THREE TIME Once again, CBS is looking for more ”Survivor” candidates. Now that ”Survivor: The Australian Outback” has topped the Nielsen charts two weeks in a row, CBS announced Wednesday that they would start accepting applications from prospective contestants. Of course that means there will definitely be a ”Survivor” 3. If you’re interested in competing for the $1 million prize, you must complete an application (including a three minute VHS tape of yourself) before the April 13 deadline. Although the location is considered ”top secret,” executive producer Mark Burnett told morning radio host Jay Thomas (New York City’s WTJM) that the next castaways could end up in the Amazon. For more information, check out the casting call website.
LEGAL BRIEF Eminem has plead guilty to charges of possessing a concealed weapon and brandishing a firearm in public. According to the Associated Press, Michigan prosecutors announced Wednesday that the rapper’s guilty plea will drop the charge of assault with a dangerous weapon. Em, also known as Marshall Mathers III, was charged last June when he allegedly pistol whipped a man who was kissing the Slim Shady’s wife, Kim. Eminem could be ordered to serve up to 5 years in prison when he’s sentenced April 10, but his publicist Dennis Dennehey said that the multiple Grammy nominee will seek probation. ”Marshall is looking forward to putting this matter behind him,” Dennehey told the AP. Yes, all that ugly PUBLICITY…
SPLIT It’s official. While everyone else was celebrating Valentine’s Day, Jennifer Lopez and Sean ”Puffy” Combs announced their separation. Combs’ spokeswoman told Reuters that ”he and his love Jennifer Lopez have in fact broken up. Mr. Combs is confirming this today as he wanted to put all rumors surrounding their relationship to rest. At this difficult time we ask that you respect his privacy.” Lopez’s rep, however, said he could neither confirm nor deny the relationship’s demise. Combs is currently on trial for gun possession and bribery in New York City, where he could receive 15 years in prison if convicted. Lopez, meanwhile, is touring Australia promoting her No. 4 album ”J.Lo.” Her movie, ”The Wedding Planner,” is hanging tough at No. 2 is the U.S. box office.
RETURNING Robert Downey Jr. has signed on to appear in eight more episodes of ”Ally McBeal.”Despite an earlier denial from Downey’s reps and series creator David E. Kelley, the Golden Globe winning actor will finish the season on the Fox show. Downey has already appeared in 10 episodes as Larry Paul, Ally’s (Calista Flockhart) ”soulmate.” Larry, who supposedly leaves the show’s Boston set world to live with his son in Detroit, returns to Allyland Feb. 26, according to Reuters. Downey, 35, still has legal trouble, however. He is scheduled to appear in court Feb. 21, when prosecutors are expected to offer a plea bargain for the actor’s drug possession charges. If no bargain is forthcoming and Downey is convicted, however, he faces up to four years and eight months in state prison.
CHART ATTACK Jamaican singer Shaggy held on to No. 1 with ”Hotshot,” which sold more than 245,000 copies last week. Jennifer Lopez‘s sophomore album ”J.Lo,” however, dropped two spots to No. 4, after selling 134,000 units. The Fab Four continued their chart superiority, bumping up from No. 4 to No. 2. The Beatles‘ ”1” collection moved more than 151,000 albums. Continuing in its favorite spot, the ”Save the Last Dance” soundtrack remained No. 3 for the fourth consecutive week. It sold just under 151,000 copies. Ja Rule‘s ”Rule 3:36” also stayed put at No. 5, with 97,000 copies sold. The rest of the top 10 includes Dido‘s ”No Angel” at No. 6; Lenny Kravitz‘s ”Greatest Hits” at No. 7; Sade‘s ”Lovers Rock” at No. 8; Ludacris‘ ”Back for the First Time” at No. 9; and top 10 newcomers Crazy Town at No. 10 with ”The Gift of Game.”
TUBE NEWS First CBS decides to air ”Survivor” 2 opposite NBC’s ”Friends.” Now, the Eye is kicking it up a notch: The network announced Wednesday that it will premiere its new cop drama ”Big Apple”, starring Ed O’Neill (”Married With Children”), Thursdays at 10 p.m. (in other words, to compete with NBC’s highest rated program, ”ER”). With ”CSI:Crime Scene Investigation” pulling in more than 20 million viewers (not to mention skewering ”Will & Grace” and ”Just Shoot Me”), CBS must’ve seen an opportunity to further cripple NBC. ”Big Apple,” which is produced by ”NYPD Blue” veteran David Milch, debuts March 1. Poor news program ”48 Hours,” which currently occupies the 10 p.m. slot, will air occasionally for the rest of the season and return to the time period in June (after May sweeps, natch).
REEL DEAL Former Beatle Paul McCartney will release ”Wingspan,” a two hour documentary and a two disc CD to celebrate Wings, the ’70s band he formed with his late wife Linda. The film, which includes never before seen footage of the McCartneys, will air on American television during May sweeps before being broadcast internationally. The double CD, also due out in May, will feature 40 of Wings’ greatest hits.