Entertainment Today: Showbiz News

By KAREN BUTLER, United Press International   |   May 1, 2003 at 3:00 AM   |   0 comments

MADONNA ALBUM DEBUTS AT NO. 1

Madonna's "American Life" album was panned by the critics, but still debuted at No. 1 on this week's U.S. pop charts.

"American Life" sold 241,000 its first week in stores. Her last album, "Music," sold 420,000 units three years ago and went on to sell 2.9 million copies in the United States alone.

Coming in second for the week was rapper 50 Cent with his debut album "Get Rich or Die Tryin." The disc rose three spots since last week.

"American Idol" winner Kelly Clarkson, who held the No. 1 spot last week, tumbled to No. 3 with her debut album, "Thankful."

Rounding out the top five were Linkin Park at No. 4 with "Meteora" and Cher's greatest hits collection at No. 5.


JEWISH SCHOLAR DECLARES HITLER MOVIE 'ACCURATE'

A respected Jewish scholar says CBS' Adolf Hitler miniseries, "Hitler: The Rise of Evil," is historically accurate and educational.

"I think the reality is that nobody is going to find it controversial in the way the idea (of the miniseries) was first floated," Michael Berenbaum, an expert in Holocaust history and adjunct professor of theology at the University of Jerusalem in Los Angeles, is quoted in the New York Post as saying.

"It doesn't romanticize Hitler and he's not portrayed as a sympathetic character -- the lead actor (Robert Carlyle) portrays him with enormous power," Berenbaum said. "A chapter of Holocaust history that's not well-known will now be made accessible to the American TV audience. Historians may quibble with some interpretations and liberties that were taken, but that has to be done any time you're re-creating something. It's not an inconceivable portrayal."

The miniseries is set to air in May.


OSBOURNES RALLY AROUND JACK

Ozzy and Sharon Osbourne are praising their 17-year-old son Jack for checking himself into a rehab center.

In an interview with "Extra," Ozzy Osbourne -- who has extensive personal experience in rehab -- said it took courage for his son to choose rehab.

"He had the gumption and guts to confess and to just say, 'Help,'" said Ozzy Osbourne.

Sharon Osbourne said her son recognized his substance abuse problem was "becoming unmanageable and he couldn't stop." Jack Osbourne reportedly sought treatment for abuse of alcohol and marijuana.

"You know, I love him more than I did yesterday for doing what he's done," said Sharon Osbourne. "He wasn't forced into this situation. It was his decision so I admire him so much more. All we can do is be here for him."

She said her son was doing well and "really feeling confident," but that he had a rough time when the rehab center had to call police to deal with people who had jumped the fence and gotten onto the center's property.

"It's not a circus," said Sharon Osbourne. "This isn't some old guy. He's a teenager and he knows he messed up. He's in the right place and he's fixing it."

She said the family tried to keep the matter private, and she still wishes fans and the press would respect her son's privacy.

(Thanks to UPI's Pat Nason in Los Angeles.)


PEOPLE NAMES 50 'MOST BEAUTIFUL'

Halle Berry, Julia Roberts, Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez are among People magazine's 50 Most Beautiful People in the World.

Actors George Clooney, Leonardo Di Caprio, Colin Farrell, Kate Hudson, Nicole Kidman, Daniel Day-Lewis, Julianne Moore, teen stars Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, "American Idol" host Ryan Seacrest, singers Norah Jones and Usher, and basketball player Tony Parker of the San Antonio Spurs also made the cut.

This is the seventh time Berry has appeared on the list and the eighth for Roberts.

The issue hits stands on May 12.

© 2003 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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