FIRST LOOK: The News in Brief, March 19, 1997

Simpson kids...Tommy Lee Jones...Michael Eisner...

By Jeff B. Copeland, Elizabeth Johns Mar 20, 1997 3:00 AMTags
TUG-OF-WAR: The New York Post says it obtained a copy of the sealed ruling in the Simpson child-custody case in which Judge Nancy Weiben Stock wrote that Nicole Brown's parents were unfit guardians for Justin and Sydney because they fostered a "highly emotionalized atmosphere of ill-feeling toward the father," O.J. Simpson.

RAPPING: East and West Coast rappers convened an on-air summit in New York today to talk over their bi-coastal rivalry--and the violence that's tearing at rap music. Howard Stern proposed the meeting after yet the murder of the Notorious B.I.G..

MURDERED: ABC put the final nail in the coffin of its highly-touted but low-rated Murder One--the network decided not to air the last shows as a miniseries in April. Show creator Steven Bochco called the decision "demoralizing"...Jon Tenney, now co-starring in the movie Fools Rush In, will play the main character in Bochco's next police drama, Brooklyn South, premiering in the fall on CBS. For all the casting news, see The Dotted Line.

CRASH LANDING: British censors have cleared David Cronenberg's controversial film Crash to be shown in movie theaters without any cuts, but only for adults. Ted Turner recently bagged the film, which his company released.

MCDISNEY: McDonald's and Disney have signed an exclusive 10-year marketing pact which means you won't be able to buy a burger without seeing a cartoon character.

REISSUED: Frances Ford Coppola, Al Pacino and others will convene Thursday night in San Francisco for a premiere of the revamped The Godfather.

EYE, EYE, EYE: It's everywhere at the National Cable Television Association meeting in New Orleans this week: the icon of the CBS' Eye on People cable channel, which launches March 31. The network has placed the blue and yellow symbol on trash cans, lamp posts, buses--even mimes.

POP NEWS: Untouchable, the latest album from former Geto Boy rapper Scarface ended U2's one-week reign at No. 1, as the Irish quartet's Pop slumped by 57 percent in its second week. Scarface sold 169,000 units to U2's 150,000...The Dublin lads will be the subject of a one-hour ABC primetime special, tentatively titled U2: A Year in Pop, which will air April 26, the day after their PopMart tour commences in Las Vegas.

SAD SONG: Thanks to a 10-year-old arrest for possessing hash, '60s icon Marianne Faithfull hasn't been able to get a U.S. visa. She's already canceled a concert in Boston.

CONSIDERING: A Los Angeles judge said Wednesday he will consider a request by the producers of Home Improvement for a court order to halt renewal of ABC's top-rated series. Wind Dancer Productions sued Disney in February, claiming Walt Disney Television is ready to accept a "sweetheart deal" from ABC because the studio owns both entities.

WHEN YOU WISH: ABC said that The Wonderful World of Disney will return to network TV on Sunday nights--not Saturday nights, as previously announced--starting September 21. Each week, Disney chairman Michael Eisner will introduce a movie, including Pocahontas and Babe.

FAST FORWARD: The top five rentals in the video stores for the week of March 10 through 16, according to VideoLog: The Hunchback of Notre Dame, That Thing You Do, Space Jam, Courage Under Fire, Phenomenon.

NO CIGAR: Miami's Cuban exile community is criticizing CNN's broadcast debut from Cuba Tuesday, expressing their belief that it's impossible to present a balanced view from the Communist country. A number of Miami radio listeners have labeled CNN the "Castro News Network."

STATUARY: Tommy Lee Jones will present an Oscar at the March 24 big do. He won for his supporting role in 1993's The Fugitive For all the latest in Oscar land, press firmly on your mouse...And here are the winners of the American Moviegoer Awards, voted by the customers of MovieFone, the dial-up movie-listing service: best film: The English Patient, best actor Tom Cruise for Jerry Maguire, best actress Madonna for Evita, best director Alan Parker for Evita.

LOUDSPEAKER: Jaycor Communications Inc.has bought E.F.M. Media, the company behind Rush Limbaugh's program, and Limbaugh says he looks forward to broadcasting well into the next millennium. Jaycor owns 130 radio stations.

FIRST HAND: Andrew Wilder, a 22-year-old film student at the University of Southern California, sold a screenplay pitch about horrible dating experiences in college, called Dating Satan.