‘Sports Night’ Signs Off: Attempts to keep the critically acclaimed “Sports Night” in first-run production, despite its cancellation by ABC last month, have collapsed. Aaron Sorkin, who created the series and was one of its executive producers, confirmed that “Sports Night” will not return to television next season. There had been reports that HBO or Showtime might pick up the series. In a statement, Sorkin and executive producer Thomas Schlamme said, “While we received several intriguing offers for ‘Sports Night’ to continue on another network, there were many other factors that were important for us to consider. We are tremendously proud of the two seasons’ worth of episodes that aired on ABC and felt committed to reviving the show only if this creative integrity could continue. When we considered everything involved in making this happen, we felt it best for ‘Sports Night’ to remain untarnished creatively.” Sorkin is also the creator of the NBC hit drama “The West Wing.”
Melendez Plays Host: Spanish-language star and New York comedian Kiki Melendez has been signed to host a one-hour daily syndicated talk show. The still-untitled program will premiere in the fall of 2001 and will be produced by Peter Engel Productions, a subsidiary of NBC Enterprises. In 1998, Melendez produced and co-hosted Galavision’s bilingual show “Kiki desde Hollywood.”
Limp Bizkit Announces Free Concerts: Limp Bizkit will play three free shows at the Palladium in early August to close out its 23-show tour sponsored by Napster. The rap-rock outfit, teamed up with Cypress Hill, will play the Hollywood venue Aug. 4-6 in shows described as “first come, first served”: Fans will be admitted until the venue (which holds about 5,000 people) fills up. Napster, the controversial online music swapping company, is paying the bill for the summer tour, which kicks off on Independence Day in Chicago. Limp Bizkit frontman Fred Durst has said the band will use the tour to debut some new songs from its next album, tentatively titled “Hotdog Flavored Water” and due by fall.
Emmis Goes Country: Emmis Communications will add country station KZLA-FM (93.9) to its roster through a station swap with Bonneville International Corp., KZLA’s current owner, getting four St. Louis stations (WKKX-FM, WIL-FM, WRTH-AM and WVRV-FM) in exchange. Emmis, which already owns urban contemporary KPWR-FM (105.9), has been trying to expand in the L.A. market, making a failed attempt in December to buy KPWR rival KKBT-FM (92.3), which went instead to Maryland-based Radio One Inc. The KZLA transaction must clear Federal Communications Commission approvals, but Emmis expects to take over management of the station by Aug. 1. Whether the station, which ranked 19th in the most recent Arbitron report, will continue with a country format has not been decided. Separately, as part of Radio One’s acquisition of KKBT (The Beat), the station and KCMG-FM (Mega 100) will switch frequencies on June 30, with Mega moving to 92.3 and the Beat shifting to 100.3 on the dial.
Jackie Ooh and Aah: A whisper of the glamour Jacqueline Kennedy brought to the White House will be on view at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York next spring. Many of the former first lady’s clothes from President John F. Kennedy’s campaign of 1960 and the many state functions she attended will be displayed at the museum’s Costume Institute from May 1 to Aug. 12, 2001. Her trademark fawn coat and pillbox hat and the regal ivory satin gown she chose for inaugural festivities will be among the pieces on display, museum officials said. Other items include the red dress from her Feb. 14, 1962, televised tour of the White House and a beaded number that dazzled Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev in 1961. The exhibit is timed to mark the 40th anniversary of Kennedy’s becoming first lady. She died of cancer in 1994.
k.d. lang will celebrate summer and her new album with a 7 p.m. appearance today at Tower Records on the Sunset Strip. She’ll sign copies of “Invincible Summer” and give away ice cream, beach balls and an autographed custom surf board. . . . The Twilight Dance Series at the Santa Monica Pier will kick off Thursday with the Neville Brothers. The 16th annual free concert series will run every Thursday, 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. through August. . . . Arnold Schwarzenegger has signed to reprise his role as the cyborg in “Terminator 3,” scheduled for a summer 2002 release. . . . A&E; will produce its second U.S.-based series, “Nero Wolfe,” an hourlong drama based on the Rex Stout detective novels and starring Timothy Hutton and Maury Chaykin. It’s scheduled to premiere next year. . . . Aussie actor Paul Hogan will return as bush legend Mick Dundee in “Crocodile Dundee III,” which will begin filming in August in Queensland before moving to Los Angeles. . . . Veteran director Richard Donner (“Lethal Weapon”) will receive the Hollywood Outstanding Achievement in Directing Award on Aug. 7 at the Hollywood Film Festival. . . . Backstreet Boy Kevin Richardson married longtime girlfriend Kristin Willits on Saturday in Irvine, Ky., at a church camp once managed by the singer’s late father.