Plus, news about Destiny's Child, Mariah Carey, Steven Spielberg, Robert Zemeckis, Jay Leno, Clint Eastwood, and others
Creed, Scott Stapp

SOUND BITES Creed‘s ”Weathered” is like your holiday waistline; since Thanksgiving, it’s only gotten bigger and bigger, and it doesn’t look like it’s going away any time soon. The record, which has spent all five weeks since its release at No. 1 on the Billboard chart, sold 865,000 copies this week, according to SoundScan. That’s an astounding 310,000 more than it sold last week and nearly as many as the 887,000 it sold its debut week. In five weeks, it’s sold 3.2 million copies. The only album that’s had a better week this year was ‘N Sync‘s ”Celebrity,” which sold 1,9 million its first week in stores this summer.

Enjoying a similar holiday boost was ”NOW That’s What I Call Music! Vol. 8,” which spent a fourth week at No. 2, selling 540.900 units (up 137,000 from last week), for a sales total to date of 2.2 million. Garth Brooks‘ ”Scarecrow” climbed one spot to No. 3, nearly doubling last week’s sales to 442,600 this week. And while Brooks pushed Britney Spears‘ ”Britney” down one slot to No. 4, it sold 423,700 copies, up about 125,000 from last week. Enya‘s ”A Day Without Rain” vaulted three spots to No. 5 and sold 394,000 units.

”Stillmatic” by rapper Nas was the only new record to break into the top 10, landing at No. 8. The rest of the top 10 were Nickelback‘s ”Silver Side Up” (No. 6), Linkin Park‘s ”Hybrid Theory” (No. 7), Usher‘s ”8701” (No. 9), and Pink‘s ”M!ssundazstood” (No. 10).

Once and for all, Destiny’s Child is not breaking up next year, just going on sabbatical. So says Mathew Knowles, the trio’s manager and father of frontwoman Beyonce Knowles, in an angry statement. He calls talk of a split a ”malicious and unsubstantiated rumor,” based on a misunderstanding of the women’s recent announcement that they’d be working on solo projects after they finish their 2002 commitments, which include a European tour and several awards show appearances. He says, ”The disheartening part of all of this is the fact that this is the second year in a row the ladies have won Billboard’s ‘Artist of the Year’ award and it was completely and utterly lost in all of the vicious rumors of a break-up!” Ok, ok. Talk to us again in a year, Mr. Knowles.

TUBE TALK In a week of reruns and holiday specials, CBS won the Nielsen ratings race with new episodes of its top shows, ”CSI: Crime Scene Investigation” (23.7 million viewers) and ”Everybody Loves Raymond” (22.2 million). They were the only shows to draw more than 20 million pairs of eyes, and along with five other top 10 shows, they helped CBS average 11.9 million viewers for the week. ABC, boosted by two prime-time football games, came in second with 10.6 million for the week. NBC finished third (8.7 million), followed by Fox (6.6 million), UPN (3.9 million), and the WB (3.5 million).

Mariah Carey can’t catch a break; her CBS special ”A Home for the Holidays” finished in 75th place for the week. In fact, the most noteworthy holiday special may have been one that aired only in New York: WPIX’s ”Yule Log,” which just showed a blazing log in a fireplace for two hours, backed by Christmas carols. The minimalist show had been a holiday staple on WPIX for 23 years but hadn’t run since 1989. Viewer demand finally brought it back, and the Christmas-morning airing smoked the nearest rival, ABC’s ”Good Morning America” in the local ratings. Next year, Mariah, use more firewood.

Everybody Loves Raymond
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