Plus, Tom and Nicole's divorce is nearly final, Angelina Jolie's (re)production schedule, and more

By Gary Susman
Updated August 02, 2001 at 04:00 AM EDT
A.J. McLean: B Khan/Retna

American Pie 2

  • Movie

HEALTH WATCH A.J. McLean is going to remain in alcohol rehab for an additional two weeks, pushing back even further the remaining dates on the Backstreet Boys‘ tour. ”A.J.’s initial treatment is going very well,” said Kevin Richardson in a statement on the band’s website. ”His doctors have suggested it would be in A.J.’s best interest to take an additional two weeks in transitional care.” Added Brian Littrell, ”We’ve spent some time with A.J. recently and he, along with the rest of us, is excited to return to our tour on August 24th.” The tour was supposed to resume on August 7, about a month after McLean checked himself in for treatment for alcoholism and depression, but the band said at the time that McLean’s health was its top priority.

A week after checking into a New York hospital for exhaustion, Mariah Carey remains hospitalized, forcing the cancellation of such engagements as her performance at MTV’s 20th anniversary concert and her promotional appearances for her upcoming film, ”Glitter.” The 31-year-old performer ”is getting her much-needed rest,” her spokeswoman said.

Rachel Weisz had a sniffle, and it almost killed her. The ”Mummy Returns” actress is starring in a London production of Neil LaBute‘s new play ”The Shape of Things,” but she had to bow out of a couple performances last week due to flu-like symptoms. On her way home from the doctor’s office, her taxi was totaled by a truck. She emerged dazed but unscathed. Weisz hopes to bring the production to New York this fall. She’s the lone Brit in a cast that includes Paul Rudd and Gretchen Mol.

LEGAL BRIEFS The dissolution of Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman‘s marriage is expected to become final on August 8, just six months after Cruise filed divorce papers. Given the complex property, alimony, and child custody issues involved, that counts as a quickie divorce, sped up by a fast-track petition Cruise filed. Those outstanding issues will be resolved later, in hearings beginning October 4. Still, Cruise and Kidman have one more joint appearance to make, at next Tuesday’s Los Angeles premiere of ”The Others,” which Cruise coproduced and in which Kidman stars….

In a London court on Tuesday, Peter Buck pleaded not guilty to charges stemming from an alleged air rage incident in April. He’s accused of starting a drunken altercation with the flight crew, causing the pilot to radio ahead to Heathrow to have police arrest the R.E.M. guitarist upon landing at the airport. He spent two days behind bars and was released on $30,000 bail. ”I am very sorry for the incident and of course, very embarrassed about the whole thing,” he said at the time….

Maybe Fred Durst should stop urging concertgoers to ”break stuff.” Days after Australian police questioned Limp Bizkit about the death of a teen in a Sydney mosh pit, a paramedic is suing the band for its alleged role in injuries he suffered at a Detroit concert last year. Christopher Dickinson, 33, claims he was trying to reach an audience member who had suffered a seizure when Durst egged the crowd on to rowdier behavior. Dickinson never reached the ailing fan, as he was kicked and trampled to such an extent that he claims he suffered permanent brain damage. He did not specify the amount of damages he is seeking….

Téa Leoni may trade in her last name for her husband’s. She tells the Los Angeles Times that ”Tea Leoni-Duchovny” sounded too long-winded. She’s not wedded to ”Leoni” at all, since it’s not her real name; she was born Elizabeth Téa Pantaleoni. David Duchovny tells the paper he supports the idea, saying, ”It’s the only way my name will ever be on an Oscar.”

WOMB RAIDER There may be only one force on Earth that can keep Angelina Jolie and Billy Bob Thornton from rutting like rabid minks: the legal department at Paramount Pictures. According to London’s Daily Express, a clause in Jolie’s contract for ”Lara Croft: Tomb Raider” restricts her from becoming pregnant before production begins on a sequel. (Did Thornton have to sign on to a related it-takes-two-to-tango clause?) Jolie told E! News Daily that just in case, she’s leaving a 2 1/2-year gap between films, and that she and Thornton are considering adoption. No word on whether Paramount can keep Jolie from discussing what method of birth control the couple may be using and how often.

