PAULA ABDUL BRANCHING OUT?
Daily Variety reports "American Idol" judge Paula Abdul is in talks with the show's producers to host the "Idol" spinoff "American Juniors." The show will search for talented kids between the ages of 6 and 13, with plans calling for five winners to become members of a performing group. "American Juniors" is scheduled to premiere on June 3. Variety said original plans called for the series to launch on May 27 -- one week after the "American Idol" series finale -- but producers asked to take a week off to "recharge their batteries." The paper said producers were particularly cautious about not pushing too hard, after "Idol" co-executive producer Nigel Lythgoe suffered a heart attack earlier this year. Lythgoe also is a co-executive producer on "Juniors."
ENTWISTLE MEMORABILIA FETCHES $1.6 MILLION
Sotheby's in London said Tuesday's auction of guitars and memorabilia belonging to the late John Entwistle fetched more than $1.6 million. The offering of 350 lots included 150 guitars -- which seemed to be the hits of the show. Entwistle -- bassist and founding member of The Who -- died at 57 last June. Sotheby's said the auction brought in more than double the amount expected. His Gibson Explorer went for $153,349, much more than the anticipated price of $80,000 to $112,000. His Gibson Flying V sold for $61,850. His pet guitar, a pink Fender Precision he called "Frankenstein," sold for $100,400 -- almost 10 times the expected price. The auction also included clothing, jewelry, drawings, paintings and rare posters. All proceeds from the auction will go to Entwistle's estate.
CANNES IS A DIFFERENT EXPERIENCE FOR MEG RYAN
Meg Ryan's gig as a juror at the Cannes Film Festival is a radically different experience from her first trip to Cannes. "I came here first when I was 17 with a backpack, two friends and a Eurail pass," Ryan told the New York Post at the festival's opening Wednesday. "We slept on the beach." The star of "When Harry Met Sally" and "Sleepless in Seattle" didn't have to wait all this time to have a more luxurious experience in France. She told the paper when she and Kevin Kline shot "French Kiss" in 1995, producers treated them very well. "The whole cast and crew was able to stay at the Hotel Du Cap because it was closed for the season," she said.
ANN MILLER WRITES AGAIN!
Legendary Hollywood musical star Ann Miller has written a sequel to her best-selling memoir "Miller High Life," according to gossip columnist Liz Smith. The new book is called "Alive and Kicking." Smith said the 80-year-old Miller has writer David Wallace polishing her manuscript. Miller became a star in the 1937 drama "Stage Door," and went on to star in such classic films as "You Can't Take It with You" (1938), "Easter Parade" (1948), "On the Town" (1949) and "Kiss Me Kate" (1953). Most recently, she starred in David Lynch's 2001 drama "Mulholland Dr."
MORE CHARGES AGAINST TOM SIZEMORE
Prosecutors in Los Angeles filed new charges Wednesday against actor Tom Sizemore, alleging he struck, threatened and harassed his ex-fiancée Heidi Fleiss. In all, prosecutors filed 16 new misdemeanor charges against the star of "Saving Private Ryan" and the recently canceled CBS drama "Robbery Homicide Division." Fleiss -- known as the Hollywood madam after her arrest and conviction on pandering charges in the '90s -- is a witness in a domestic violence case against Sizemore. The new charges -- all misdemeanors -- include corporal injury resulting in a traumatic condition, intimidation of a witness, making obscene phone calls, threatening to inflict injury to a person or property and vandalism. Prosecutors accused Sizemore of placing some 100 harassing phone calls to Fleiss. The 41-year-old Sizemore is scheduled to be arraigned June 6. In the domestic violence case against him, Sizemore has pleaded innocent to five misdemeanor charges involving alleged assaults on an unidentified woman. He was charged earlier this month with intimidating Fleiss. On Tuesday, the judge in the case ordered Sizemore to stay 100 yards away from Fleiss.
DANCE DIVA TUNES, COLLECTED
Arista Records has announced a May 20 release for "Ultimate Dance Divas" -- a collection of hits by singers including Whitney Houston and Toni Braxton. The collection features 15 songs, including the first commercial release on an album of Houston's "Love That Man" -- this week's No. 1 Billboard Dance Breakout remix. The set also features Braxton's 1996 hit "Un-Break My Heart," P!nk's "You Make Me Sick" and "Get the Party Started," Taylor Dayne's 1987 debut "Tell It to My Heart" and Annie Lennox's 1995 hit "No More 'I Love You's.'" More than half the tracks on "Ultimate Dance Divas" were No. 1 hits on Billboard's Hot Dance Music Club Play and Maxi-Singles sales charts.
UPI DAILY SURVEY QUESTION NO. 589
Here is today's question: "When was the last time, if ever, that a product you had purchased was on an official recall list and you returned it for a refund or replacement?" Put UPI-RECALL in the subject line and send to email@example.com via the Internet. Remember to use the hyphen between UPI and each day's key word in your mail.
RESULTS OF SURVEY QUESTION NO. 584 (PHONE)
Last week we asked: "Counting 'wired,' 'cordless' and 'cell,' how many telephones do you have in your house? How many of them work?" Here is what we found from our rather random check of our e-mail inbox: Bob and Bev reported they have "14 phones, including 3 cells. They all work." Their answer is double the average number of phones, which is seven in our survey. PamS and several others are right on the money on this one. TOMORROW: Look who is at the door. GBA