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    FIRST LOOK: The News in Brief, September 25, 2002

    SICK BAY: Sexy soul man Barry White ("I'm Gonna Love You, Just A Little More Baby") announcing via his record label Wednesday that due to a history of high blood pressure, he has been placed on dialysis and will require a kidney transplant.

    OUR IDOL: American Idol winner Kelly Clarkson dominating the pop singles chart with her double-sided release "Before Your Love"/"A Moment Like This." Metal band Disturbed locked down the top slot on the album chart.

    SCARY SALES: Disney-Pixar's Monsters, Inc. selling 11 million copies on DVD and VHS in its first week in stores, second only to The Lion King's 20 million in the pre-DVD days of 1995. Monsters moved 7 million copies on DVD alone, making it the fastest-selling disc ever, according to Disney.

    TO THE BOARDS: Paul Newman returning to Broadway after nearly 40 years to star in a revival of Our Town. He'll play the stage manager in the production, which opens December 4 at the Booth Theater. Previews begin November 22.

    KILLER COMBO: Tom Hanks joining the Coen brothers' remake of the classic 1955 Alec Guinness-Peter Sellers comedy Ladykillers about a group of thieves who try to kill their cantankerous old landlady.

    PSYCHIC CONNECTION: Nicole Kidman in talks to star in Birth, a psychological thriller about a woman becomes infatuated with a 10-year-old boy, who claims to be the reincarnation of her long dead husband. Sexy Beast's Jonathan Glazer will direct.

    TOP COPS: Owen Wilson teaming up with Ben Stiller to star in Starsky & Hutch, an update of the classic TV action comedy for Warner Bros. The film starts shooting in February with Todd Phillips (Road Trip) at the helm.

    FROM MILK CARTONS TO THE TUBE: Each episode of CBS' new Thursday night drama Without a Trace, about an FBI missing persons unit, will feature a 15-second profile of a real-life missing person.

    BIRTH OF THE MUMMY: The Mummy star Brendan Fraser and his wife, Afton Smith, welcoming son Griffin Arthur Fraser on September 17 in Los Angeles. It's the first child for both.

    HE PREDICTED IT: Psychic medium John Edward and his wife announcing the birth Wednesday of their first baby, a boy they've named Justin Edward.

    IMPEACHED: The New York Post reporting that the former beau of Emmy-winning West Wing star Allison Janney is getting evicted from her Central Park West apartment after she was caught illegally subletting the place to him for $1,100 a month, about $2,000 below market value.

    ALL YOU NEED IS LOVE: The Beatles landing three of top first selections in Rolling Stone' upcoming survey of the greatest albums of all time. Revolver, Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band and The White Album finishing one, three and five, respectively. Nirvana's Nevermind and U2's The Joshua Tree broke the monopoly at numbers two and four, respectively.

    WELCOME BACK TO THE JUNGLE: A newly revamped Guns N' Roses announcing the first few dates of the American leg of their upcoming world tour, including stops in Philadelphia, Chicago, Boston and New York City. No word when their forthcoming album, Chinese Democracy, will be released

    LENDING A HAND: 'N Sync's Justin Timberlake to write and produce a 30-second public service announcement on behalf of Recording Artists, Actors & Athletes Against Drunk Driving. Timberlake decided to do the national awareness campaign just days after a legally drunk man plowed into a fan waiting for the singer outside a Los Angeles-area radio station.

    WON'T TAKE A HINT: Timberlake's bandmate Lance Bass is back training in Russia's Star City in hopes of making it onto a future rocket launch. Bass was bounced from an October trip because he failed to come up with enough money.

    EARTH TO LANCE: Meanwhile Bass' production company is prepping a computer-animated/live-action musical about, yes, space travel. The musical will be an adaptation of the kids' book Nose Pickers from Outer Space.

    SHOOT 'EM UP! Warner Bros. in final talks to buy the feature film rights to id Software's hit video game Doom. The studio will release a PG-13 movie that aims to steer clear of the violence which made the first-person format game so controversial.

    FRIENDS OF THE PARTY: Two years after bidding farewell to her performing career, Barbra Streisand agreeing to sing nine songs at a September 29 benefit for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee at the Kodak Theater in Hollywood. Also performing: Barry Manilow and comedian Steve Harvey.

    FIGHT CLUB? Two men who allegedly paid street people to fight each other as part of the Internet site Bumfights busted in San Diego and charged with conspiracy, solicitation of a felony crime and illegally paying people to fight, police said on Tuesday.

    UP TO THE TASK: Russia's dethroned Miss Universe Oxana Fedorova telling a Russian tabloid she was misled as to the scale of the job and performed her duties diligently. Responding to press reports that she had been lazy and unworthy of the title, Fedorova said she was committed to a career in the police.

    TIME TO PAY? Christopher Lloyd, who played Doc Brown in the Back to the Future movies, sued by a former wife for $200,000 in unpaid alimony stemming from their 1971 divorce.

    MORE MARRIAGE WOES: The wife of Stone Temple Pilots frontman Scott Weiland filing for divorce from the rocker after two years of marriage. Mary Weiland seeks custody of the couple's two infant children and spousal support.

    BITING BACK: Tawny Kitaen filing a $12 million lawsuit against her estranged husband, St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Chuck Finley, despite her arrest for allegedly attacking him earlier this year.

    HOUSE OF GAMES: Acclaimed writer-director David Mamet signing on to create an hourlong drama series for NBC's fall 2003 schedule. The untitled show, said to be a cross between Mission: Impossible, Robin Hood and The A-Team, will feature four men and a woman trying to pull off a con.

    IMPROVING: ABC taking first place in the ratings last week thanks to Monday Night Football and ABC News' interview with actor Christopher Reeve.

    RATINGS ADD: Meanwhile among new shows, nearly 17.3 million tuned in to see the Alphabet's new John Ritter comedy, 8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter, while 23 million watched Monday night's premiere of CSI: Miami on CBS, making it the most-watched September drama debut since ER in 1994.

    AIN'T HAPPENING: CNN News Group Chairman denying reports that the cable news network would merge its operations with those of ABC News or any other network, saying no deal is forthcoming.

    GRAVE ROBBERS: A large marble vase stolen Saturday night from Hank Williams' gravesite in Montgomery, Alabama.

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