Dateline: Week Of October 1, 1999 In News, Pop Culture, Tech, Celebrity, Entertainment & Fascinating Facts
In The News
Dozens of Japanese workers are hospitalized with radiation poisoning and 46 others suffer radioactive contamination after an uncontrolled nuclear reaction at a uranium processing plant about 80 miles from Tokyo. Later, Japanese officials declare that the immediate danger has passed from the nation’s worst nuclear accident.
A jury in Illinois orders the nation’s largest car insurer (State Farm) to pay $456 million for cheating millions of customers by ordering body shops to fix their cars with low-cost generic replacement parts.
Scores are dead and at least 150 injured when two crowded commuter trains crash and burst into flames near London’s Paddington Station at the height of rush hour.
The flood toll rises in Mexico as President Zedillo fears the “tragedy of the decade” as volunteers dig out the dead. Dozens are still missing with 50,000 homeless. The worst affected is Tezultan - a mountain community 110 miles east of Mexico City.
Best-selling books – October 1, 1999
Personal Injuries - Scott Turow
A Star Called Henry - Roddy Doyale
Bagombo Snuff Box - Kurt Vonnegut
White Oleander - Janet Fitch
The Coming of the Night - John Rechy
Hitler’s Niece - Ron Hansen
Dutch - Edmund Morris
‘Tis - Frank McCourt
Andy Kaufman Revealed - Bob Zmuda
Legacy - Christopher Ogden
Tuesdays With Morrie
Faith of My Fathers - John McCain
Hitler’s Pope - John Cornwell
Sports News – October 1, 1999
The NFL votes overwhelmingly to place its 32nd franchise in Houston - forsaking Los Angeles - which still does not have an NFL franchise. Houston billionaire Bob McNair bid $700 million and a new $310 million stadium with glass walls and a retractable roof. For Los Angeles, former super agent Mike Ovitz tried to put a deal together to place in team in the city, offering the NFL an expansion fee of $400 million with the ability to add another $150 million in deferred money .
Technology News – October 1, 1999
MCI WorldCom agrees to buy Sprint Corp for more than $100 billion - the highest priced merger in history (so far). Terms of the deal have not been announced, but the price is far above MCI WorldCom’s initial offer of $65 billion in stock. BellSouth had been a part of the bidding war.
AMD one-ups Intel by introducing the fastest Windows-compatible microprocessor to date – as it introduces a 700-Mhz version of the Athlon chip.
Gemstar International Group agrees to buy TV Guide for about $7.6 billion in stock. TV Guide has about 11 million subscribers, but the deal was motivated by point-and-click electronic program guides which more and more viewers are using via their pay-TV boxes.
Yahoo Inc’s third quarter income more than triples. The company reports operating income of $40.41 million or 14 cents a share, compared with $6.92 million or 2 cents a share for the same period a year ago. Revenue rose to $155.1 million from $66.3 million a year ago.
“Introducing AT&T One Rate 7cents plan ... With the new AT&T One Rate 7cents plan, all your state-to-state calls from home, all day, every day, are just 7cents a minute. Unlike those nickel rates that can sometimes cost you a quarter, AT&T has made real saving simple once again.”
Radio News – October 1, 1999
Clear Channel agrees to buy radio leader AMFM Inc in a stock deal valued at $15.9 billion. Clear Channel, now the third-largest radio operator, controls 830 radio stations, 425,000 billboards, 19 television stations and Katz Media - a national advertising rep firm. Under the deal, Clear Channel would assume $6.1 billion in AMFM debt. Analysts say that buying AMFM will also enable Clear Channel to tap into the growth in Internet advertising. Clear Channel has stations mostly in mid-sized markets, but AMFM radio stations are predominantly in top 10 cities, where a bulk of dot.com radio advertising is being placed.
Entertainment/Movie/Celebrity News – October 1, 1999
Walt Disney Co pulls the plug on its Club Disney entertainment centers.
Passing - Marvin Davis (72) - headed Paramount Communications until it was taken over by Viacom in 1994. He was once proclaimed one the “Ten Toughest Bosses” in America. Many top media heads once worked under Davis, and usually left after butting heads - including Michael Eisner, Barry Diller and Jeffrey Katzenberg.
Passing – Akio Morita – Co-founder of Sony with Japanese navy colleague Masaru Ibuka in a bomb-out department store in 1946.
In its first week of release – Warner Home Video DVD release of “The Matrix” sold some 780,000 copies – the largest to date.
