Originally created 06/11/04

People in the News



SALT LAKE CITY -- Robert Redford says he's not planning to sell his Sundance resort in Utah's Wasatch Mountains.

In response to media speculation, Redford issued a statement Wednesday saying his commitment to the ski area, arts and culture center and corporate retreat was "stronger than ever."

His statement didn't address a report that he was looking to sell his stake in the Sundance channel cable network to his partners, Viacom Inc. and NBC Universal.

"I can't deny or confirm that," Sundance Channel spokeswoman Sarah Eaton told The Associated Press.

But the actor-filmmaker made clear he has no plans to sell the 6,000-acre resort he calls home, about 25 miles south of Salt Lake City at the base of 12,000-foot Mount Timpanogos.

"In response to a story generated by unnamed sources in a New York tabloid, please be advised that I have absolutely no intention of selling Sundance Village," Redford said in an e-mail provided by the resort.

The New York Post reported last week that a "financially strapped" Redford was looking to cash out a $60-million-plus stake in the Sundance channel and was "working on restructuring his resort."

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NEW YORK -- Mark Burnett, maker of "Survivor" and "The Apprentice," says he's pitching an idea for "Rock Star," where contestants would compete for the chance to sing in an established rock band and go on a world tour.

The obvious inspiration is Fox television's "American Idol."

"I feel that there's room on TV for more than one great big talent show, and I feel that rock music has been totally left out of that mix," Burnett told the syndicated entertainment TV show "Access Hollywood." Excerpts of the interview were released Wednesday.

He would not reveal the band.

Burnett said "Rock Star" viewers will get to know contestants better than those on "American Idol," and that the winner will not entirely be determined by a public vote. The band and an independent judge will have some say, too.

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NEW YORK -- Hotel heiress Paris Hilton and her friend Nicole Richie tour the South in a sequel to their hit Fox show, "The Simple Life," which chronicled their stay with the Leding family in rural Altus, Ark.

"The Simple Life 2: Road Trip" premieres June 16. It follows Hilton and Richie on a four-week trip from Miami to Beverly Hills, Calif.

Hilton and Richie, daughter of Lionel Richie, stay with local families and do an assortment of jobs, including stuffing sausages.

"Last season we felt so trapped, being stuck with that family and all those curfew things," Richie told Entertainment Weekly magazine.

Added Hilton: "It's so much better and so much more interesting this year because every episode is a different family and a different town."

So, are they staying in touch with the Ledings?

"I changed my number," Hilton said.

On the Net:

http://www.fox.com/simplelife/

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LOS ANGELES -- Tom Cruise, Ellen DeGeneres and Sylvester Stallone will be among the bearers of the Olympic torch when it arrives in Los Angeles on June 16.

They were chosen by Samsung, a sponsor of the Olympic Torch Relay, for their show business accomplishments and their contributions to worthy causes, it was announced Wednesday.

The torch also will make stops in Los Angeles, St. Louis, Atlanta and New York. The worldwide relay leading to the Athens Games in August will cover six continents.