Plus, Fox loses Fox Mulder, otherworldly teens land on UPN, and more
I’M TOO SEXY Remember when pop stars tried to keep their sex lives out of the press? Now they just won’t shut up about it. This week, Christina Aguilera made a point of letting the world know that her genie is out of the bottle. She told England’s Now magazine, ”I’m a proud, sexual girl — a woman, actually — all this ‘do not touch’ nonsense is not me. I’m no virgin.” Take that, Britney and Justin!
Nor does Belinda Carlisle want to be thought of as a virgin, even though she and her bandmates pose as the Virgin Mary on the cover of their new release ”God Bless the Go-Go’s.” She announced Wednesday on ”Good Morning America” that she’ll go go nude in Playboy’s August issue. The 42-year-old singer says she wanted to send a message that ”You don’t have to be age 20 and size zero to be sexually viable or viable as a woman.”
Like the Go-Gos, R.E.M. have a new album to promote, called ”Reveal,” and this week, frontman Michael Stipe revealed to Time magazine that he is gay and has a longtime boyfriend who is not famous. Though he has previously acknowledged having relationships with both men and women, the 41-year-old singer says he waited until now to confirm that he’s a ”queer artist” because he finally felt comfortable doing so. Expect future announcements that he’s also bald, rich, and Georgia born.
TV UPFRONTS Fox confirmed that longtime arsenal staple ”The X-Files” will continue without David Duchovny, except in the possible occasional cameo. But the network came out with other guns blazing at yesterday’s apparently ”Pearl Harbor” themed upfront presentation to advertisers on the deck of the U.S.S. Intrepid, the aircraft carrier turned museum in New York harbor. Guests saw a video of a Fox ad executive as a fighter pilot defending his network’s demographic against invading TV competitors by launching missiles representing Fox’s shows. The network is also enlisting ”Star Trek: Voyager” fembot Jeri Ryan to teach on ”Boston Public.” Resistance is futile.
Fox has five new shows, including the long awaited live action version of animated superhero spoof ”The Tick” starring Patrick ”Puddy” Warburton, which will be sandwiched between unkillable cartoon ”Family Guy” and ”Temptation Island” on Thursdays. Other new series include ”The Bernie Mac Show,” starring one of the Original Kings of Comedy as a surrogate dad to his three nieces; ”Undeclared,” a sort of ”Freaks and Geeks Go to College”; ”Pasadena,” a soap starring Dana Delany (”China Beach”) and directed by Diane Keaton; and ”24,” in which Kiefer Sutherland has 24 hours to foil a presidential assassination plot, with each episode covering one of the hours. When does he sleep?
”When we started the show five years ago, we had one mission: Destroy UPN,” said ”Buffy the Vampire Slayer” creator Joss Whedon yesterday during UPN’s upfront at New York’s Madison Square Garden. ”We’ve modified the plan.” The upfront also included a video, a ”Mission: Impossible” spoof showing how UPN execs stole ”Buffy” away from the WB. ”Buffy” will now show Tuesday nights on UPN, followed by fellow WB refugee ”Roswell.”
Actual brand new series on the UPN this fall number just two: a father and daughter sitcom called ”One on One,” which replaces the cancelled ”Moesha” on Mondays, and ”Star Trek: Enterprise,” which Scott Bakula will helm on Wednesdays. UPN has also recruited original ”Trek” captain William Shatner to host a special version of Food Network smackdown ”Iron Chef,” featuring a new panel of gastronomical gladiators, to air Labor Day weekend. Dammit, Scotty, we need more octopus!
UPN also has a reality series set for July called ”Manhunt,” and a drama on midseason standby, ”The Dead Zone,” starring Anthony Michael Hall. Can’t wait to see Farmer Ted doing his imitation of Christopher Walken.
UNCANDID CAMERA Atlanta police said yesteday they had arrested a man who tried to sell hospital photos of Niki Taylor, currently recuperating from a car crash three weeks ago. William Siegelin allegedly got Taylor’s management to pay him $8,000 for a disposable camera that he said might otherwise have found its way to the newspapers. The camera proved empty, leading police to believe that the photos never existed.
Also yesterday, Taylor was taken off a respirator for the first time and spoke her first word since her hospitalization. She scribbled the word ”drink” on a piece of paper, and when the nurse removed her mask, she said, ”Coke.” Her condition has been upgraded to critical but stable.
LEGAL BRIEFS Tim McGraw and Kenny Chesney‘s day in court was postponed when the judge suffered an apparent heart attack before he could take the bench yesterday. The singers face charges for an incident at a concert last summer near Buffalo, N.Y., in which McGraw allegedly grabbed a cop who tried to pull Chesney off a police horse, unaware that Chesney had the owner’s permission to sit in the saddle. If the judge remains hospitalized for long, the court may have to declare a mistrial and send the prosecutors back to square one.
Brad Renfro was arrested early Wednesday in his hometown of Knoxville, Tenn., for underage drinking. The 18-year-old actor was a passenger in a car that police had stopped for changing lanes without signaling. The incident recalled the time three years ago when police pulled over another car he was riding in and arrested him for possession of pot and cocaine. Those charges were dropped when Renfro agreed to stay drug free for six months and undergo random testing. Renfro is currently on probation for trying to steal a yacht last summer in Fort Lauderdale, an attempt that failed when he forgot to untie the boat from the dock. Maybe he’s just doing research for his next movie, the indie feature ”Lifers’ Picnic,” about a luncheon for prison inmates and their families.
‘EARTH’ DAY Think turning ”Battlefield: Earth” into an animated series is a disastrous idea? Then don’t tell Mark Hamill, who has apparently given in to the dark side and agreed to lead the voice cast of the cartoon.