''High School Musical 2'' makes history | EW.com


''High School Musical 2'' makes history

Plus: Jamie Foxx starring in musical biopic, Amy Winehouse cancels all of her August concerts, ''Bratz'' star Janel Parrish gets arc on ''Heroes,'' and more...

(Adam Larkey)

High School Musical 2 Makes History
According to preliminary ratings reports, the Friday night premiere of Disney’s made-for-television movie High School Musical 2 has set numerous ratings records and delivered the largest single audience in basic-cable television history. The sequel to the wildly popular 2006 children’s television movie was watched by about 17.2 million viewers nationwide. That would make High School Musical 2 the most watched event ever broadcast on basic cable. Additionally, the Disney Channel original movie ranked as the most-watched TV telecast ever in kids 6-11 and the most-watched entertainment telecast ever in tweens 9-14. (Hollywood Reporter)

Johansson lines up two more roles
Scarlett Johansson has lined up two more projects ahead of a possible writers strike, adding a role in the ensemble cast of She’s Just Not That Into You and a starring role in Will Eisner’s The Sprit to her schedule. She will also play the title role in Mary Queen of Scots, a project she’s had set up for some time already. For Into You, she will play a pilates instructor/aspiring singer who has an affair with a married man and hopes that he will leave his wife for her. She joins the just-attached Jennifer Aniston in the Drew Barryomore-produced movie, which also features Jennifer Connelly, Bradley Cooper, Kevin Connolly, Justin Long, Ginnifer Goodwin, and Barrymore. Ben Kwapis is directing. In Spirit, based on the Will Eisner comic known for women with dangerous curves, Johansson will play Silk N. Floss, a sexy, intelligent secretary with a vindictive instinct that makes her the perfect accomplice to the Octopus (Samuel L. Jackson), an evil mastermind. Gabriel Macht (The Good Shepherd) is playing the title character, a detective who fakes his own death and fights crime as the masked man known as the Spirit. Production is scheduled to start in October for a 2009 release. Johansson is already slated to start work on Scots next March. The indie will focus the queen’s early life and her relationship with the Earl of Bothwell. The actress was most recently seen in Christopher Nolan’s The Prestige, and is in postproduction on The Other Boleyn Girl, starring opposite Natalie Portman and Eric Bana. (Hollywood Reporter)

Jamie Foxx starring in musical biopioc
Jamie Foxx will star in DreamWorks’ drama The Soloist, which will be directed by Joe Wright (Pride & Prejudice). The movie tells the true story of musical prodigy Nathaniel Ayers, who developed schizophrenia in his second year at Juilliard and ended up homeless on the streets of downtown L.A., where he performs the violin and cello. The script, written by Susannah Grant (Erin Brockovich), is inspired by columnist Steve Lopez’s relationship with Ayers and his upcoming book. Lopez will be a character in the movie; that role has not yet been cast. Foxx, a classically trained pianist, is being taught stringed instruments by a cellist in the Los Angeles Philharmonic. Shooting is scheduled to start in January. Foxx next will be seen in the Peter Berg-directed drama The Kingdom for Universal. (Variety)

Winehouse cancels all August shows
Amy Winehoue has canceled all of her scheduled August concerts for health reasons. ”Amy Winehouse is putting all her touring commitments for this month on hold until further notice in order to address her health issues,” spokesperson Tracey Miller said in a statement. ”Amy will now not be performing at this weekend’s V Festival in Chelmsford and Staffordshire. Her family has requested that the media respect Amy’s privacy at this time. There will be no further comment.” Winehouse was hospitalized last week, citing ”severe exhaustion,” following widely circulated reports that she had been partying non-stop after returning home to the UK. from Chicago, where she performed on Aug. 5 at the Lollapalooza festival. Winehouse is scheduled to start a North American tour in September. (AP via Yahoo!)

Bratz’ Parrish doing Heroes
Bratz: The Movie star Janel Parrish will do a multiepisode story arc on NBC’s Heroes next season. For three episodes, she will play May, the head cheerleader at the new school that Claire (Hayden Panettietre) attends. Parrish plays a lead in the upcoming Lionsgate movie Bratz and contributes a song to the soundtrack. She has a record deal with Geffen. (Hollywood Reporter)

CBS expected to pick up L.L. Cool J’s The Man
CBS is close to picking up comedy series The Man, starring L.L. Cool J, for midseason with a six-episode order. The show is from Anthony Zuiker, creator of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation. The show, which was not picked up for fall but has remained in contention for midseason, stars LL Cool J as an undercover Los Angeles cop who takes care of an orphaned boy. If picked up, it will be reworked and a new pilot will be shot. Only LL Cool J and Domenick Lombardozzicq have remained on board from the original cast of the presentation, which was directed by Simon West. (Hollywood Reporter)

Max Roach dies at 83
Legendary jazz drummer Max Roach died in his sleep Thursday (Aug. 16) He was 83. Roach started drumming with gospel bands at age 10 and played with Duke Ellington at 16. He recorded more than 70 albums, working with Ellington, Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Parker, Charles Mingus, and Sonny Rollins. In 1952, he co-founded Debut Records with Mingus and released the classic live album Jazz at Massey Hall, featuring Parker, Gillespie, Bud Powell, and Mingus. Roach was also a civil rights activist. In 1960 he released ”We Insist! Max Roach’s Freedom Now Suite,” which featured vocalist Abbey Lincoln, who he married two years later. He is survived by three daughters and two sons. (Billboard)

Food Network picks up second season of Delicioso
Food Network has picked up Simply Delicioso, a Latin-themed cooking show, for a second season. The Miami-based show, hosted by Ingrid Hoffmann, premiered July 14 and will get another 13-episode order. The show features Hoffman putting a Latin spin on American traditions like picnics, barbecues, and Sunday dinners, among others. (Hollywood Reporter)

ABC airing Diddy’s Raisin next winter
ABC will air the television adaptation of Sean ”Diddy” Combs’ Broadway production A Raisin in the Sun the night after next February’s Oscars broadcast. The three-hour telepic will feature the cast of the Broadway revival, including Combs, Phylicia Rashad, who earned an actress Tony award for her work on Raisin, Audra McDonald, who won the featured actress Tony for Raisin, and Sanaa Lathan, who earned a Tony nomination for her role. John Stamos, Sean Patrick Thomas, David Oyelowo, Bill Nunn, and Cephas Jones also star. The movie was shot in December and will premiere at 8 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 25, the night after ABC’s telecast of the 80th annual Academy Awards. (Variety)


AP via Yahoo!: The police had to be called in to handle crowds and close traffic down on Thursday (Aug. 16) when Paris Hilton unveiled her new clothing line at Kitson, a trendy Los Angeles boutique known for its celebrity clientele. The line includes shoes, T-shirts, and jeans.

Page Six: For Monday night’s Second Annual Ozone Awards in Miami, Fat Joe demanded that the red carpet be shut down for him while he and his 30-strong entourage walked down it, and Lil’ Wayne insisted that hot girls personally fan him as he walked down the red carpet, but he didn’t allow any pictures.