April 20, 2001

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Flying High

Airports haven’t been friendly places to members of the Hollywood community.

First Whitney Houston had a run-in with Hawaiian airport police last year for stuffing a 1/2 ounce of marijuana in her purse. And on Monday, NBC’s The West Wing creator and executive producer Aaron Sorkin was arrested at Burbank Airport, after security guards found some hallucinogenic mushrooms in his carry-on bag.

The Emmy-winning head writer was ready to board a flight from Burbank to Las Vegas when security found the ‘shrooms. Sorkin was released on his own recognizance, after posting $10,000 bail. His arraignment for drug possession is scheduled for April 30.

According to Sorkin’s publicist, production of The West Wing will not be affected by his current legal woes. And who knows — incorporating his experience into a future script might prove to be a “high” point for the show’s ratings.

Strong Link

This week, NBC premiered its latest quiz show, The Weakest Link, amidst much hype and publicity. Host Anne Robinson, who also emcees the original British version, was heavily promoted as the sassy and sarcastic redhead who isn’t afraid to poke fun at her contestants’ shortcomings.

And so far, so good. In its first two nights, The Weakest Link scored at the top of the ratings, essentially ensuring it as a mainstay for at least the remainder of the season. But its ultimate success is anyone’s guess.

Today’s USA Today suggested that Americans might not take to Robinson’s particular brand of humor and nastiness.

In May, Survivor 1 alums will compete on the show during a celebrity edition. But the Ultimate Survivor Richard Hatch doesn’t survive past the first round; he is apparently the first “weakest link” to be voted off, according to Access Hollywood.

Meanwhile, in other Outback news, CBS has confirmed that no Survivor 2 contestants know the identity of the $1 million grand prize winner. The sealed “tribal council” votes will be read live during the Survivor 2 finale on May 3.

The two-hour final show will then be followed by a potentially tense cast reunion. In an interview in TV Guide, former castaway Nick reports that Jerri still isn’t talking to Tina or Keith after they gave her the boot.

Standing Up by Stepping Down

Film director Steven Spielberg has officially resigned from his position on the advisory board of the Boy Scouts of America. According to E! Online, his decision to leave stems largely from the Boy Scouts’ membership policies, specifically those prohibiting homosexuals from joining the organization.

“The last few years in scouting have deeply saddened me to see the Boy Scouts of America actively and publicly participating in discrimination. It’s a real shame,” said Spielberg in a statement.

The Boy Scouts of America has been embroiled in recent controversy with various gay and lesbian rights groups.

But a U.S. Supreme Court decision upheld the organization’s policies, citing that it is a private institution and thus allowed to establish its own selection guidelines.

E-News Shorts

Actors Freddie Prinze Jr. and Sarah Michelle Gellar are engaged … Rapper Jay-Z was arrested for alleged gun possession … Top 40 compilation album Now That’s What I Call Music! 6 is at the top of the album charts for the second week in a row … Kyoto Now! protests have ended.

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