Cancer telethon takes over network TV
Los Angeles - Three TV networks, cancer research advocates and more than 60 celebrities from music, sports, TV and film made history Friday night with a live telethon that aired simultaneously on NBC, ABC and CBS.
Jack Black, Jennifer Aniston, Halle Berry and Keanu Reeves - along with presidential nominees John McCain and Barack Obama - were among the stars participating in "Stand Up to Cancer," an hourlong, commercial-free fundraising show spearheaded by entertainment-industry heavyweights whose lives have been touched by the disease.
Patrick Swayze, Billy Crystal, Salma Hayek and Christina Applegate urged viewers to call in and donate, while Neil Patrick Harris, America Ferrera, Christina Ricci and Kirsten Dunst answered phones. A visibly pregnant Jennifer Garner, along with Berry, Forest Whitaker and Casey Affleck, read personal accounts from those battling cancer.
Network news anchors Katie Couric, Charles Gibson and Brian Williams emceed the program, discussing advances in research and telling heartwrenching tales of those struggling with the disease.
Divorce papers reveal Hulk Hogan's net worth
Clearwater, Fla. - Thousands of dollars spent on clothing, grooming and vacations are among the average monthly expenses for Hulk Hogan's wife, according to financial affidavits filed in the couple's impending divorce case near Tampa.
Linda Bollea's monthly expenses include $7,258 on clothing; $1,318 on grooming; and $6,100 on vacations, the documents state. Hogan, whose real name is Terry Bollea, spends $102 on clothing by comparison, and more than $38,000 on legal and accounting fees.
The couple disagrees over Hogan's net worth; Hogan claims it is $32 million, while his wife, Linda, claims it is $26.7 million.
Meanwhile, their son Nick is serving an eight-month jail sentence for causing a traffic crash that left a passenger permanently disabled.
Soprano Anna Netrebko gives birth to baby boy
New York - Anna Netrebko has a new tenor in her life.
The soprano gave birth to a 7-pound, 13-ounce boy Friday in Vienna, Austria, New York-based publicist Glenn Petry said.
Her fiance, bass-baritone Erwin Schrott, attended the birth. The son was named Tiago Aura Schrott.
"Both Anna and the baby are doing great. I feel extremely blessed to have this very special experience for the second time in my life," Schrott said.
He also is father of a 10-year-old daughter, Iara, with another woman.
Netrebko, who turns 37 on Sept. 18, is scheduled to return to the stage Jan. 14 and 17 in the title role of Donizetti's "Lucia di Lammermoor" at the Mariinsky Theater in St. Petersburg, Russia, then perform the same role at New York's Metropolitan Opera starting Jan. 26.
Hootie singer Rucker a hit with country radio
Nashville, Tenn. - Darius Rucker says he's always been a sucker for a country shuffle.
The lead singer for the rock/pop group Hootie & the Blowfish has a Top 5 country hit with his solo single "Don't Think I Don't Think About It."
The tune is a ballad instead of a shuffle, but Rucker is thrilled nonetheless.
"We expected some success, but this is unbelievable," he said Thursday from his home in Charleston, S.C.
His country CD, "Learn to Live," comes out Sept. 16.
Rucker, who said Hootie is on hiatus but will be back, has been talking about making a country record for a while. He was ready to do one in Charleston when Capitol Nashville expressed interest in the project.
His timing is good for crossing over. Country radio seems wide-open with Jewel, the Eagles and Bon Jovi all finding success.
Besides Rucker, this week's Billboard country Top 10 also includes Kid Rock's "All Summer Long."
McCain, Obama close in TV audiences
New York - In terms of drawing a television audience, John McCain and Barack Obama are in a virtual dead heat.
Nielsen Media Research said that 38.9 million people watched McCain accept the Republican presidential nomination on six commercial networks Thursday. PBS estimates its audience for McCain was 3.5 million.
Last week, Obama's speech in Denver was seen by 38.4 million people on commercial networks and 4 million people on PBS.
Add those numbers together, and they each had an estimated audience of 42.4 million.
With Sarah Palin's speech on Wednesday, more people watched the Republican convention this week than the Democrats the previous week.