SOUND BITES Lance Bass is hoping to go where no boy band member has gone before. Los Angeles-based Destiny Productions wants to send the ‘N Sync singer into outer space this fall, documenting his journey for a TV special. Destiny would pay his way (cost: $20 million) on a Russian rocket from Kazakhstan out to the Alpha International Space Station. Assuming he gets the approval of NASA, Rosaviakosmos (the Russian space agency), and the other international partners in the space station, the 22-year-old Bass would be the youngest astronaut ever. While he’d have to submit to months of rigorous training, Bass says he’s been preparing ”to represent my country in this history-making mission” since he went to Florida space camp at age 12. Record labels are surely watching this development with interest; after all, instead of buying out Mariah Carey’s contract for $28 million, Virgin could have saved $8 million and sent her off the planet….
Jennifer Lopez’ Billboard chart reign was short-lived. After a week on top, her remix disc ”J to tha L-O!” fell to No. 3, with Alan Jackson’s ”Drive” returning to the top spot, where it had spent the previous three weeks. ”Drive” sold 183,500 copies according to SoundScan, followed by Creed’s ”Weathered” (143,600 copies) and J. Lo’s album (133,575 units). At No. 4 was Linkin Park’s ”Hybrid Theory” (118,500 sold), while Nickelback’s ”Silver Side Up” jumped two spots to No. 5 (108,200 copies).
Ludacris’”Word of Mouf” held at No. 6 Barry Manilow’s ”Ultimate Manilow” plunged four spots to No. 7. Climbing up to No. 8 was Pink’s ”M!ssundaztood.” Entering the top 10 were Puddle of Mudd’s ”Come Clean” (No. 9) and Enrique Iglesias’ ”Escape” (No. 10).
TUBE TALK You knew that he had to turn up eventually. Fox announced yesterday that David Duchovny’s Agent Mulder would return from wherever he’s been all season for the two-hour series finale of ”The X-Files” on May 19. Duchovny will also direct (but not appear in) the April 28 episode, based on a story he hatched with creator Chris Carter and executive producer Frank Spotnitz. The network says the series’ wrap-up episodes ”will examine many of the pieces involved in the long-running mythology that has continued throughout the show’s nine seasons.” That’s ”examine,” not ”resolve,” since untied loose ends will leave room for another ”X-Files” feature film. So the truth will still be out there….
Oops. In a ”Survivor” screw-up, CBS has had to shell out an extra $200,000 and change somewhat the final rankings of the recently completed African contest. While Ethan Zohn still came out on top, runner-up Kim Johnson had to share second-place honors with Lex van den Berghe and Tom Buchanan, who were each awarded the $100,000 second-place prize money. The mix-up came in the immunity challenge that asked competitors to name the female ”Survivor” player who had no body piercings. Johnson won the challenge by guessing Kelly Goldsmith, while van den Berghe named Lindsey Richter. Turns out Lex’s answer was correct, too. CBS discovered the mistake during the Jan. 10 broadcast of the finale and paid up a week later, but the network did not reveal the goof until reporters asked about it on Tuesday….
Biopics are all the rage on cable. USA has announced a movie bio of Rudy Giuliani, the second such drama about the former New York mayor in the works. The first, an adaptation of New York TV newsman Andrew Kirtzman’s ”Emperor of the City,” hasn’t found an outlet yet; neither film has been cast yet. The USA project will be based on the less-flattering ”Rudy! An Investigative Biography of Rudolph Giuliani,” published in 2000 by Village Voice reporter Wayne Barrett, though it’s not clear after Sept. 11 if viewers want to see a less-than-heroic Giuliani.