IT'S OFFICIAL: CBS, ABC, NBC and Fox announcing plans for an unprecedented multi-network telethon Friday night raising money for relief and recovery from last week's terrorist attacks. America: A Tribute to Heroes will air live Friday night from 9 p.m. to 11 p.m. (tape-delayed on the West Coast) and feature a who's who of A-listers, including George Clooney, Jim Carrey, Bon Jovi, Sheryl Crow, Tom Cruise, Julia Roberts, Cameron Diaz, the Dixie Chicks, Robert De Niro, Clint Eastwood, Calista Flockhart, Tom Hanks, Faith Hill, Billy Joel and Paul Simon, among others.

TELETHON ADD: All cable networks have been invited to join in the team effort, and E! has announced that it, too, will air the telethon Friday. E! will also air an hourlong preshow at 8 p.m. ET/PT.

DAVE AND DAN'S CLASS ACT: Veteran CBS news anchor Dan Rather momentarily choking back tears while appearing as a guest Monday on The Late Show with David Letterman. As the newsman paused to regain his composure, Letterman put his hand on Rather's arm and told him, "I know you're a great newsman, Dan, but you're also a human being." It was Letterman's first show since last week's terrorist attacks.

SOMBER RETURN: Meanwhile, Letterman's chief rival, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, returning to the airwaves Tuesday with a show that's also subdued in tone, featuring Senator John McCain and a performance by '60s rock icons Crosby, Stills & Nash.

PATRIOTISM: Arista Records rereleasing Whitney Houston's soaring version of "The Star-Spangled Banner," which she performed at Super Bowl XXV on January 27, 1991 and which became a unifying song for Americans during the Gulf War. Proceeds of the single will benefit the New York firefighters Disaster Relief Fund.

CURTAINS: With Monday's box-office figures off 80 percent as a result of America's tragedies, at least four Broadway shows announcing closings, including The Rocky Horror Show, A Thousand Clowns and If Ever You Leave Me.

BROTHERLY LOVE: CBS announcing that Big Brother 2 will last only one hour when it returns tonight at 9 p.m., not two hours as originally planned. With the cousin of houseguest Monica Bailey still missing after last week's World Trade Center attack, viewers are voicing outrage that the participants have not been told more.

BRIDGE OVER TROUBLED WATER?!? A program director director for behemoth radio company Clear Channel Communications distributing a list of some 150 songs deemed potentially inappropriate following last week's terrorist attacks. The list included all songs by Rage Against the Machine, the Bangles' "Walk Like An Egyptian," as well as classics like Simon & Garfunkel's "Bridge Over Troubled Water," John Lennon's "Imagine" and Jerry Lee Lewis' "Great Balls of Fire."

TRUE CRIME: Robert De Niro's Tribeca Films joining up with Vanity Fair writer Bryan Burrough to produce Crime Wave, a true-crime miniseries for HBO, Daily Variety reports.

PAYING TRIBUTE: The first installment of Politically Incorrect since Tuesday's disasters leaving an empty chair as a memorial to political commentator Barbara Olson, who was scheduled to guest on the show but died when her American Airlines flight crashed into the Pentagon.

LENDING A HAND: Janet Jackson, James Taylor and R&B singer Maxwell donating at least $10,000 from ticket proceeds at recent concerts to the victims of last week's tragedy.

THANK YOU, ALANIS: Alanis Morissette organizing a relief concert for victims of the World Trade Center and Pentagon attacks to help "those who have been touched by all that has happened this week," she said in a letter posted on her Website.

POSTPONED: Organizers for a John Lennon tribute concert postponing the show until October 2. Come Together: A Night for John Lennon was originally scheduled for Thursday night at Radio City Music Hall, featuring performances by Stone Temple Pilots, Moby, Nelly Furtado and Lou Reed, among others.

A WITNESS? Actor James Woods meeting with FBI agents after he reportedly witnessed four Middle Eastern passengers acting strange, exactly one month before the terrorist attacks occurred, and on the same flight from Boston to Los Angeles that was later hijacked, New York Post columnist Cindy Adams reports.

SCRAPPED: Producer Dick Wolf canceling a long-planned Law & Order miniseries on terrorism striking New York City. Meanwhile, a scene in the upcoming Al Pacino drama, People I Know, has been edited out because it contained uncomfortable images of the World Trade Center.

UP AND RUNNING: Internet conspiracy game Majestic back on-line Tuesday. Subscribers can resume playing and will be granted a week's grace period in billing.

PAPA JOHN? British pop legend Elton John, who is openly gay, telling a Swedish tabloid Tuesday that he and his partner would have adopted a child 20 years ago, but now at 54, he's too old to do so.

BUNNY ROAST: Drew Carey, Adam Carolla, Gilbert Gottfried, Rob Schneider, Sarah Silverman and Cedric the Entertainer selected as "roasters" for the New York Friars Club Celebrity Roast of Playboy founder Hugh Hefner. The September roast will air on Comedy Central November 4.

LOW NOTE: Famed Italian tenor Luciano Pavarotti pleading innocent to tax evasion charges in an Italian court Monday. He's charged with filing false tax returns from 1989 to 1995 and faces up to three years in prison if convicted.

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