PASSAGES: Conan, the $8 Million Man
SETTLED: NBC is set to close the deal to pay roughly $8 million a year — roughly double his current salary — to keep “Late Night” host Conan O’Brien, 38, at the network for another four years, reports Variety. The new contract is expected to make him the highest-paid host ever in the 12:35 a.m. time slot . . . SCHEDULED: Barbara Bush, 76, mother of President Bushand a former First Lady herself, will attend the Rio de Janeiro carnival this week, according to Reuters . . . STOPPED: Independent publisher Michael W. Perry has been ordered not to publish — for the time being — his “The Lord of the Rings Diary,” which puts J.R.R. Tolkien’s epic trilogy in chronological order, reports the Associated Press. In a Seattle courtroom, U.S. District judge Barbara Rothstein issued the cease-and-desist order last week, pending resolution of a copyright-infringement lawsuit filed on behalf of the Tolkien estate. “I’m hoping to work out some kind of agreement,” said Perry. “I think there’s been a lot of misunderstanding” . . . RESURFACED: Eminem, 29, who recently completed the movie “8 Mile” (to be released this summer), is back in the studio preparing a new album, says the AP. His latest, produced by Dr. Dre, will be called “The Eminem Show” and is due out in April. It will follow his 2000 release “The Marshall Mathers LP,” which sold 17 million copies.