SHOW STOPPER N Sync’s Justin Timberlake, 19, officially graduated from high school during the group’s show in Timberlake’s hometown of Memphis, Tenn., on Friday. According to allstar.com, one of Timberlake’s former teachers came on stage after the group performed ”I Drive Myself Crazy” and awarded Timberlake his diploma. Can we expect the eldest ‘N Sync-er, Chris Kirkpatrick, 28, to receive his honorary doctorate during Thursday’s Atlanta show?
WB UPDATE Good news for three of the network’s struggling shows: ”Felicity,” ”Jack & Jill,” and ”Roswell” have been renewed for the fall season, WB executives said today at a presentation for advertisers. ”Roswell,” the sci fi romance series that had been floundering in various time slots this year, recently found its niche on Mondays at 9:00 p.m., and also got a boost from fans who deluged the network with bottles of tabasco sauce. ”I think that changing the direction – to more action and sci fi – saved the show,” says actress Katherine Heigl, who plays one of ”Roswell”’s tabasco-swigging alien teens. ”And I think that the fans saved the show, with their hot sauce campaign. It was a vote of confidence.”
CASTING Newlyweds Angelina Jolie and Billy Bob Thornton will star with Matt Damon and Penélope Cruz in an untitled ”dark comedy” which is described as ”’Midnight Cowboy’ for the new millennium.” Oscar winning Spanish director Pedro Almodóvar is in talks to direct…. Will Smith is now officially attached to Columbia’s Muhammad Ali biopic, to be directed by Michael Mann. According to Variety, Smith will get $20 million against 20 percent of the gross for the heavyweight role.
MUSIC NEWS Patti Smith is leaving Arista Records, following the ousting of the label’s founder Clive Davis. Smith, who fulfilled her eight album contract with the recent ”Gung Ho,” told Wall of Sound, ”I began with Clive, and I’m ending with Clive”…. According to New Musical Express, Beck is remixing David Bowie’s new single ”Seven,” which will be released in the U.K. on June 26…. Alanis Morissette plans to sell approximately $1 million of her MP3.com stock, Reuters reports. No reason was given for the sale, but MP3.com shares were down 5/8 in yesterday’s trading.
TV RATINGS ”Jesus” beat Regis in Sunday night’s ratings. The biblical CBS miniseries averaged 24.5 million viewers, according to Reuters, compared with ”Who Wants to Be a Millionaire”’s 23.5 million.