SUPER BUST There’ll be no dessert for Madonna fans on Super Bowl Sunday, because the singer won’t be performing her cover of Don McLean’s ”American Pie,” in the pregame show as previously announced. Currently in London working on the follow-up to her hit album ”Ray of Light,” the singer, according to a spokesman, thought that her intensive recording schedule wouldn’t allow her enough time to prepare a Madonna-worthy performance. ”American Pie” is from the soundtrack to her new film ”The Next Best Thing,” opening March 10th.
SOLDIER BOY ”Top Gun” Tom Cruise is thinking of giving up civilian status again by enlisting in ”Fertig,” a Columbia biopic about Wendell Fertig, an American solider who became a hero during World War II. The film is being coproduced by Lucy Fisher, who produced ”Jerry Maguire” for which Cruise received an Oscar nomination.
THE STORY OF O After months of speculation and numerous focus groups, Oprah Winfrey has decided to christen her new magazine, set to launch April 17th, O. In a statement, Winfrey said, ”What I like about O is that it is simple and direct, and it is what a lot of my friends call me.”
BIG CHEESE There’s a new guy overseeing Mickey and the gang at Disney: Peter Schneider has replaced the outgoing Joe Roth as chairman of Walt Disney Studios. Schneider, who has been the president of Disney Studios since January of last year, spearheaded the successful Broadway adaptation of ”The Lion King.” Roth, who claims that there is no bad blood between himself and Walt Disney Company Chairman Michael Eisner, will head up a new independent film company. According to Variety, industry speculation is that his new venture may draw such stars as Julia Roberts and Bruce Willis.
VALENTINE LOVE Want Ricky Martin to be your valentine? Well, you’re in luck. The swivel-hipped singer will appear on a series of Valentine’s Day cards, which feature pictures and heart-shaped stickers. Mello Smello, the company making the cards, will also produce ”Magic Clings,” pictures of Martin that can stick to windows and mirrors. Guess this is one time folks won’t mind a guy who’s too clingy.
LAWYERED UP According to MTV News, rapper Puff Daddy has reportedly added rhymin’ Johnnie Cochran to the legal team defending him on charges related to the shooting at Club New York…. In other – not entirely surprising – hip-hop legal news, a bench warrant has been issued for Ol’ Dirty Bastard in Brooklyn, N.Y., for failure to appear at a Jan. 12 court date.
I’VE BEEN ROBBED Somebody in Hollywood has been robbed and it has nothing to do with nominations for the upcoming awards shows: Not content simply to ”Win Ben Stein’s Money,” on Jan. 5 someone decided to steal Ben Stein’s money. The game-show host was assaulted by two men in his home parking garage, and the crooks made away with his wallet, credit cards, and paycheck.