Plus: More hurdles for Tom Cruise in Germany, ''Hey Paula'' off to a slow start, Jamie Foxx gets a director for ''Leaves'' drama, and more

By Steve Korn
Updated July 04, 2007 at 04:00 AM EDT
Leon Neal/AFP/Getty Images

U.K. Diana concert held as planned
In the shadow of the investigation into the failed car-bomb attacks in London and at the Glasgow Airport, a crowd of 63,000 filled Wembley Stadium to see an international lineup pay tribute to Britain’s Princess Diana at a memorial charity concert 10 years after her death, on what would have been her 46th birthday. The six-hour show spanned generations of performers, from veterans Elton John, who opened the show with ”Your Song” and Tom Jones (covering the Arctic Monkeys’ ”I Bet You Look Good on the Dance Floor”) to contemporary pop stars including Kanye West, backed by an all-female string section, a DJ, and red-clad dancers, Fergie, and P. Diddy, performing ”I’ll Be Missing You.” (Reuters, BBC, and NME)

Germany confirms Cruise film ban at key site
The German Finance Ministry followed up last week’s declaration by the country’s Defense Ministry banning Tom Cruise’s WWII movie Valkyrie from military sites by stating the production will not be allowed to film at a German memorial site, but that the decision is unrelated to Cruise’s link to Scientology. The Finance Ministry said the filmmakers were welcome to film in Germany — but not at the ”Bendlerblock” site in Berlin, where the film’s characters, who attempted to kill Hitler with a briefcase bomb in 1944, were executed. Only one other filmmaker has been allowed to film at the Bendlerblock, now a memorial, and that experience led the Finance Ministry to bar all film shoots at the site, Finance Ministry spokesman Stefan Olbermann said. (Reuters)

Burn Notice hot, Hey Paula‘s not
USA Network’s Burn Notice scored a solid premiere, with 3.98 million total viewers, but Bravo’s Hey Paula, the reality series following American Idol judge Paula Abdul, drew only 607,000 total viewers, well behind the opening episodes of Bravo hits such as Top Design (1.76 million), Top Chef (1.28 million) and Being Bobby Brown (1.1 million). Burn Notice also trailed the premieres of other USA series such as The 4400 (6.2 million), Psych (4.4 million), and Monk (4.4 million). (Variety)

Wolfe to direct Foxx in Leaves
George C. Wolfe (Lackawanna Blues) will direct Jamie Foxx in Blood on the Leaves, based on Jeffrey Stetson’s 2004 novel about a prosecutor wrestling with his feelings about a black history professor on trial for the murders of white men accused of crimes against blacks during the Civil Rights movement. The second male lead role has yet to be cast. Wolfe is now filming the drama Nights in Rodanthe, starring Richard Gere and Diane Lane, scheduled for a 2008 release. (Hollywood Reporter)

McDonald joins cast of Grey’s spin-off
Multiple Tony Award-winning actress Audra McDonald will join the cast of ABC’s forthcoming Grey’s Anatomy spin-off Private Practice as an old pal of Kate Walsh’s Dr. Addison Montgomery, according to a rep for ABC Studios. Series producers recast the role played by Merrin Dungey in the spring Grey’s episode that introduced Private Practice. McDonald most recently starred in NBC’s Kidnapped. (Variety)

Sony BMG U.K. nixes Prince release
Sony BMG U.K. will not release Prince’s next album, Planet Earth, in Britain, citing the artist’s plan to give away the disc with copies of the Sunday edition of the Mail newspaper two weeks before its scheduled U.K. retail release on July 16. The Mail on Sunday reaches about 2 million readers. Prior to Sony’s decision to pull the plug on the album, Paul Quirk, co-chairman of the Entertainment Retailers Assn., was quoted in U.K. newspaper the Guardian as saying, ”The Artist Formerly Known as Prince should know that with behavior like this, he will soon be the Artist Formerly Available in Record Stores.” Columbia Records will release Planet Earth on July 24 in the United States. (Variety)

Universal balks at renewing iTunes deal
According to newspaper reports, Universal Music Group is set to notify the iPod maker it will not renew a long-term contract to sell its artists’ songs through the iTunes store. Universal, the world’s largest music company whose big-selling acts include U2 and Amy Winehouse, is not expected to pull its songs off iTunes, but rather to seek a short-term sales agreement that will give it more flexibility in its dealings with competitors to iTunes. The risk for Universal is provoking a showdown with Apple boss Steve Jobs: Sales of digital music through iTunes and other sources accounted for more than 15 percent of Universal?s worldwide revenue in the first quarter, or more than $200 million. (Variety and The New York Times)

Henson signs up for Boston Legal
Taraji P. Henson (Hustle & Flow) will join the cast of Boston Legal, as part of a major cast overhaul this summer. Last month, the options on four series regulars — Mark Valley, Rene Auberjonois, Julie Bowen, and Constance Zimmer — were not picked up. But Valley and Auberjonois will return on multiple episodes of the ABC series’ upcoming fourth season. Emmy winner John Larroquette was earlier announced as joining the cast. (Hollywood Reporter)

Apted re-elected as Directors Guild president
With negotiations for the Directors Guild of America’s next film and TV contract set to begin in the next year, Michael Apted has been re-elected president of the organization for his third two-year term. Apted was recently tapped to direct the next film in The Chronicles of Narnia series, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, scheduled for 2009 release. Steven Soderbergh (Ocean’s Thirteen) was also re-elected as national VP. Upcoming contract talks are expected to hinge on boosting compensation for the reuse of creative content over the Internet and other new-media platforms. (Hollywood Reporter)


Page Six: A new kiss-and-tell by an ex-girlfriend of Fleetwood Mac’s Lindsay Buckingham alleges when the guitarist and band received the Album of the Year at the 1978 American Music Awards, he left behind a ”disgusting biohazard” mess on producer Dick Clark’s office carpet