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Entertainment Today: Showbiz news

By United Press International   |   June 19, 2002 at 3:00 AM   |   Comments

DOESN'T 'FRIENDS' ALREADY HAVE SEX?

According to a report in the London Times, NBC has bought the U.S. TV rights to a BBC Two comedy called "Coupling," intending to use it as a replacement of sorts for the long-running comedy "Friends," which will enter its ninth and final season on NBC this fall.

The paper -- which said the creative team behind "Coupling" will remake the show in Los Angeles with a cast of American actors -- reported that a programming executive described the show as "'Friends' with sex."

The Times quoted Ben Silverman, a producer overseeing the project for NBC, as saying that "Coupling" would be "a perfect show" for "Friends" fans.

"It's kind of a next-generation sitcom," said Silverman. "It is really honest and edgy."


BRITNEY: ENOUGH WITH THE JUSTIN STUFF ALREADY!

Britney Spears would appreciate it if people would lay off all the talk about her breakup with Justin Timberlake of 'NSync.

The pop star told InStyle magazine it's getting kind of old.

"You go out to a club, and people say, 'Are you fine? Are you fine?' And it's like, 'I'm here, aren't I?'" said Spears.

She goes way back with Timberlake. Before they were dating, they were friends and colleagues on the "Mickey Mouse Club." But she said things are different now.

"We're climbing two different mountains," said Spears. "His priorities are different from mine right now."

Spears said the breakup was amicable, and she still talks with Timberlake from time to time. But she admits it hurts sometimes to see photos of her ex with other women.

"But you learn from it and grow," she said. "I'm trying to get to that point."


JANET JACKSON HIT WITH DEFAMATION SUIT

A Maryland-based music producer has slapped superstar entertainer Janet Jackson with a $20 million lawsuit, accusing her of defamation in connection with legal action she took against him in November 1997.

Eric Christian is suing Jackson and her company, Black Doll Inc., accusing the singer-actress of illegally filing for and obtaining a restraining order against him. Jackson had accused Christian of threatening her and contacting her by telephone and fax almost 100 times.

According to court documents, Christian said the restraining order legally defective because it was granted in Los Angeles, and he was in Maryland.


HELLO, JERRY!

Legendary Broadway composer Jerry Herman ("Hello, Dolly!," "Mame," "La Cage aux Folles") will ride in a car alongside the Gay Men's Chorus of Los Angeles at this year's Christopher Street West Side Parade next Sunday.

The chorus will sing selections from the Herman songbook as they march along the parade route.

Herman will appear with the chorus for two nights in July at the Alex Theatre in Glendale, Calif., in "Jerry's Boys! Celebrating the Music and Life of Jerry Herman." In addition to Herman hits such as "Mame," "If He Walked Into My Life" and "It Only Takes a Moment," the concert will feature songs from the composer's new musical concept album "Miss Spectacular."


IT'S JUST HAIR

The verdict is in, and a majority of viewers responding to an "Access Hollywood" online poll have turned thumbs down on "Today" show host Matt Lauer's new hairstyle -- a relatively severe buzz job.

Not only that, but NBC news anchor Tom Brokaw has also slammed Lauer's new do.

The online poll came out 54 percent against, to 46 percent in favor of the haircut -- a landslide in conventional political terms.

In an interview with "Access Hollywood," Brokaw actually ridiculed his colleague.

"My question to Matt Lauer is, what was the bet? I mean, he had to have lost a bet," said Brokaw. "(Matt's) a golf fanatic, I think it's a tribute to Tiger Woods somehow. I want to get the name of his barber, only because I want to make sure I don't go to him."

© 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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