AWARDS If upsets and surprises are what you’re after, you might want to stay away from this year’s Teen Choice awards. The trophies for male and female Hottie of the Year went to – gasp! – Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake. In fact, ‘N Sync was the biggest winner at the illustrious ceremony, where the boy band collected five awards, including Choice Single (”Bye, Bye, Bye”), Song of the Summer (”It’s Gonna Be Me”), and Choice Music Video. The group trounced rivals the Backstreet Boys, who earned only one prize, for Choice Album (”Millennium”). Sisqó also collected two awards, for Choice Male Artist and Choice Rap/ Hip Hop track, and Blink-182 took home an award for Choice Rock Group. The ceremony, taped in Santa Monica, Calif., will air Aug. 22 on Fox at 8 p.m.
GROUNDED Brits have yet another reason to curse the U.S. Legal woes have prevented Eminem from playing scheduled gigs at this year’s Carling Weekend Festivals, according to a report in the U.K. rock rag Music385. The Slim Shady’s label released a statement today saying, ”Eminem has had to pull out of scheduled performances at Reading and Leeds later this month. Eminem does not have permission to leave the U.S. due to forthcoming legal matters.” Guess that means he can’t run off to Mexico either.
POTTER WATCH At least one more decision has been made regarding the ”Harry Potter” movie. The more than 900 year old Gloucester Cathedral will be the setting for Harry’s wizardry school, Hogwarts, according to England’s Times newspaper. Apparently, Warner Bros. first asked and was turned down by the heads of England’s Canterbury Cathedral, who declined for fear the commercial use would upset its Christian patrons. The Dean of Gloucester had no such trepidation, however, calling the book ”a marvelous, traditional children’s story.” Wonder if he got a Harry Potter lunch box in the deal.
LEGALESE Jimi Hendrix’s family has won the rights to his Internet domain name, jimihendrix.com. Denny Hammerton of Minneola, Fla., who had apparently been trying to hawk the name for some $1 million, previously governed the site…. After more than 30 years, the creators of ”Gilligan’s Island” are battling for rights to millions in royalties from the show’s three years on CBS and decades of reruns. The scribes, Elroy Schwartz, 77, and Austin Kalish, allege that Schwartz’s elder brother Sherwood cheated them out of their due through breach of contract and fraud. Attorneys for Sherwood Schwartz have yet to comment on the case.
CASTING Another pop star will join Mariah Carey in her loosely autobiographical pic ”All That Glitters.” Variety reports that soul singer (and Halle Berry fiancé) Eric Benet, whose album ”A Day in the Life” went platinum last year, will make his feature debut opposite the diva. Benet, oddly enough, will play a hot young singer.
REEL DEALS ”Once in the Life,” Laurence Fishburne’s directorial debut, is scheduled for an October release via Lions Gate films, according to Variety. The ”Matrix” star also plays the lead in the drama, about a criminal who discovers he cannot easily escape a life of crime…. Oscar winning scribe Callie Khouri (”Thelma and Louise”) will make her feature directorial debut with an adaptation of the best-selling novel ”Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood,” according to the Hollywood Reporter. The Warner Bros. project will go into production in 2001.
WEB NEWS All those who may have been disappointed by ”Coyote Ugly”’s dearth of skin, rejoice. HBO.com will host a live chat with the stars of its new series ”G-String Divas” tonight at 11:30. The show, from the makers of the cable net’s ”Real Sex,” tracks the lives of strippers in a Pennsylvania club. It promises not to be too PG.
CAMPAIGNS So what if the Republican Convention was spiced up with appearances by Bruce Willis and Rick Shroder? Al Gore is to be feted Sept. 14 by pop stars galore. Macy Gray, Lenny Kravitz, and Sheryl Crow are among the headliners at a fund-raiser for the Veep at Radio City Music Hall next month. ”Music fans have to recognize [that] these people, whose work and ideas they admire, are all backing this man,” said mogul Jann Wenner, who is sponsoring the event with Harvey Weinstein and John Sykes. Hope somebody brings along some earplugs for Tipper.