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Entertainment Today: Showbiz news

By United Press International   |   Jan. 2, 2002 at 4:45 AM   |   Comments

INTRIGUING PEOPLE

People magazine has named its "25 most intriguing people of 2001." Half of them are entertainers.

The publication fails to mention Osama bin Laden among its most intriguing individuals, in the same way the suspected terrorist mastermind was not chosen "Person of the Year" by Time magazine. If he's worth $25 million dead or alive, how can the multi-millionaire mastermind of al Qaida and financiers of the Taliban be ignored by Time and People?

Topping the list is San Francisco Giant outfielder Barry Bonds, followed by President Bush, Mariah Carey and Rep. Gary Condit, D-Calif. Nicole Kidman, Harry Potter, David Letterman, Madonna and England's Prince Harry round out the top 10 on the list.

Also making the grade: Julia Roberts, Katie Couric, Reese Witherspoon, former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, Jennifer Aniston, singer Diana Krall, Kim Catrall, Kelly Ripa (Kathie Lee Gifford's replacement), Condoleezza Rice (Bush's national security adviser), Mel Brooks, 9/11 widow Lisa Beamer, stem-cell scientist James Thomson, author Jonathan Franzen, psychic John Edward, space tourist Dennis Tito, and the cast of TV's "Friends."


MICHAEL JACKSON REDUX

Michael Jackson won't be performing at the American Music Awards next Wednesday, but he will be performing on television that same night -- on another network.

CBS plans to re-broadcast the singer's concert special, "Michael Jackson: 30th Anniversary Celebration" (at 9 p.m. ET), with previously unseen footage of Britney Spears and Lil' Romeo. It'll air against the AMAs on ABC.

Jackson's two-hour concert special, which originally aired Nov. 13, gave CBS some of its highest ratings this year -- it was the network's biggest Tuesday night, excluding sports programming, since 1994. A CBS spokesperson admits it's rare for the network to repeat such an event, but said the decision to do so was made in early December, at least two weeks prior to Dick Clark filing a lawsuit against the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences president and CEO, Michael Greene, which charged Jackson had dropped out of his awards special so that he wouldn't be prevented from performing at AMA's rival awards show, the Grammys (also airing on CBS).

At the heart of Clark's claim is the issue of exclusivity. That's what prevented earlier footage of Spears from being included in the first broadcast of Jackson's concert special -- their duet on "The Way You Make Me Feel," Jackson's No.1 hit from his 1987 album "Bad," was considered a conflict with her HBO deal for the live concert special, "Britney Spears Live From Las Vegas," that aired Nov. 18. Spears was prohibited from appearing anywhere else on television within a month of her HBO special, causing her performance to be edited out of the Nov. 13 broadcast.

The rerun of Jackson's special will also include Lil' Romeo's rendition of "My Baby" (which samples the Jackson 5's "I Want You Back").

© 2002 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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