Nelson, Carter celebrate Plains
Plains, Ga. -- Willie Nelson visited former President Jimmy Carter, a longtime friend, to tape a television special and a free concert for residents of Carter's hometown.
About 3,000 people attended Nelson's concert Thursday night in Plains, and the two were brought together again for a Country Music Television special, "CMT Homecoming: Jimmy Carter in Plains."
Carter, above left, said that in recent conversations he and Nelson, right, "couldn't think of any issue on any subject" on which the two disagreed. "We have a long friendship," Carter said.
Nelson responded: "I've always admired him. He did a great job as president."
Carter called Nelson one of the most significant country music performers in his lifetime and said he was impressed that Nelson had maintained a relationship with "working people."
Nelson is famous for his "Farm-Aid" concerts to help the nation's farmers.
"I'm still a farmer," Carter said, noting that he grows about 3,000 acres of corn, peanuts and wheat. "I'm in the field every chance I get."
The special should air in December.
CBS not sold on Madonna's ideas
New York -- Even Madonna doesn't always get what she wants.
A deal for the pop diva to show a tape of one of her concerts on CBS has fallen through.
Madonna wanted the special to air for more than two hours and be commercial-free, said CBS entertainment spokesman Chris Ender. The network wasn't willing to give up more than two hours of its prime-time schedule and insisted on commercials.
CBS had expected to tape the special somewhere during Madonna's European tour. Concert specials have become increasingly popular for broadcast networks.
A call to a representative for Madonna was not immediately returned.
De Niro defends Italian characters
Venice, Italy -- Robert De Niro dismissed accusations that his Mafia roles have smeared the image of Italian-Americans, arguing that he plays realistic characters including many who could not be construed as stereotypes.
De Niro's defense Friday came after the Order Sons of Italy in America, a fraternal organization of Americans of Italian heritage, wrote a letter to the Italian government, urging it to cancel its plan to award the actor honorary citizenship. The government rejected that request, and is expected to confer the honor next month.
"The characters that I played are real -- they are real. So they have as much right to be portrayed as any other characters," De Niro said, during promotion Friday of the animated feature "Shark Tale."
De Niro's paternal grandparents were born in Italy.