HARDBALL SCORES: Keanu Reeves and a bunch of pint-size ballplayers had a winner in Hardball. Debuting with an estimated $10.1 million, the heartfelt movie headlined a reasonably strong weekend at the nation's theaters.
WE ARE THE WORLD--AGAIN: A group of pop stars led by Michael Jackson planning to record a new song to raise $50 million for survivors and families of victims from last week's devastating attacks in New York and Washington, D.C. Destiny's Child, Nick Carter of the Backstreet Boys, Britney Spears, Mya and Justin Timberlake have all signed on.
OOPS: Spears, meanwhile, deciding to nix her promotional tour of Europe and South America, the Australian Associated Press reports. "After much thought and deliberation it is with great regret that I have decided to cancel [the trips]," she said in a statement. Meanwhile, Usher and Macy Gray among those artists who have also canceled promo tours.
RAY OF LIGHT: Madonna dedicating her weekend concerts at Los Angeles' Staples Center to the victims of Tuesday's attacks in New York and Washington D.C., with proceeds going to a fund to help those children and families affected by the tragedy. Denis Leary, Backstreet Boys, Incubus and Lynyrd Skynyrd have also contributed to relief funds.
THE SHOW GOES ON: NBC's late-night funnyguys Jay Leno and Conan O'Brien expected to return to production Tuesday after taking the week off because of last week's attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon. No word yet on when David Letterman and Craig Kilborn will return to their shows on CBS.
UNPRECEDENTED: Television networks pondering the idea of an industrywide telethon airing Friday night to raise money for relief and recovery efforts following last week's attacks, the Associated Press reports. The goal would be to air a two- to three-hour program running simultaneously on as many broadcast and cable networks as possible.
SOMBER NOTE: The Toronto International Film Festival wrapping up Sunday as the French film Le fabuleux destin d'Amelie Poulain (The Fabulous Destiny of Amelie Poulain) picked up the festival's People's Choice award.
STAYING HOME: Video stores like Blockbuster reporting a surge in video rentals following last week's terrorist attacks in New York and Washington, D.C.
ROCK HALL NOMINEES: The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame announcing its nominees for its 2002 induction. Black Sabbath, the Sex Pistols, Talking Heads, The Ramones, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Jackson Browne, The Chantels, Gene Pitney, Isaac Hayes and Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers are all up for the honor.
MORE SHUFFLING: CBS rescheduling Saturday's Big Brother 2 to Tuesday as a special two-hour edition featuring the eviction of one of the last three houseguests. The network will also now premiere its new Richard Dreyfuss drama, The Education of Max Bickford, on September 23 instead of September 30.
LAY YOUR HANDS ON ME: Rocker-turned-actor Jon Bon Jovi expected to replace Robert Downey Jr. as the love interest on Fox's Ally McBeal this season, the New York Post reports. The Post also reports that Elton John (whose new video features Downey) is in talks for a recurring role.
SYSTEM OF AN UP: In an unusual move, album sales tracker SoundScan revising last week's album charts to show that hard rock band System of a Down actually debuted at number one, Daily Variety reports. The original 170,000 tally for the band's album Toxicity did not include 50,000 copies of a limited edition enhanced CD that were sold.
BEACH BLANKET AT HALF-STAFF: Low-budget Hollywood producer Samuel Z. Arkoff, whose credits include I Was a Teen-Age Werewolf and the Beach Blanket series with Frankie Avalon and Annette Funicello, died Sunday of natural causes. He was 83.
PASSING: Fred De Cordova, former producer for The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson, died Saturday in Woodland Hills, California, of natural causes. He was 90.
STOPPING TIME: The Time Machine, Warner Bros. and DreamWorks' adaptation of the H.G. Wells classic, getting its release date pushed back to February 8, 2002, Variety reports. The film, starring Guy Pearce, was originally set to open Christmas Day.
CALL HIM MR. BURNS: The Hollywood Reporter naming its deputy editor, Howard Burns, as editor of the Tinseltown trade paper. Burns replaces Anita Busch, who left in April in a dispute with the publisher over longtime party columnist George Christy.
YOU SAY YES, I SAY NO: A lost 1960s audio tape of the Beatles reviewing the latest rock and roll singles and talking about Elvis Presley presented to the British Broadcasting Corporation, Reuters reports. The recording features John Lennon, Paul McCartney and George Harrison speaking on a December 1963 broadcast of the BBC's Juke Box Jury.
RAPPED: Twin rappers Kane & Abel sentenced to three years in federal prison for lying to federal agents about their knowledge of a New Orleans-based cocaine ring. In exchange for their plea, prosecutors dropped more serious conspiracy charges.