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Collaborate with Updike online, win some dough

Published Jul. 30, 1997|Updated Oct. 1, 2005

Author John Updike says he's "sticking his head into the mouth of the electronic lion." He's going online. Amazon.com, an online bookseller, Tuesday announced a $143,000 contest for would-be Updikes to contribute their own sentences or a paragraph to a story Updike will begin but won't finish. His new story, Murder Makes the Magazine, begins like this: "Miss Tasso Polk at ten-ten alighted from the elevator onto the olive tiles of the nineteenth floor only lightly nagged by a sense of something wrong." Each day for 43 days, according to USA Today, contestants will submit their own sentences or paragraphs via a Web site (http://www.amazon.com) to update the story. A winner will be selected daily and will get his or her addition to the story posted plus $1,000. On Sept. 11, Updike will write the conclusion, and a $100,000 prize will be awarded in a drawing from contestants and Web site visitors. Updike's 18th novel is due out in October.

Country music broadcast

will mosey over to CBS

After 19 years on NBC, The Academy of Country Music Awards trophy show is moving to CBS starting in April. CBS has broadcast the annual Country Music Awards since fall 1974. The Academy of Country Music Awards broadcast April 23 averaged 20.1-million viewers and won its three-hour period during each half-hour, according to Nielsen Media Research. That marked an increase from 1996's low of 17.6-million. NBC issued a statement saying it did not renew its ACMA contract with Dick Clark Productions because the production company had upped its asking price. "Dick Clark Productions' bottom line was far in excess of what made fiscal sense for NBC," the network said. "NBC was willing to negotiate further. However, the Dick Clark company rejected our efforts."

Limbaugh's wife plans

new magazine venture

Radio talk titan Rush Limbaugh made a fortune by never shutting up. Not so for his wife, Marta. The third wife of the right-wing icon is keeping quiet about her latest venture: a new magazine that will be called Vent. The debut issue is planned for March, but a Web site could be up soon. The magazine is taking shape in a West Palm Beach high-rise across the Intracoastal from the Limbaughs' Palm Beach home. Its concept has been described as everything from "cutting-edge hip" to a thoughtful publication for Generation Xers. Word is that despite the name, the magazine will not be a political mouthpiece, though some familiar with the project are dubious.

U2 can't find place to play

in its hometown of Dublin

U2 still hasn't found what it's looking for: a place to play at home. Ireland's High Court blocked the rock group's Aug. 30-31 performances in Dublin, ruling Monday that the concerts would violate rules governing the rugby field where they were to be held. The decision created 80,000 crestfallen ticket-holders in U2's hometown. "This country's a joke if it can't find somewhere big enough for U2 to play. They're our own," grumbled David McClean, 20, thumbing through secondhand U2 albums at a music shop Tuesday. Lawyers for the four-man band plan to appeal the ruling, which could force U2 to refund more than $3-million. The concerts were to be part of the group's eight-month "Popmart" tour, which began in April and includes stops in Canada, the United States, the Netherlands, Germany, France, Britain, Italy, Greece and Israel.

Lauren Holly files for

divorce from Jim Carrey

Actor Lauren Holly filed for divorce Tuesday after only nine months of marriage to screen comic Jim Carrey, whom she met on the set of the 1994 hit movie Dumb and Dumber. Holly, who played a deputy sheriff in TV's Picket Fences and co-starred in the movies Turbulence and Beautiful Girls, cited irreconcilable differences in her suit filed in Los Angeles Superior Court. She is seeking spousal support from the Canadian actor, who earned $20-million for last year's The Cable Guy and had a box-office smash with this year's Liar Liar. Other Carrey hits include The Mask and the Ace Ventura films. The couple met while they were filming Dumb and Dumber and married Sept. 23. According to the court papers, they separated June 25. Holly, who signed the papers Lauren Holly Carrey, asked in her petition for her maiden name to be restored.