Billboard Bits: Chris Isaak, Jessica Simpson, One Big No

News on Chris Isaak, Jessica Simpson, One Big No

IsaakPremium cable channel Showtime's comedy "The Chris Isaak Show" is in production on its third season, which will find the star interacting with such musical guests as Michelle Branch, Gloria Estefan, Poison's Bret Michaels, and Blake Shelton. The 13-episode season -- based on fictional exploits involving Isaak, his real-life band, and a host of created characters -- will begin airing in the fall.

In other news, Isaak is playing a concert at Orlando's Universal Studios theme park, as part of the attraction's Mardi Gras live music series. Isaak will perform April 26, with the ticket price included in admission to Universal Studios (separate show-only tickets are also available). For more information, visit Isaak's official Web site.

-- Troy Carpenter, N.Y.

SimpsonPop singer Jessica Simpson will add to her television-acting resume with the April 23 episode of "The Twilight Zone." Simpson will star in a segment of the UPN series as a babysitter who discovers the lifelike doll collection belonging to the child for whom she's caring may be responsible for the disappearance of previous sitters.

Simpson's prior television experience has been in a recurring role on the current season of the Fox sitcom "That '70s Show."
As previously reported, soon she and husband Nick Lachey of the pop group 98 Degrees will star in an as-yet-untitled MTV reality show about the first year of their marriage.

-- Barry A. Jeckell, N.Y.

CowboyCanadian acts Cowboy Junkies, Sarah Harmer, and the Rheostatics are among those who will perform during the One Big No Peace Festival Saturday (April 12) in Toronto's Nathan Phillips Square. The Artists Against War (AAW)/Coalition to Stop the War event will also feature performances by Andy Stochansky, King Cobb Steelie, Danny Michel, and others. The festival will also feature local DJs and bands, spoken word artists, and a children's entertainment program.

A pair of simultaneous benefit shows will take place the night before the festival at Toronto's Black Swan Tavern and Stanley's. A full roster of artists performing at the festival and the club shows is listed on the
AAW Web site.

In addition, AAW will release a compilation CD, also titled "One Big No," that will be limited to 1,000 copies and sold only at Saturday's festival. The disc features songs by the Barenaked Ladies, Moxy Fruvous, Kevin Hearn, By Divine Right, and others. The disc will sell for $15 with proceeds to benefit unnamed charitable efforts.

-- Barry A. Jeckell, N.Y.