NBC brings stars together for televised tsunami benefit
Los Angeles -- Madonna, Elton John, Nelly, Kenny Chesney and other musicians converged Saturday on an NBC Universal studio for a hastily arranged TV benefit concert for tsunami victims.
The musicians were joined by actors George Clooney, Robert De Niro, Renee Zellweger and Brad Pitt in trying to help victims of the Dec. 26 tsunami, which killed more than 150,000 in Asia and Africa.
The two-hour program aired on NBC and affiliated cable stations CNBC, MSNBC, USA, Bravo, Telemundo, Pax TV, Trio and Sci-Fi Channel.
Viewers were urged to call (800) HELPNOW. All donations will go to the American Red Cross International Response Fund.
Stevie Wonder, Josh Groban and Mary J. Blige were among the other scheduled performers.
The concert was reminiscent of a similar benefit that ran on more than 30 television stations less than two weeks after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks in 2001. That benefit raised nearly $130 million for that cause.
Daughter back with Love
Los Angeles -- Singer Courtney Love has regained full custody of her 11-year-old daughter, her attorney said.
Love, 40, lost custody of Frances Bean Cobain, her daughter with late Nirvana singer Kurt Cobain, in 2003 after she overdosed on painkillers in front of the girl. The overdose occurred after Love allegedly broke into the home of her ex-boyfriend, music producer Jim Barber.
Her daughter had been staying with Love's stepfather and sister, but Love had daily contact with the girl.
Love, lead singer of the group Hole, said in a statement released by her attorney that she had "chosen to move forward with my life in a healthy and positive way."
Patric suit fires back
Austin, Texas -- Actor Jason Patric has sued an Austin police officer for allegedly violating his civil rights by using excessive force and falsely imprisoning him in March.
Patric, 38, was charged with public intoxication and evading arrest after being stopped by an officer while walking with a group of friends in the city.
The charges were dropped a month later after prosecutors cast doubt on the evidence.
Patric claims in the lawsuit that he "was doing nothing illegal, was sober and was clearly not a danger to himself or to others."
The suit, filed Friday in U.S. District Court, seeks unspecified damages.
Patric starred as Texas hero James Bowie in "The Alamo." His other films include "The Lost Boys," "Sleepers" and "Speed 2: Cruise Control."
Johnny Ramone gets statue
Los Angeles -- A bronze statue honoring late punk guitarist Johnny Ramone was unveiled before hundreds of celebrities and cheering fans at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery.
Ramone, co-founder and guitarist of The Ramones, was 55 when he died of prostate cancer in September at his Los Angeles home. The $100,000 statue sits near the grave of bandmate Dee Dee Ramone, who died of a drug overdose in 2002.
Grammy-winning producer Rick Rubin said at the Friday unveiling that The Ramones were as influential on the world of rock 'n' roll as the Beatles.
"There was the music before them and the music after," he said.
Tommy Ramone, the only surviving member of the original band, said the memorial symbolized the spirit of The Ramones' music.
"He wanted the fans to have a place to come and a way to feel in touch with this music that got so many things right," he said.
Moore's honors don't impress some at alma mater
Davison, Mich. -- Oscar on the shelf or not, Michael Moore is not getting much respect at his old high school.
Despite his fame and many honors, the filmmaker has been rejected all four times he has been nominated for Davison High School's Hall of Fame.
"Would you want him as a role model? Would you want your son or daughter to be like him?" asked Don Hammond, a member of the Hall of Fame selection committee. "I haven't talked to anybody yet who's for him."
Ryan Eashoo disagrees. The 1997 Davison High graduate has spent 80 hours the last two weeks and $600 of his own money trying to get Moore elected.
"We've been blacklisted," Eashoo, 25, told the Detroit Free Press. "I'm a huge Michael Moore fan. He's a great producer, great filmmaker, always sticking up for minorities. He's kind of an underdog."
So far, Eashoo has 300 signed nominations for Moore; his goal is 2,000 by Feb. 1. The committee meets Feb. 11 to choose its inductees.
Moore's film "Fahrenheit 9/11" attacked President Bush's rationale for the war in Iraq and accused him and his administration of fostering fear for political gain. Moore spent the weeks before the election traveling across the country to urge Americans to vote Bush out of office.
His "Bowling for Columbine" won the Oscar for best documentary in 2003.
PBS says no to nude scene
Los Angeles -- In yet another example of network skittishness in the wake of Janet Jackson's Super Bowl flashing, PBS says it will alter a movie scene to avoid showing the front of a nude woman being scrubbed down after a fictional chemical attack.
Extra footage in the movie "Dirty War" will be used that depicts the woman from a more discreet angle, PBS senior programming executive Jacoba Atlas said Saturday.
It is one of three HBO-produced films that will be seen on PBS stations in coming months after they are shown on the pay cable outlet.
"Dirty War," about a terrorist "dirty bomb" attack on London, will include the nude scene when it is shown on HBO starting Jan. 24. PBS stations will air the movie Feb. 23.
At a time when the Federal Communications Commission is aggressively pursuing indecency complaints, a nonessential nude scene in a fictional movie isn't worth the risk, Atlas said.