Entertainment News from August 1997
Updated June 26, 2020 | Infoplease Staff
- The Irish Supreme Court unanimously decides to let U2 perform at Dublin's Landsdowne Road stadium on August 30 and 31 as part of the band's PopMart tour. In July, the court ruled that the shows were illegal under planning laws.
- Friends fans will have their pals around for a few more years, at least until May 2000. By the end of their contract, the six buddies will earn $120,000 an episode.
- Madonna announces that her Maverick Records will market and distribute the releases of Quentin Tarantino's A Band Apart Records, which will specialize in movie soundtracks.
- Frasier's Kelsey Grammer marries former Playboy model Camille Donatacci in a private Malibu ceremony.
- A red-faced HBO relinquishes two of its Emmy nominations in news and documentary categories, which are not considered part of the prime-time list, thereby the channel maintains its status as the station to receive the most noms, beating out the broadcast networks. HBO submittedParadise Lost: The Child Murders at Robin Hood Hills for consideration in the prime-time/informational category, and the producers of the movie offered it for news and documentary. National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences rules forbid submission in both areas.
- Apple Computer stuns the computer industry when it announces a financial and business partnership with archrival Microsoft. Microsoft plans to invest $150 million for a non-voting minority stake in the troubled company. Apple cofounder and temporary CEO Steve Jobs made the announcement at Macworld to a chorus of boos. The move will work to the advantage of both companies, saving Apple from its possible demise and ensuring software giant Microsoft will continue to sell word-processing and spreadsheet software to Macintosh users, which account for one out of 10 PC users.
- ER cast members band together once again, rallying against TV Guide because in the past year and a half, the weekly had Eriq LaSalle pose two times for a cover story that has yet to run, while other cast members, including Anthony Edwards, have graced the cover. Last year, George Clooney led a boycott of Entertainment Tonight.
- Garth Brooks draws an estimated 250,000 fans to his free Central Park concert. Billy Joel joined the country crooner on “Ain't Going Down ('Til the Sun Comes Up)” and “New York State of Mind.” HBO televised the event live, setting a ratings record for the cable channel.
- Disney announces that Buddy, the hoop-shooting canine star of Air Buddy, has lost a leg to cancer. The golden retriever is expected to recover and return to the court.
- All hell breaks loose in the Kennedy clan when George hits the newsstands, with a letter from its editor and founder, John F. Kennedy, Jr., that calls two of his cousins “poster boys for bad behavior.” John John was referring to Rep. Joseph Kennedy, who made headlines recently when his former wife published a book that accused him of bullying her into an annulment, and Michael Kennedy, who allegedly had an affair with his underage babysitter. Joe responded, “Ask not what you can do for your cousins, but what you can do for his magazine.”
- Taking a lesson from Mike Tyson, Christian Slater bites a man who tried to intercede an argument between Slater and his ex-girlfriend, Michelle Jonas. Things only got worse for the 27-year-old actor when the police arrived and he got into a fight with them. The brouhaha ended with the actor's arrest on one count of battery and three counts of assault with a deadly weapon.
- DNA testing links Marv Albert to the Virginia woman who claims he bit her and forced her to perform oral sex. Albert denied has denied the charges.
- Jack Valenti, president of the Motion Picture Association of America, responds to a bill filed in the Massachusetts legislature that would require movie producers to get written permission to use any part of a person's name, picture or life story in a film by saying “the bill seeks to shackle one of the dearest freedoms we possess as a nation, our rights to free expression.” The Massachusetts legislators passed the bill in an attempt to stop filming of A Civil Action, the real-life story of eight Massachusetts families whose children allegedly got leukemia from water contaminated by the toxic waste of two of the state's largest companies.
- Variety reports that the members ofteenybopper trio Hanson have sold the rights to their life story to a film producer. It gets even worse: Isaac, Taylor and Zachary will play themselves in the movie.
- In typical grand style, The Rolling Stones announce the band's Bridges of Brooklyn world tour, which kicks off September 23 at Chicago's Soldier Field. The Stones arrived to the press conference, appropriately under the Brooklyn Bridge, in a 1955 red Cadillac convertible. The album is due in stores on September 30, 1997.
- Snubbed by Tom Brokaw, CNN tempts CBS anchorman Dan Rather with an offer of reportedly close to $8 million a year.
- President Clinton celebrates his 51st birthday with a slew of celebrities, including Merv Griffin, Harvey Weinstein, Caroline Kennedy Schlossberg, William Styron and Katharine Graham. Mary Steenburgen and Ted Danson host the soiree at their Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts, home. Jimmy Buffett and Carly Simon provided the entertainment.
- The New York Observer reports that Seagram CEO Edgar Bronfman has decided to stop producing and distributing music for Death Row Records, the controversial rap label that has been recently dogged by disasters. For example, Death Row lost its biggest star when Tupac Shakur was gunned down, and in March, its CEO Marion “Suge” Knight was sentenced to nine years in prison for violating parole from a 1992 assault charge. In 1995 Seagram bought about one half of Interscope Records, the company that distributes Death Row's releases.
- Britpop superstars Oasis release their first album in two years. Be Here Now becomes England's fastest-selling record, selling more than one million copies in its debut weekend. The album will hit U.S. stores on August 26.
- Robert Redford announces that he has teamed up with General Cinema Theaters to create a chain of theaters, Sundance Cinemas, to bring independent films, usually reserved for arthouses, to the masses. “Sundance Cinemas is the logical extension of our efforts over the past 18 years to expand the opportunities for independent filmmakers to reach the broadest possible audience,” Redford said. The actor's Sundance Film Festival has expanded to include a cable channel and other ventures.
- People magazine reports that Christian Slater has entered rehab. The feisty actor was arrested earlier in the month on charges of one count of battery and three counts of assault with a deadly weapon following a fight with his former girlfriend at a party.
- The Vatican announces that Bob Dylan will perform for Pope John Paul II at a September 27 youth rally in Bologna, Italy. Dylan was selected because he has a “spiritual nature.”
- Rewind becomes the first casualty of the 1997–1998 television season, getting canned three weeks before its broadcast debut. The show, starring Scott Baio, may get a chance later in the season.
- Princess Diana and her companion, Emad Mohamed “Dodi” al-Fayed, die in a Paris car crash while trying to elude photographers. The driver, who also died, was allegedly drunk, with a blood-alcohol level four times the legal limit.