CONGRATULATIONS Teenage girls, be warned – the following news may cause extreme heartache: Both Kevin Richardson and Brian Littrell of the Backstreet Boys got engaged over Valentine’s Day. Richardson, 27, and his cousin Littrell, who turns 25 this Sunday, told MTV News that they had proposed to their girlfriends, but no news about the lucky gals is available. The Boys were also mum about the wedding dates, but since they’re currently on a sold-out tour, chances are they’ll be bachelors for a while longer. For all the girls mourning out there, don’t fret too much: there are still three eligible BSB, after all – AJ McLean, Howie D Dorough, and Nick Carter.
REEL UPDATE The list of possible directors for Will Smith’s biopic ”Ali” for Columbia Pictures has narrowed to Oscar-nominated director Michael Mann(”The Insider”) and Spike Lee, according to Hollywood Reporter. Curtis Hanson (”The Wonder Boys”) has also met with producer Jon Peters, and a decision is expected soon. Smith has been talking to directors since last November, when his pal Barry Sonnenfeld left the project.
CASTING Oscar nominee Jude Law will star in the drama ”Four Feathers” for Paramount and Miramax. Shekhar Kapur (”Elizabeth”) will direct the coproduction, which is based on a 1939 Zoltan Korda story about a British officer who resigns right before battle and is given four white feathers by friends as a symbol of his cowardice. With friends like that, who needs a war?… Hollywood couple Ed Burns and Heather Graham will team for the indie romantic comedy ”Sidewalks of New York,” which Burns wrote and will direct. Shooting starts next Wednesday in Manhattan, with costars Brittany Murphy (”Girl, Interrupted”), Rosario Dawson (”Down to You”), and Stanley Tucci, whose deal is in final negotiations.
RATINGS ALERT ABC’s not the only network reaping the benefits of millionaire madness: Fox’s two-hour special ”Who Wants to Marry a Millionaire?” – the beauty pageant-meets-dating game program which resulted in a legal wedding ceremony – drew 17 million viewers, making it Tuesday night’s winner among adults 18-49. It was the network’s largest audience on a Tuesday in nearly two years.
TUBE WATCH First his brother Emilio Estevez did ”The Mighty Ducks” series, and now Charlie Sheen is eyeing a hockey project, but for the small screen. Fox has picked up a one-hour drama about a young New York exec who returns home to Texas to run her father’s new hockey team. Sheen is in talks to play the team’s coach and (what a surprise!) the exec’s ex-boyfriend, but he’s also still in the running to replace Michael J. Fox in ”Spin City”…. CBS should make the NAACP happy with this news: The Tiffany network has ordered a one-hour pilot which Gregory Nava (”Selena”) will write and direct. The family drama will follow several generations of a Mexican-American family. Since CBS hasn’t ordered an entire season of episodes yet, Latino politicians have already begun to lobby CEO Les Moonves about greenlighting the project…. The WB has canceled ”Brutally Normal” after five underperforming episodes. And its lead-in, Selma Blair’s comedy ”Zoe”, has been benched for the next two weeks of Sweeps, with episodes of ”Popular” replacing the two half-hour sitcoms.