People talk 02/27/03

'Buffy' creators stake series, but not spinoff

NEW YORK -- Stick a stake in it: "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" is done.

After seven years, the series will be over at the end of this season, said its star, Sarah Michelle Gellar.

"'Buffy,' in this incarnation, is over," Gellar told Entertainment Weekly magazine for its March 7 issue, her eyes welling with tears.

The series will wrap up with a five-part story, which will include the return of Faith, the bad-girl slayer, and Buffy's first love, Angel.

"We're gearing up to tell a fabulous, huge, great arc," Gellar said. "It's going to be pretty spectacular."

But the show may come back to life in some form: Its creator, Joss Whedon, is planning a spin-off that may include some "Buffy" cast members. It will be pitched first to UPN, "Buffy's" home for the past two seasons; for five seasons before that, it was on the WB.

Gellar, 25, gained fame on the cult hit as Buffy Summers, a perky high school student burdened with the responsibility of killing vampires in the seemingly idyllic town of Sunnydale, Calif.

R. Kelly's album goes to top of charts

NEW YORK -- R. Kelly's new album has debuted at the top of the charts despite child pornography charges against him.

Kelly's disc "Chocolate Factory" sold about 532,000 copies for the week ending Sunday, according to industry figures released on Wednesday.

It's the R&B singer's first disc since his arrest last year for allegedly videotaping himself having sex with an underage girl. Kelly has denied the charges, and they haven't hindered his popularity so far; the first single from the album, "Ignition," is at No. 12 on the Billboard charts.

"Chocolate Factory" is Kelly's third album to debut at No. 1, according to his label, Jive Records.

Kelly knocked rapper 50 Cent out of the top spot.

'P. Diddy' may open restaurant in Detroit

NEW YORK -- Sean "P. Diddy" Combs may open a branch of his Justin's restaurant in Detroit, the company has announced.

An official with Justin's Restaurants is expected to be in that city at the end of this week to scout locations. There are already two restaurants open, the original in New York and another in Atlanta. The restaurants, which offer soul and Caribbean food, are named after Combs' oldest son.

Besides the restaurants, hip-hop entrepreneur Combs owns the Bad Boy record label, the Sean John clothing line and a market research company.

Fortune magazine once estimated the Grammy-winning performer's annual earnings at more than $50 million; Sean John did a reported $325 million in sales in 2002.

Warwick passes buck on marijuana blame

NEW YORK -- Dionne Warwick, who was arrested at an airport last year after authorities found marijuana in her bag, is blaming someone else for putting it there.

"Apparently, somebody that didn't want to get caught thought it would be better off in somebody else's bag," the pop singer recently told The Associated Press.

The 62-year-old was arrested in May and charged with a misdemeanor after baggage screeners at Miami International Airport said they found marijuana joints inside an empty lipstick container in her bag. Charges were dropped after Warwick agreed to a plea bargain deal, which included a drug treatment program.

Warwick says she's not a drug user. "Drugs of every sort, including aspirin, are not anything I even think about," she said.

The Grammy-winning singer, whose hits include "Do You Know the Way to San Jose," and "Walk On By," says she learned a lesson from the incident: "It taught me not to travel with an open bag.

"You never know what's going to end up in it," she said.

Keith, Anderson to host CMT awards show

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Country singer Toby Keith and former "Baywatch" TV star Pamela Anderson will co-host Country Music Television's "Flameworthy 2003" music video awards show.

Keith, whose hits include "Who's Your Daddy?" and "Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue (The Angry American)," also will perform on the show, scheduled to air at 7 p.m. April 7 on CMT.

Other performers include Shania Twain, Kenny Chesney, Faith Hill, Tim McGraw, Alan Jackson and Rascal Flatts.

Anderson has had starring roles in the shows "Baywatch" and "V.I.P.," and has appeared in films including "Barb Wire" and "Scooby-Doo."

Last year's "Flameworthy" awards, the station's first, drew 6.3 million viewers, according to CMT. Winners are chosen by the channel's viewers.

'Without a Trace' highlights real-life case

PHILADELPHIA -- The CBS drama "Without a Trace" will be the latest to highlight the case of Penn State University student Cindy Song, who has been missing for more than a year.

Jeffrey A. Lampinski, special agent in charge of the FBI's Philadelphia Division, said the show would profile Song at 9 p.m. tonight. Each episode of "Without a Trace," about the FBI's Missing Persons Squad, features a short segment about a real person who has disappeared.

Song, a computer graphics student from South Korea, was last seen early on the morning of Nov. 1, 2001, when friends dropped her off at her apartment after a Halloween party.

Investigators have had few leads and have actively pursued television coverage in hopes of publicizing the case. The show "Unsolved Mysteries" aired a segment on the case last August, and Court TV has talked with investigators for a segment on its show "Psychic Detectives."-- From wire reports

Comments