Janet Jackson announces a U.S. tour
Andrea Thompson may be too hot for CNN, ''Traffic'''s studio has to pay up, the Douglases team for a film, and more
TOURING Janet Jackson will take her new ”All for You” album on the road this summer with a major concert tour. The singer – actress’ new album, which was released April 24, is expected to top Billboard’s album sales chart next week. Jackson, the Associated Press reports, will kick off a North American tour in Vancouver on July 5. The first U.S. show is scheduled two days later, July 7, in Portland, Ore. The tour is expected to finish in Denver this October before Jackson embarks on her European tour.
NAKED NEWS Former ”NYPD Blue” regular Andrea Thompson may have some ‘splaining to do. The blond actress turned television reporter had just been hired as a CNN anchor of ”Headline News,” when CNN officials found out that she had once used her, um, prodigious talents in an Italian softcore porn film called ”Manhattan Gigolo.” According to the Industry Standard, CNN is reconsidering her already controversial hire now that they know about the erotic film and several arty black and white nude photos of her circulating on the Internet. ”Nobody knew about this stuff over here,” one CNN source was quoted as saying.”
Thompson, however, seems to have CNN’s on-record support. ”I did this as a piece of art and make no apologies for the creative decisions I’ve made as an artist in my 20 year career,” she said in a statement to the New York Post. CNN also sent out a statement defending Thompson: ”We accept Andrea Thompson’s explanation regarding the photos in question. We hired Andrea, who we feel is a promising journalist, as an anchor for Headline News.” Even if Thompson isn’t eventually dumped by CNN, she’s going to work opposite tenured journalists who reportedly don’t respect her six months of broadcast experience at Albuquerque’s CBS affiliate KRQE.
DRUG MONEY Distributors of the Academy Award winning drama ”Traffic” have paid a Cincinnati private school an undisclosed amount for using the school’s name without permission in the drug-themed film, the Associated Press reports. Stan Chesley, a lawyer for the elite academy, said USA Films agreed to pay a sealed sum to Cincinnati Country Day School because of the film’s depiction of extensive drug dealing and using among students at the school. Chesley said the studio also agreed not to use the school’s name in any rerelease of the movie.
REEL DEAL The Douglases are planning to collaborate on a movie. ”Smoke and Mirrors,” starring husband and wife Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones, is being produced by Michael’s older brother Joel and family friend Kevin Brodie for their Pro Star Filmmakers company. Technically, Brodie will even be related to the Douglas clan, because Joel is engaged to Brodie’s sister Joann Savitt. And Brodie’s father, Steve, coproduced the film ”Out of the Past” with papa Kirk. And just to keep things fair, Zeta-Jones’ brother, David Jones, is also one of the coproducers. Talk about keeping it all in the family.
PILOT REPORT ”Quantum Leap” star Scott Bakula is ready to beam his way back to prime time. Bakula has agreed to replace Burt Reynolds in the CBS comedy pilot ”Late Bloomers.” He is also starring in the upcoming ”Star Trek: Enterprise” series. Adam Arkin (”Chicago Hope”) and Markie Post (”Night Court”) were also just added to ”Bloomers,” after Joe Bologna and Michele Lee left the pilot. Reynolds was to play the lead, a former NFL star who opens a Chicago bar where his best friends hang out — think ”Cheers” crossed with a male ”Golden Girls.” Reynolds stormed off the set earlier this week due to ”creative differences” with the producers.
TUBE NEWS ABC has decided to take ”Making the Band” off the sweeps calendar and air the remaining episodes this summer (the show has been on Friday nights for the past two weeks). The boys of O-Town have yet to generate a loyal following. The show averaged only 4.7 million viewers these past two weeks, so the network will replace it with back to back installments of ”Whose Line Is It Anyway?” starting tonight…. In other ABC news, ”What About Joan” will continue to replace ”The Geena Davis Show” during sweeps, instead of being shelved for ”Geena,” as was originally planned. ”Joan” has performed much better than ”Geena” in the post ”Dharma & Greg” time slot, averaging 12.3 million viewers a week.