BLUE MADONNA: Monday morning, TV watchdogs in England were not amused by what Madonna, 43, had to say during a live awards show in January, with the group delivering Britain’s Channel 4 a slap on the wrist, reported Reuters. Presenting the Turner Prize art award last month, Madonna peppered her speech with four-letter words as she announced the winner, despite reported pleas from the event’s TV producers that she behave. The Independent Television Commission said Monday that Channel 4 was guilty of breaching its code of conduct by failing to “bleep” Madonna. Officials for Channel 4 replied that their precautions had failed and their “trust in Madonna was abused.”
‘FRIENDS,’ INDEED: The cast of NBC’s “Friends” has signed for a ninth and final year, according to news reports. Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox Arquette, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc, Matthew Perry and David Schwimmer all will be paid $1 million per episode for next season’s shows, New York’s WNBC News reported, noting that with 24 episodes per season, it is easy to do the math. The deal, according to The New York Times, was concluded on Monday, with the principals being the actors and their representatives on one side, and NBC and Warner Bros. TV, which produces the top-rated Thursday night sitcom, on the other. (Warner TV, like PEOPLE, is part of AOL Time Warner.) This season, each actor received $750,000 per episode.
BRITNEY ONSCREEN: Speaking to the Associated Press, Britney Spears, 20, says she came up with the basic idea for her new movie “Crossroads” herself after receiving scripts that just didn’t appeal to her. “I was like, why not come up with our own movie? And a concept that I can be really passionate about and I can put my heart into,” she said. “When I realized I could do that, then I thought up the whole three-girls-being-best-friends-and-going-on-a-road-trip-together, and that whole adventure, and what friends go through.” (Shondra Rimes is credited as the screenwriter.) As for the PG-13 flick’s love scene, Spears told the AP, “Actually, they wanted me to do a little bit more at first, but I would never be able to do a sex scene. It’s awkward enough kissing someone.”
HARRISON HIDEAWAY: After months of speculation as to the actual whereabouts of where former Beatle George Harrison died on Nov. 29, the mystery has been solved. Reuters reported that on Tuesday, Los Angeles officials said that the musician’s final days were spent in a Hollywood Hills mansion that had been leased by former bandmate Paul McCartney. The veil of secrecy surrounded the location for fear that memorabilia fans would swoop down on it. Harrison succumbed to lung cancer at the age of 58 after years of fighting the disease. A fictitious address had been listed on his death certificate, said several news sources, yet on Wednesday, a new death certificate in the case was issued, listing what is now said to be the proper address where Harrison expired.
HAIL, RAZZIES: The day before the Oscar nominations hit, the 22nd annual Razzie award nominations were announced by the Golden Raspberry Foundation, made up of about 500 movie fans and journalists who choose to honor the very worst films of the year. And the chosen few in the running for 2001’s worst picture by the satiric group: “Driven,” “Freddy Got Fingered,” “Glitter,” “Pearl Harbor” and “3000 Miles to Graceland.” “Driven” star Sylvester Stallone, named by the foundation as the worst actor of the century in 2000, was nominated this year in the categories of worst supporting actor, worst screenplay, worst screen couple (with Burt Reynolds) and worst picture. This brings Stallone’s career Razzie total to 29 nominations in 22 years. He has taken home a Razzie nine times.