Will It Be NBC-USA Supremacy?
August 2, 2004 12:00 AM
"The Bourne Supremacy," a critical and box office hit starring Matt Damon, opened with an impressive $52.5 million in ticket sales its first three days. The movie may be a thriller full of twists and turns, but the destination of TV rights is hardly a mystery, if you listen to execs at some of the cable networks that ordinarily would be bidders. The film was released by Universal Pictures, now part of the NBC family along with USA Network, which already has the rights to "The Bourne Identity." "You do the math," said the head of acquisitions for one major cable network, insisting that the second movie would go to a combination of NBC and USA. Any deal would have to be done in a way to avoid claims of favoritism, since various rights holders besides the studio are involved. A USA spokesman said the network had not bought the film as of press time. "There's no deal yet," insisted a Universal spokesman. "We're talking to a lot of people."
Remembering Coach V
This picture of the late Jim Valvano dates back to his years as coach at North Carolina State, where his team won the national championship in 1983, one of its eight appearances in the NCAA Tournament during his 19 seasons as coach. He went on to work as a broadcaster for ESPN and ABC before contracting a form of cancer called metastatic adenocarcinoma, which claimed his life in 1993. In his final year he created the V Foundation for Cancer Research, which to date has raised more than $40 million. Now ESPN is holding its first-ever national fund-raiser so sports fans can support the fight against cancer. The kickoff is on ESPN's anniversary, Sept. 7, which is being designated as Show Your Spirit Day. Fans are asked to wear their favorite team apparel and donate to the cause. More info is available at www.jimmyv.org.
Life Imitating Art?
The timing couldn't have been stranger. Just days after Russell Simmon's appearance before TV critics to hype his new Court TV series "Hip Hop Justice," which examines whether law enforcement unjustly targets the hip-hop community, his wife, Kimora, was arrested in Saddle River, N.J., on charges of reckless driving, tailgating, having a broken taillight and possessing a small amount of pot. Mr. Simmons has been a vocal opponent of New York State's harsh drug laws regarding marijuana. He was at the Democratic convention when he learned of his wife's arrest.
The 46-year-old Def Jam founder told reporters that authorities went overboard by handcuffing his wife and taking her to jail. Mrs. Simmons is a former model who has a recurring role on UPN's "America's Next Top Model" and currently appears nearly nude on a Times Square advertising billboard. Could her bust become the subject of an upcoming episode? Mr. Simmons told AllHipHop.com that it is unlikely his family would be featured on the show under any circumstances.
However, look out law enforcement. Mr. Simmons' security cameras caught much of the incident on tape.