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September 30, 1999

This week, bizbuzz is brought to you by:
and Billy Cardwell.

Bruce Willis, looking to make more family-friendly movies, is finalizing a deal to star in the Walt Disney Co. dramedy "The Kid," sources said. Scripted by Audrey Wells ("The Truth About Cats and Dogs"), "The Kid" is the tale of a grown man who is visited by himself as a 10-year-old. The youngster is able to teach the man about himself. Early word has it that the young boy is actually a ghost.

The Washington-based Center for Media and Public Affairs has released a new report claiming that TV viewers see one scene of violence every four minutes and that the unintended result may be the growing violent behavior by young people. Scoring the worst marks in the watchdog's survey was the CBS hit series Walker, Texas Ranger. But CBS spokesman Chris Ender, in an interview with USA Today, called the report "completely off base" and denied that the Walker show depicted "violence for violence's sake. ... It's been applauded by law enforcement. It's good vs. evil, and the good guys always win." Usually Chuck wins by morphing into a hawk, flying high in the air, then divebombing the bad guy and morphing back into Chuck Norris and delivering a dropkick at 45 miles an hour.

A Russian-language, satellite-beamed channel, ORT International, is set to debut in Central and Eastern Europe next week aimed at Russians who have fled their homeland since the collapse of the Soviet Union. Backers of the channel, led by Russian media mogul Boris Berezovsky, plan to extend the service to Western Europe, Israel and Australia within three years, according to a statement released by the company on Wednesday. Unfortunatly these will be 10 year old broadcasts and people will have to wait 5 more years in line to even get the papers to sign up for the channel. Russia sucks.

An online casino is taking bets on the future of Ricky Martin. Wireless Flash reports a cyber-gambling site is laying 6-1 odds the Latino superstar will publicly announce he is gay by the end of the year. The gaming site, operated out of Costa Rica by NASA International, will take bets on just about anything-like whether Hillary will dump Bill (3-1) or whether Pamela Anderson will give Tommy Lee the kiss-off by next May (even). The cyber-bookies say it's a 9-5 shot Leonardo DiCaprio will overdose on drugs within a year and that Warren Beatty's chances of winning the Democratic presidential nomination are 40-1. Odds on Brad Pitt being a figment of Edward Norton's imagination are also running even.

Action movie star Jan-Michael Vincent was sentenced to three years probation Wednesday after pleading guilty to three counts of being drunk in public.
Vincent, 55, who found fame in U.S. television's ``Airwolf'' series, was also ordered to pay $800 in fines and undergo a six month alcohol treatment program.
Vincent admitted three instances of public drunkenness in March this year. He was found sleeping in a ditch, sitting on a curb and pounding on neighbors' front doors, the municipal court in this southern California town heard. The actor was already on probation for drunk driving in 1996 when he crashed into the back of his girlfriend's car. No joke here. Sorry.

The "actor" and scientologist John Travolta has cut short a visit to Paris apparently because he feared he might be called to give evidence in the trial of seven French members of the Church of Scientology in Marseilles. Mr. Travolta flew back to Los Angeles in a private plane on Wednesday, cancelling several television and newspaper interviews that had been set up to promote the French opening of his movie, The General's Daughter. Members of his entourage told the French news agency, Agence France Presse, that Travolta feared that he might be forced to give evidence at the fraud trial of seven French Scientologists. When asked why he left, he said that he suddenly remembered that he had to fly Mel Gibson around in order to get Mel to help him move next week.

Faced with a barrage of questionable and illegal auctions recently, online auction giant eBay finds itself in yet another predicament--being sold for a mere $1.25 in one of its auctions. "We're worth every cent," said eBay spokesman Kevin Pursglove.
EBay, which has been plagued by a rash of attempts by the unscrupulous to profit from illegal sales, received seven bids and closed at a high bid of $1.25. The company had a market valuation of nearly $18.8 billion at the end of the day today and earned roughly $2.8 million last year. Pursglove chuckled when told that someone by the user name "Mis-one" put eBay up for auction on Tuesday.
"This is obviously a prank but we don't like people trying to misuse our site or eBay users," Pursglove said. "We think we have as good a sense of humor as much as anybody, but we will probably notify our attorneys. Our user agreement says you have to be the rightful owner and whoever that person is, I can assure you he's not the owner," he said. Unfortunately they have had to sell to the highest bidder due to thier poorly worded user agreements and user policies. Be sure to check out K00l Chikz Auction Warez sometimes next week.

Meanwhile, Miramax has postponed filming of Malena, from director Giuseppe Tornatore (Cinema Paradiso) after mobsters reportedly torched sets for the movie in Sicily, the New York Daily News reported Sunday. According to the newspaper, the hoods control the hiring of movie extras. Peter Fucking Dragon was reportedly sent in to negotiate, but upon meeting Don "Swing Low" Bongini, negotiations broke down.

Point/Counterpoint Section

Archie Comics publisher Michael Silberkleit, who owns the Sabrina, the Teenage Witch character, is demanding that Melissa Joan Hart be fired from the TV series unless she apologies for appearing nearly nude in Maxim and Bikini magazines and giving equally provocative interviews to the men's publications. Silberkleit has dispatched a letter to Viacom chairman Sumner Redstone saying in part: "If Ms. Hart wants to change her image, she must wait until after her contract with Viacom expires and refrain from associating our Sabrina the Teenage Witch character with her personal endorsement of binge drinking, participation in pornography and discussions about sex. ... I have been personally embarrassed by Melissa's interview and posing practically nude in Maxim." He then proceeded to watch his violent porn tentacle rape Sabrina bootleg vids.

Responding to an angry letter sent by Archie Comics publisher Michael J. Silberkleit to Viacom chairman Sumner Redstone over her near-nude pictures and provocative interviews in two men's magazines, Melissa Joan Hart issued a statement Wednesday saying that "in the tradition of Archie Comics, we have always presented Sabrina as a positive role model for children. It has never been my intention to do anything that would compromise this character I love so much." Hart did not, however, apologize, as Silberkleit had demanded, for appearing in the magazines. She then stripped down and proceeded to dance to "Rump Shaker" in the nude for a hour shakin' what her mama gave her.

The Omega Center in NY is offering a one-day Aikido workshop (price around $280) taught by none other than Grade B action movie star Steven Seagal. The class is packed with star-struck noveau riche New Agers who are just kvelling to rub elbows with him. Seagal reportedly is devoting his time entirely to this martial art, as if he had a choice in the matter.

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