Michael Jackson News – October 1, 1999
Divorcing - Deborah Rowe Jackson - Singer Michael Jackson’s second wife, files for divorce after nearly three years of marriage. The petition sites irreconcilable differences. The couple has two children. Miss Rowe was a nurse in the singer’s doctor’s office.
Television News – October 1, 1999
CBS plans to blend the hot game show genre with reality programming with something called “Survivor.” 16 contestants will be dropped onto a secluded-island in the South China Sea and will be left to their own devices. The rivals will then vote as a “tribal council” to expel members each week, with the winner left to win $1 million. Contestants will be determined through a nationwide search. You can find details on the CBS website - www.cbs.com.
FX orders six episodes of “Son of the Beach” - a half-hour comedy with Howard Stern as Executive Producer.
HGTV is building. Launched in 1994, it can now be seen in 57 million homes. You can say it was all part of a PBS Show – “This Old House,” which is now in season 21. It was this show that spawned a myriad of home renovation series – enough to warrant a TV channel dedicated to these kinds of shows. The man who created “This Old House” – Russell Morash, is the man behind HDTV.
November sweeps - ABC says that on November 10, it will air three versions of “The Drew Carey Show” - each live for the Eastern, Mountain and Pacific Time zones. Although the basic script will be intact for each show, each will be filled-around with improvised portions which should make each show a little different.
Former Saturday Night Live regular Norm Macdonald, who was fired from the show a few years ago, will guest-host on October 23rd.
Monday Night Television listings/TV Guide – October 1, 1999
CBS - The King of Queens, Ladies Man, Everybody Loves Raymond, Becker, Family Law
NBC - Suddenly Susan, Veronica’s Closet, Law & Order: Special Victim’s Unit, Dateline NBC
ABC - 20/20, Monday Night Football
FOX - Life and Trials of Ally McBeal, Life and Trials of Ally McBeal
WB - 7th Heaven, Safe Harbor
UPN - Moesha, Parkers, Grown Ups, Malcolm & Eddie
PBS - Antiques Roadshow, Red Files, Hostage, Charlie Rose
E! - Talk Soup, Mysterious Scandals, Sean & Mandonna: True Hollywood Story, The Truth About Blondes, Howard Stern
MTV - Road Rules, Loveline
A & E - Biography of Millennium: 100 people .... 1000 years
On 7th Heaven - Eric and Ruthie shop for a new car.
It's the Season Finale of “Sex and the City” starring Sarah Jessica Parker – on HBO!
On Everybody Loves Raymond - Ray and Debra consult Frank and Marie about their sex life.
On Charlie Rose - Mayor of Jerusalem: Dr Ronald Crystal, Cellist Nina Kotova
On the Late Show with David Letterman - Bruce Willis, Will Ferrell
On the Tonight Show with Jay Leno - Judge Judy Sheindin, Mena Suvari
Music news – October 1, 1999
Ozzy Osbourne who leads “Black Sabbath,” calls for the Rock and Roll Hall of fame to dump the band’s name from this year’s list of nominees. “The nomination is meaningless because it’s not voted on by the fans. It’s voted on by the supposed elite of the (music) industry and the media, who’ve never bought an album or concert tickets in their lives.” It’s the third consecutive year the band’s been nominated.
Top Movies – October 1, 1999
Double Jeopardy - Tommy Lee Jones, Ashley Judd
Three Kings - George Clooney, Mark Wahlberg, Ice Cube
American Beauty - Keven Spacey, Annette Bening, Peter Gallagher
Blue Streak - Martin Lawrence, Luke Wilson, Peter Green
The Sixth Sense - Bruce Willis, Toni Collette, Olivia Williams, Donnie Wahlberg, Haley Joel Osment
Drive Me Crazy - Melissa Joan Hart, Adrian Grenier, Stephen Collins, Susan May Pratt
For The Love of the Game - Kevin Costner, Kelly Preston, John C. Reilly, Jena Malone, Vin Scully
Adventures of Elmo
Mystery, Alaska - Russell Crowe, Hank Azaria, Mary McCormack, Burt Reynolds
Stigmata - Patricia Arquette, Gabriel Byrne, Jonathan Pryce, Nia Long
Random Hearts - Harrison Ford, Kristin Scott Thomas, Charles S. Dutton
Superstar - Molly Shannon, Will Ferrell, Elaine Hendrix
The Limey - Terence Stamp, Peter Fonda, Lesley Ann Warren
Whiteboys - Danny Hoch, Dash Mihok, Marke Webber.