CHANGE THE WORLD Producer Kenneth ”Babyface” Edmonds may have found a new act to record: saxophonist Bill Clinton. The former president recruited Babyface to join him on the advisory board of the International AIDS Trust, which is seeking ways to halt the spread of the disease in Africa. ”This is something I hope will become an American cause,” said Clinton, who knows a thing or two about unsafe sex. For his part, Babyface plans to perform benefit concerts in South Africa and New York and produce a CD, whose lineup may include the saxophonist whom Babyface called ”the coolest president that probably ever existed.”

PROTECTION ORDER Apparently, it’s okay to market to youngsters movies about teens having sex as long as you don’t show them taking some responsibility for their sexual behavior. Universal had a three-part promotional deal surrounding ”American Pie 2” with Ansell Healthcare, the makers of LifeStyles condoms. The condoms appear in two scenes in the movie, and Universal went ahead with a LifeStyles sweepstakes, but the third part, TV commercials showing the condoms, was scrapped by the MPAA, whose policy forbids condoms from being shown in commercials aimed at general audiences. ”We tried to negotiate some compromise, whether it was a responsibility campaign or public-service campaign, but we weren’t able to accomplish that, either,” said Universal spokeswoman Terry Curtin.

TUBE TALK Toss out those scripts; reality programming ruled the Nielsens this week. Last Monday’s episode of NBC’s ”Fear Factor” was the week’s top show, drawing 14.1 million viewers. ABC won the week with 8.5 million viewers on a slate heavy with episodes of ”Who Wants To Be a Millionaire,” while NBC followed with 7.95 million viewers, boosted by a schedule packed with extra episodes of ”Fear Factor” and ”Spy TV.” CBS was close behind with 7.94 million viewers, thanks in part to the improved showing for ”Big Brother,” while Fox finished fourth with 5.3 million viewers during a week marked by the strong debut of its reality series ”Murder in Small Town X.” UPN, whose ”WWF Smackdown!” had its strongest showing in months, drew 2.59 million viewers.

More last-minute casting additions for this fall’s shows: In an apparent homage to ”Sex in the City,” Tiffani Theissen will play a sex columnist on ”Just Shoot Me” for a three-episode run that could become a full-time role. Sharon Lawrence is joining Lou Diamond Phillips on CBS’ new supernatural drama ”Wolf Lake.”

REEL DEALS Stephen Norrington (”Blade”) has come aboard as director of ”Tick Tock,” a thriller that will star Jennifer Lopez as an FBI agent who enlists an amnesiac to help her stop a bomb threat. Shooting begins later this year….

Like Vin Diesel, Paul Walker has seen his asking price shoot skyward after the success of ”The Fast and the Furious.” He’ll get a reported $3 million to star in ”Timeline,” an adaptation of the Michael Crichton novel about graduate students who time-travel to 14th-century France to rescue their mentor. Gerard Butler (”Dracula 2000”) will costar. Richard Donner (”Lethal Weapon”) will direct….

Make sure you study the U.S. Constitution in civics class, kids: it contains a code that reveals the location of an 18th-century treasure. That’s the premise of ”National Treasure,” the movie that’s next on the slate for director Jon Turteltaub (”Disney’s The Kid,” ”While You Were Sleeping”). He’ll shoot in March, putting on hold plans for his elaborate fantasy ”Enchanted.”…

Episode Recaps

The world wasn’t exactly clamoring for a sequel to ”Baby Geniuses,” which was not only one of the most critically reviled movies of 1999, but which also underwhelmed at the box office (it grossed $29 million in theaters). Still, Sony Pictures is going ahead with ”Baby Geniuses 2: Superbabies.” Jon Voight will star, along with Scott Baio, Vanessa Angel, and several talking toddlers. Bob Clark (”Porky’s”) will return as director.

American Pie 2

  • Movie
  • R
  • 104 minutes