts expert Jet Li in ”The One,” for Joe Roth’s Revolution Studios. The $48 million action sci-fi starts shooting Jan. 29 in Los Angeles and revolves around the premise that there are multiple universes with human inhabitants in each. Lindo and Statham play partner agents who must keep people from traveling between these universes. Li plays a universe traverser on a mission to kill. Lindo and Li previously costarred in last year’s sleeper hit ”Romeo Must Die.”
LEGAL BRIEF Two Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies are suing the creators of ”When Cops Attack” and ”Bad Cops” for allegedly portraying them falsely as abusive law enforcement officers. According to the Associated Press, sheriff’s deputies R. Christopher Bowman and Richard English claim reality series producers Simitar Entertainment, Reality Entertainment Direct, and Real Life Productions caused them embarrassment and humiliation. The two seek $500,000 in statutory damages as well as an undisclosed amount in special, general, exemplary, and punitive damages. The production companies could not be reached for comment, except for Simitar Entertainment, whose inside counsel said he was unfamiliar with the case. Simitar filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection last April, the lawyer added. So what exactly were the cops doing in the series? The video shows the two deputies in a 1995 car chase in which their patrol car crashed against a suspect’s vehicle. The suspect attempted to run away, at which point a ”physical altercation occurred,” the lawsuit says. The deputies claim the use of force ”was reasonable and necessary.” Hey, we all know how reasonable L.A. officers are when apprehending suspects.
TUBE NEWS NBC has ordered three additional episodes of the midseason comedy ”Three Sisters.” That increases the sitcom’s tally to 16 episodes this year. In its two airings, the NBC Studios comedy has placed first among adults 18 to 49. Starring Katherine La Nasa, Vicki Lewis and A. J. Langer, ”Three Sisters” debuted after ”Frasier” Jan. 9 with the highest rating for a Tuesday night premiere on NBC since 1996. In its second week, the show, which also features Dyan Cannon and Peter Bonerz as the sisters’ parents, held on to 94 percent of the ”Frasier” audience, with 16.1 million viewers.
AXED Fox has canceled the scheduled sitcom ”Schimmel”, starring stand-up comic Robert Schimmel. The network announced last May that ”Schimmel,” created by ”Simpsons” exec producer Mike Scully, would premiere in fall 2000 but then a few days later decided to push the show to the midseason schedule. A few months later, Schimmel was diagnosed with cancer, further postponing plans for the show. After Schimmel recovered, Fox agreed to restart production in February or March for a late midseason or a fall 2001 slot. Now that Fox has pulled the plug for good, it’s unclear whether Scully will return to ”The Simpsons” (he had stepped down as show runner to concentrate on the new program). Schimmel is reportedly in good health and plans to continue touring comedy clubs.