TOP OF THE NEWS: After several summer bombs, notably The Cable Guy, Multiplicity and The Fan, Sony Entertainment boss Mark Canton was forced out of the studio Friday. Arnold Rifkin, a talent agent at William Morris, has turned down an offer to replace Canton.

BOX OFFICE BUMMERS: Meanwhile, Jean-Claude Van Damme's Maximum Risk beat Anna Paquin's Fly Away Home to claim the top spot in another lame post-summer movie weekend. Both films were from Sony's Columbia Tri-Star division.

SEQUELS: It might lack the media circus ambience of the criminal trial, but O.J. II: The Civil Trial begins tomorrow in Santa Monica--minus cameras, microphones and sketch artists, at least inside the courthouse...Liz's soon-to-be-ex, Larry Fortensky, was arrested again Sunday, this time for traffic violations and carrying a loaded pistol. He was arrested last month for drug possession.

GOODBYES: "Despite some of his shortcomings, he always gave you something with his music. He gave you something to think about, or he gave you something to laugh about or he gave you something to cry about," said fellow rapper Coolio of Tupac Shakur. The rapper was cremated and his family held a private funeral service in Las Vegas Saturday. Meanwhile, record stores were reporting brisk sales of 2Pac albums following the rapper's death Friday. Shakur had also finished two movies scheduled for release next year...Actress and dancer Juliet Prowse died Saturday at age 59 of pancreatic cancer. Prowse's Hollywood career spanned 37 years. She had dated costars Elvis Presley and Frank Sinatra and gained worldwide fame doing a racy can-can in front of a stunned Nikita Khruschev.

HELLOS: Well, it worked for comic competitor DC with Superman; now, Marvel Comics is planning to resurrect Captain America, the Fantastic Four, Avengers and Iron Man, even though all were apparently wiped out by cosmic bad-guy Onslaught.

ON THE TOWN: Christopher Reeve had a busy weekend. Sunday, the actor attended his first equestrian match since his paralyzing injury last year. Saturday, he joined Robin Williams, Joan Rivers and Jane Seymour at a fundraising dinner. Both events benefited spinal cord injury victims.

WRONG NOTES: Despite endless hype, the debut album by Keanu Reeves' band Dogstar had its release date pushed back from Tuesday to sometime next year. The band's label, Zoo Records, had no comment on the reason for the delay...Record retailers hope Pearl Jam's brief national tour--which kicks off tonight in Seattle--will help revive flagging sales of the band's latest, No Code...The Chipmunks are going to cover "Macarena" on their next album due next month.

ROYALTY, AMERICAN STYLE: Miss Kansas, Tara Dawn Holland, took home the tiara Saturday night at the 76th Annual Miss America Pageant. This was the first time in the history of the contest that viewers could call in and vote.

MORE ROYALTY: The scandalized British royal family met Sunday to discuss ways of polishing their battered public image. Among the items on the table: ending the monarch's role as head of the Church of England, cutting off money-grubbing cousins and paying taxes.

OLD BLOOD, NEW SERIES: CBS rolls out its new season tonight, featuring new series starring old-timers Bill Cosby and Rhea Perlman. Tomorrow night, ABC unveils Spin City with Michael J. Fox.

INDUSTRY GOINGS-ON: TV Guide is reporting that Brandy might be replacing Whitney Houston in an all-black remake of Rodgers and Hammerstein's Cinderella...Al Pacino is going to play CIA rat Aldrich Ames in Killer Spy...Roger Spottiswoode (And the Band Played On) has been pegged to direct the next James Bond film, the 18th in series.

TIMBER: Green rockers Don Henley, Bonnie Raitt and Bonnie's pop John Raitt were among hundreds of environmentalists arrested Sunday while protesting logging in the world's last privately owned virgin grove of redwoods.

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