Plus, Phish isn't breaking up, Gary Oldman slams Spielberg and Co., Sean ''Puffy'' Combs' is sued again, and more

By Lori Reese
October 13, 2000 at 04:00 AM EDT
N Sync: Larry Busacka/Retna

TV NEWS We know. We might as well start calling ourselves BoyBand Online. But there remain millions of teen ‘N Sync fiends who need to know that their favorite harmonic hunks will be appearing on an upcoming episode of ”The Simpsons.” The boys recorded their voices for a show titled ”New Kids on the Blecch,” according to MTV News. In ”Blecch” — tentatively set to air in February — Bart and his pals Nelson Muntz, Ralph Wiggum, and Milhouse Van form a boy band of their own called Party Posse. During the gang’s debut concert, an animated ‘N Sync drop by Springfield to kindly offer advice on choreography…. In other less pressing news, the U.S. presidential debates brought in more than 30 million viewers on Wednesday night. Just imagine the numbers if Justin had been the moderator.

FRIGHT CLUB After dozens of repetitive spoofs of self conscious teen horror flick spoofs, the oh so fertile concept is finally wilting. Rather than debuting in the nurturing dark of movie theaters throughout the country, the latest send up — ”Shriek If You Know What You Did Last Summer” — has been exiled to the land of cable. USA Networks will air the feature Oct. 17 as part of its pre-Halloween Shriek Week extravaganza. The flick stars Tom Arnold, Tiffani Thiessen, and Coolio. Sources told Variety that the movie was originally titled ”I Know What You Screamed Last Semester,” but it was altered thanks to the strongly worded suggestion of Miramax Films, which owns the ”Scream” franchise. (The company sued Columbia pictures in 1997 over an alleged connection between its films and ”I Know What You Did Last Summer.”) They were reminded that Harvey has friends in high places — we mean the White House.

PHISH Relax! Earlier this week we reported that one of America’s favorite jam bands Phish may be finished. As it turns out, the hard working rockers are merely taking an extended hiatus. ”Phish is not breaking up. They’re taking time off for an undetermined amount of time,” the group’s manager told Launch. While they eagerly await the band’s return, Phish heads won’t be without comfort. Elektra Entertainment will release ”The Sicket Disc,” an album of live instrumental jams, on Nov. 7. Phish frontman Trey Anastasio will also make his solo effort available via Phish mail order in November. In the meantime, this is an excellent opportunity for their followers to start thinking about, um… anything besides Phish.

POLITICAL CELEBS At least one member of ”The Contenders” cast isn’t too happy about the timing of the political drama’s debut this weekend. Gary Oldman, who plays a conservative congressman in the film, is castigating distributor DreamWorks for the liberal overtones of the story, reports New York’s Daily News. Oldman’s manager Douglas Urbanski (quoted in Premiere magazine) charges that the studio’s heads altered the film to reflect their democratic affiliation: ”If your names are Spielberg, Katzenberg, and Geffen you can’t have a film with a sympathetic Republican character being released three weeks before the presidential election.” Says Oldman: ”We deal with these people every day, and I cannot fight them at their own game. I just want to work with some people with integrity…. I’m surprised that more people have not been murdered in the entertainment industry.” Yikes, we thought it was only Oldman’s CHARACTERS who are scary.

LEGALESE Hey, guess what? Somebody’s suing Puff Daddy again. This time it’s the owner of the New York nightclub where Sean ”Puffy” Combs and company were allegedly involved in the now notorious fracas last year. Michael Bergos — who is asking for $1.8 million from Puffy and three others who were allegedly involved — claims that negative publicity following the Dec.27, 1999, shooting has caused business to drop. The rap mogul’s lawyer says the suit is unfounded: ”It never ceases to amaze me how many people are seeking to financially capitalize on Mr. Combs’ wealth and celebrity status, despite knowing beyond question that he had nothing whatsoever to do with the shooting in Club New York”…. Styx cofounder Dennis DeYoung went to court this week to attempt to stop former band members — Tommy Shaw, James Young, and Charles Panozzo — from using the Styx name, reports Rolling Stone. The group has been touring North America as Styx without De Young. ”This is the most painful decision of my professional career,” DeYoung told the Chicago Sun-Times. ”Now they’ve taken the band’s name and excluded me from the decision making process. I’ve asked for a meeting since July of 1998 and the response I’ve gotten is there is no interest in talking.” The group’s lawyer could not be reached for comment at press time, but we’ll let you know when he responds — unless we have a more urgent ‘N Sync story to report.