Billboard Bits: NBC, Justin Timberlake, TMBG
News on NBC, Justin Timberlake, TMBGNBC's 2003-2004 season schedule will include new concert specials from Elton John, Shania Twain, and Harry Connick Jr., Billboard reports in the May 31 issue. The telecasts are still untitled; dates and times are to be determined. John's one-hour special will be taped in Nashville and include several celebrity guests in tributes to him. Twain's concert will be taped in Chicago this summer, and Connick stage a Christmas holiday special in his hometown of New Orleans.
NBC enjoyed success last year with the Faith Hill special "When the Lights Go Down," which was released in expanded form on DVD by Warner Bros.
-- Carla Hay, N.Y.
Justin Timberlake will capitalize on the runaway U.K. success of his Jive solo debut, "Justified," with an eight-date tour of the market in December. The run begins with a Dec. 1-2 stand in Birmingham and wraps Dec. 14-15 in Sheffield. Earlier this month, "Justified" returned to No. 1 on the U.K. album chart for a second non-consecutive week and has sold more than 1 million copies there, according to the label.
Timberlake said he was "pleasantly surprised" at the success of the album in the U.K. "If I had to assume the ages of the people [coming to his shows], they looked to me like 26 to 27, like couples, and then another percentage of them obviously, you know, mothers and daughters and sons and fathers. It's nice to have so many different cultures and so many different ages and generations in one room."
As previously reported, Timberlake's Justified and Stripped tour with Christina Aguilera and Black Eyed Peas begins June 4 in Phoenix.
Here are Justin Timberlake's U.K. dates:
Dec. 1-2: Birmingham, England (NEC Arena)
Dec. 5-6: London (Earls Court)
Dec. 10-11: Manchester, England (Evening News Arena)
Dec. 14-15: Sheffield, England (Hallam FM Arena)
-- Jonathan Cohen, N.Y.
Frank Black, Violent Femmes singer Gordon Gano, former Soul Coughing frontman Mike Doughty, and country singer Laura Cantrell were among the guests joining They Might Be Giants onstage last night (May 22) in New York. The Bowery Ballroom show was a celebration for this weekend's theatrical opening of the documentary "Gigantic: A Tale of Two Johns."
Forgetting verses didn't stop Black from leading the band through "Particle Man," nor did Gano's flubs on "We're the Replacements" detract from the good mood of the show. Other guests included talk show legend Joe Franklin, trumpeter Mark Pender of the "Late Night With Conan O'Brien" house band the Max Weinberg 7, the Moldy Peaches' Kimya Dawson, and Robin Goldwasser. Also on hand was Robert Krulwich of ABC's "Nightline," who read a proclamation declaring it They Might Be Giants Day in the band's adopted hometown of Brooklyn, N.Y.
"Gigantic" opens today at New York's Cinema Village Theater. Over the course of the next three months, the film will open in markets across the country, including Washington, D.C., Chicago, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, and Seattle. For more details, visit giganticfilm.com.
-- Barry A. Jeckell, N.Y.