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In the news

Compiled from Times wires

© St. Petersburg Times,
published September 11, 2001

Big Emmys start for NBC, Fox

NBC and Fox are No. 1 in Emmy wins after the first phase of the entertainment awards.

Each network won 11 -- The West Wing getting four for NBC -- at the Creative Arts ceremony Saturday at Pasadena, Calif.

Sixty-four awards in 56 categories were handed out. Most were for technical and behind-the-scenes areas.

Also presented were the Emmys for best guest actor and actress in a drama and in a comedy. The winners were, respectively, Michael Emerson (William Hinks in The Practice), Sally Field (Abby Lockhart's mother, Maggie, in ER), Derek Jacobi (Jackson Riley on Frasier) and Jean Smart (Lana Gardner on Frasier).

The Simpsons won its eighth Emmy for Outstanding Animated Program.

Awards specifically for reality shows debuted. The first Survivor won for Outstanding Non-Fiction Program (Special Class), for shows that offer money or prizes. Fox's American High won for Outstanding Non-Fiction Program (Reality).

John considers marriage

Elton John says he would marry boyfriend David Furnish if it would prevent Furnish from having to face steep inheritance taxes after John's death.

"I would marry David if it would be beneficial to him after I died," John told the Brisbane (Australia) Courier-Mail.

British law does not levy a death duty when a spouse is left an inheritance. When a single person leaves money, the recipient is liable for duty.

Homosexual marriages are not recognized in Britain, but there have been moves toward reform.

John, 54, said he will leave most of his estate, estimated at up to $480-million, to Furnish, who is in his late 30s. If not for the inheritance issue, John said, he sees no reason to marry Furnish.

TV notes

Frank Sesno is stepping down as CNN's Washington bureau chief, becoming the latest executive to leave the news channel as it undergoes a top-to-bottom makeover. . . . Billy Ray Cyrus will have knee surgery Friday, but the operation won't keep him off the set of Doc, his PAX TV series, reports.

In the U.K.

The final countdown to a possible actors strike over pay and conditions begins today, says. The United Kingdom actors union is scheduled to meet with members' agents to get them on its side in an escalating dispute over bonus payments. Many household names, including Ewan McGregor, have pledged their support to the campaign, which could bring the U.K. film industry to a standstill. Actors are paid a flat advance for future broadcasts of films, video and DVD sales and other uses. They get nothing extra, no matter how successful a film is. . . . Mambo No. 5, a worldwide hit for Lou Bega in 1999, returned to the top of the British chart Sunday in a version by children's TV character Bob the Builder.

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