Plus, Ashley Judd, Matthew McConaughey, Gwyneth Paltrow, Keanu Reeves, Backstreet Boys, Steven Spielberg, Pokémon, and more
TEEN WAVE Turns out we’re not the only continent where teenies are bopping: At Thursday night’s MTV Europe Music Awards, Britney Spears won in all four categories for which she was nominated. Irish favorites Boyzone followed her with two trophies at the Dublin awards show, and the Backstreet Boys took home one. While these choices perfectly mirror America’s musical trends, a major cultural contrast was apparent when the crowd shrieked ”I love him, he’s gooooooooorgeous!” — but in a thick Irish brogue…. There’s one less unhappy boy band in the world: The Backstreet Boys, who were making noises about leaving Jive Records, are going to stick around now that they’ve signed a deal worth around $60 million, according to the Hollywood Reporter. The new setup would give them a huge advance on their next album (due in September).
CASTING Ashley Judd is likely to rejoin her ”A Time to Kill” costar Matthew McConaughey in ”Dexterity,” which follows a working-class couple in an industrial town when its central factory shuts its doors…. Gwyneth Paltrow is eyeing ”How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days” as her next project. Loosely based on the actual manual, this comedy centers around a woman trying to ditch a lothario who bets he can sustain a relationship with her for 10 days. Ahh, women: So Venusian. And men: So Martian. Go figure!… Keanu Reeves will film the true story ”Fishing For Moonlight,” playing a stockbroker who loses everything when he helps a prostitute break away from the Russian Mafia. Do not be alarmed if he occasionally runs up walls: He’s only warming up for the two ”Matrix” sequels he’s moving on to when this movie ends…. Leelee Sobieski (”Joan of Arc”) will star in ”The Glass House,” a thriller about a teenager who discovers that the guardians who take her in after her parents die are not what they seem…. Christopher Guest is reuniting his ”Waiting for Guffman” costars Parker Posey, Eugene Levy, and Catherine O’Hara for ”Untitled Dogumentary Project.” It’s another fake doc, this time about canine owners prepping for a dog show.
HONORED It’s been more than a year since ”Saving Private Ryan” opened, so who knew there were any honors left to give the team behind it? Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks were awarded the Distinguished Public Service Award — the U.S. Navy’s highest civilian honor — at Thursday’s Veterans Day event on the U.S.S. Normandy in Fort Lauderdale. Through the movie, the two ”dramatically increased the American public’s awareness and appreciation of the sacrifices made by U.S. veterans during the battle of Normandy,” said Under Secretary of the Navy Jerry Hutlin. Next week the two will be given Honorary MVP awards by the Scituate, Mass., youth soccer league…. Sidney Poitier will be honored with a lifetime-achievement award at the Screen Actors Guild annual awards in March. His career has been outstanding not only because ”of its sheer acting brilliance, but because much of it forced America into examining racial prejudice,” said outgoing SAG president Richard Masur.
BIG MONEY News that won’t surprise kids but will make adults emit a collective ”Poke-who?” — ”Pokémon: The First Movie” grossed an astounding $10 million on its Wednesday opening day. This makes it the biggest Wednesday take for any animated movie, topping even ”The Lion King”’s $6.4 million hump day take in 1994. At the weekend’s close the cartoon’s tally should skyrocket because the film will have moved to 142 more screens. (It’s not, however, likely to hurt its competition at the box office, what with its specialized audience: There won’t be many adults agonizing over whether to see ”Pokémon” or ”Dogma.”) Given this raging success, it’s no wonder Warner Bros. has already bought rights to the sequel, which grossed $33 million in Japan this year, and will dub it for release next summer, according to the Hollywood Reporter.
ROCK EDUCATION VH1 is having so much luck going behind the music that they may never go in front again: The music network has ordered seven new series for this season, all of them biographical rock history lessons. The new slate includes the hour-long ”For the Record,” which looks at momentous moments in rock, and ”VH1 Confidential,” which studies the legends of pop (true and false). No word yet if they’re planning a series that focuses solely on stars on crack: Give the people what they want!
TV DEALS NBC has picked up ”Battery Park,” a new mid-season replacement from TV creator Gary David Goldberg (”Family Ties,” ”Spin City”). The sitcom stars Elizabeth Perkins as a tough New York detective. It’s a revamped version of the Charlie Sheen sitcom ”Sugar Hill” rejected by ABC earlier this year. Who knew Elizabeth Perkins and Charlie Sheen were up for the same roles?… Screenwriter Paul Attanasio (”Donnie Brasco”), cocreator of ”Homicide,” has developed an untitled medical drama for ABC to air next fall.
NO YARD SALE FOR BARB Barbra Streisand is clearing out the L.A. home she sold, and you can buy her cast-offs. On Nov. 29 and Dec. 2, Christie’s will auction off furniture, ceramics, cars, and movie memorabilia that she just doesn’t have space for in her other homes. Hopefully James Brolin can find some room in her other pads, or he may find himself up on the block too.
SICKBEDS Live had to postpone three concerts and an appearance on Late Show With David Letterman after three band members came down with upper respiratory infections. (They weren’t sharing microphones, were they?) The group is hoping to recuperate in time for Saturday’s show in Toronto.
ARRESTED The boyfriend of Ben Vereen‘s daughter was arrested Thursday for allegedly swiping the actor’s 1973 Tony for ”Pippin.” According to the Associated Press, Marc Ross, 29, took it while helping Malika Vereen move out of her dad’s New York City apartment, and she told him to give it back. The cops allegedly nabbed him when he was coming back to return it.