Briefs … not boxers

Briefs … not boxers End of ‘Friends’?
Atlantic City Press, March 6, 2000

The future of “Friends” is very much in doubt. The six stars of the NBC sitcom are nearing the end of their current contracts and there’s a lot of speculation that one or more of them are ready to jump ship.

The latest word going around is that Lisa Kudrow is asking the show’s producers to end the show after another season or two since the young folks in the cast are getting less young all the time. Kudrow feels that since most of the cast is pushing or past 30, it presents credibility problems for the characters’ broadcast personas as aimless, shallow twentysomethings.

Kudrow feels that by now, at least some of the cast should be doing stuff like, oh, starting careers or getting married and having kids instead of hanging around a coffee shop all day.

But Kudrow’s people don’t want to say that Lisa feels more strongly about this than anyone else.

“I know Lisa does believe this,” her “rep” admits. “I understand the others feel the same way. I don’t know that she’s necessarily the ringleader, but I think she wants this to end in a credible way rather than just continuing on because of the money.”

The stars have consistently said they won’t return unless all six agree. The show’s producers have said that they expect negotiations with the cast will “go down to the wire.”

Bad Apple spoils show
Fiery singer Fiona Apple lived up to her unofficial record-biz title of “a public relations Molotov cocktail” after an onstage meltdown in Manhattan, People magazine reports.

The waifish singer appeared at the Roseland Ballroom before 3,200 people — including Gwyneth Paltrow and Apple’s boyfriend, “Magnolia” writer-director Paul Thomas Anderson — who had paid $27.50 each to see her perform.

But about 15 minutes into the show, an angry Apple launched into a rambling monologue about the poor sound system.

“You know, I just wanted to do real well in New York. But (expletive!) I can’t hear myself!” she raged.

Things only got worse a half-hour later, as Apple collapsed onstage, buried her face in her hands and began to sob.

“All you critics out there better not (expletive) tear me apart or I’ll (expletive) kill you!” she shrieked.

She then ordered the band to stop.

“This song is dead! Just stop it! This is a nightmare,” she cried before announcing she’d take a five-minute break and then return. But she never came back.

A spokesman told the restless audience to go home, but insisted the singer would do a make-up concert and “deliver her usual 110 percent.”

Pouncing on parts
Casting call for the big-screen adaptation of the ultra-mod Saturday morning cartoon “Josie & the Pussycats”: While Rachael Leigh Cook (“She’s All That”) has been tapped as Josie, a bevy of beauties is contending to wriggle into leopard-skin miniskirts to play the other pussycats.

The New York Post says blond bombshell Tara Reid (“Body Shots,” “American Pie”) and Julia Stiles (“Down To You”) are up for one of the parts.

The other feline role is expected to be filled by a “real singer” like Tionne “T-Boz” Watkins or Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes from the Grammy-winning R&B trio TLC.

WB shakeup
There’s about to be a big schedule shakeup at The WB. After getting clobbered at 8 p.m. Sundays, sophomore “Felicity,” starring short-cropped Keri Russell, will move to the post-“Dawson’s Creek” 9 p.m. Wednesday slot beginning April 5.

In its current slot, following “7th Heaven: Beginnings” (reruns of the fourth-year feel-good drama) “Felicity” has averaged about 4 million viewers.

That’s down 800,000 from last season, when “Felicity” ran on Tuesdays after Sarah Michelle Gellar’s hip hit “Buffy the Vampire Slayer.” “Felicity” ranks fifth among WB’s prime demo — 18- to 34-year-old women.

“Roswell,” the freshman sci-fi drama at 9 p.m. Wednesdays, moves to 9 p.m. Mondays (after WB’s top-rated “7th Heaven”) as of April 10. “Popular” reruns now fill the slot.

The re-vamped “Roswell” will emphasize “more sci-fi and alien elements,” promises WB spokesman Brad Turrell.

Still with us? The new Sunday lineup, as of April 2, begins at 8 p.m. with “D.C.,” the new drama from Dick Wolf (“Law & Order”) about young Washington interns.

At 9 p.m., “Movie Stars,” with Harry Hamlin, returns for another shot. Ditto for Selma Blair’s “Zoe” at 9:30 p.m. They replace “Jack & Jill,” which will complete its run of 19 original episodes March 19.

Santana explosion
Nothing can stop veteran rocker Carlos Santana from topping the album charts lately. But apparently winning eight Grammy awards is enough to help the guitarist totally dominate them.

Buoyed by his big night at the Grammy’s, Santana’s “Supernatural” saw its sales increase nearly 167 percent over last week. The album moved 583,000 copies. It also sold another 500,000 copies overseas (which, of course, doesn’t count on the U.S. chart).

No other album even came close. “Dr. Dre – 2001” takes the No. 2 spot selling about 176,000 copies. At No. 3, Christina Aguilera’s self-titled debut re-emerges selling 132,000 copies. Aguilera took Best New Artist honors at the Grammy’s.

Two other Best New Artist nominees, Kid Rock and Macy Gray saw sales spike as well taking the No. 4 and No. 5 spots respectively. Kid Rock’s “Devil Without a Cause” sold 130,000 copies in its 61st week on the charts. Gray’s “On How Life Is” cracked the Top 10 for the first time selling 123,000 copies.

Celine Dion’s “All the Way … A Decade of Song,” last week’s No. 3, falls to No. 7, selling 146,000 copies, the same sales figure it had on the last chart.


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