- Pixar's Monster's, Inc. opens to rave reviews and a blockbuster box office, taking in a record $63.5 million in its first weekend of release.
- After two postponements in the wake of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, the Emmy Awards are finally presented. NBC's The West Wing takes the award for Best Drama and HBO's Sex and the City nabs the Best Comedy prize. For a full list of winners see Emmy Awards.
- Former Saved By the Bell star Mark-Paul Gosselaar makes his debut on NYPD Blue. He's taking over for Rick Schroder, who left the show at the end of last season. Gosselaar will share a squad car with Dennis Franz's Det. Sipowicz, who can't seem to hang on to a partner.
- Ken Kesey, writer and counterculture hero who was inspired to write his first novel, One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest, while working as a night attendant in the psychiatric ward of a California hospital, dies at age 66.
- Michael Jackson scores respectable ratings for his much-promoted TV special on CBS. He performs solo and with his brothers in a Jackson 5 reunion. The extravaganza celebrates Jackson's 30-year career. Whitney Houston and *N Sync also sing tributes to the star.
- Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman agree on a divorce settlement. They work out how to share custody of their children, Isabella, 8, and Connor, 6, and how to divide their $150 million in assets. The agreement remains secret, but a statement released by their attorneys states, they have reached “an amicable, full resolution of all issues.”
- Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone opens in 8,200 theaters nationwide, about one-quarter of all those available. Lukewarm reviews certainly didn't discourage audiences, however. The film took in an unprecedented $93.5 million in it opening weekend.
- The Carol Burnett Show: Show Stoppers registers a stunning 30 million viewers, far exceeding expectations.
- Intermedia greenlights the megaproduction of Terminator 3, starring Arnold Schwarzenegger. Jonathan Mostow will direct the film, which, with a budget of $160 million, will be the most expensive movie ever made.
- Survivor host Jeff Probst hasn't spent all his time in locations far, far off the beaten track. Indeed, he's been busy behind the camera as well. The L.A.-based American Cinematheque has named him one of the “Ten Directors to Watch.” Probst's Finder's Fee, which he wrote and directed, won best film honors at the 2001 Seattle International Film Festival. The film stars James Earl Jones, Erik Palladino, and Carly Pope.
- Elizabeth Hurley announces through her spokesman that she's pregnant. She says the father is her former boyfriend, British producer Stephen Bing. Days later, Bing says he want a paternity test done on Hurley's child before he accepts any financial responsibility for the child.
- With the ratings of the formerly unstoppable Who Wants to Be a Millionaire quickly eroding, ABC is considering shifting away from reality TV and is even mulling over dropping the show from its fall 2002 schedule.
- CBS wins the November sweeps for the first time since 1997.
- George Harrison, lead guitarist for the Beatles, dies at age 58. His death follows a long struggle with cancer. “He left this world as he lived in it, conscious of God, fearless of death, and at peace, surrounded by family and friends,” family said in a statement. “He often said, 'Everything else can wait but the search for God cannot wait, and love one another.”