O'Brien bids NBC a $45 million goodbye
• Photo gallery: In The Spotlight
Advertiser News Services
Conan O'Brien bid NBC good riddance yesterday in a $45 million deal for his exit from "The Tonight Show," but his immediate future in television remains a question mark.
The contentious two-week battle that would allow NBC to unseat O'Brien and move Jay Leno back to the program he hosted for 17 years, comes less than eight months after O'Brien took the "Tonight" throne from Leno.
Under the deal, O'Brien will get more than $33 million, NBC said. The rest will go to his 200-strong staff in severance.
O'Brien will be free to start another TV job after Sept. 1, NBC said. His final show will be today, with Tom Hanks scheduled to appear as well as Will Ferrell — his first guest when O'Brien debuted as "Tonight" host last June.
RIHANNA TO DEBUT SONG AT HAITI BENEFIT
Rihanna says she will perform a new song called "Stranded" with rapper Jay-Z and U2's The Edge and Bono at today's "Hope for Haiti" telethon in London.
During the taping of a Norwegian talk show in Oslo yesterday, the R&B superstar said she feels drawn to the cause because of Haiti's proximity to her home country of Barbados.
"In the Caribbean, we think of ourselves as one big family, one country," Rihanna said. "We're all together. We all represent each other."
She said she felt "great sadness" when thinking about the Jan. 12 earthquake that struck Haiti. "It's like it happened to Barbados," she said.
SPICE GIRLS MUSICAL IN THE WORKS
If it worked for ABBA, why not the Spice Girls?
Producer Judy Craymer says her company will create and produce a new stage musical based on the songs of the girl-power group whose recordings have sold more than 75 million copies. The show is tentatively titled "Viva Forever."
Craymer will produce "Viva Forever" with "American Idol" creator Simon Fuller, who has managed the Spice Girls.
Craymer produced both the stage and screen versions of "Mamma Mia!" The musical featuring ABBA songs has grossed more than $2 billion since opening in London in 1999.
ACTRESS NOT PAYING RENT, LANDLORD SAYS
Mischa Barton's landlord says the actress is refusing to pay rent on her $7,000-a-month apartment in New York City.
Landlord M.R.A. Realties Inc. says in a lawsuit that Barton, 23, rebuffed efforts to collect the past three months' worth of rent on her flat in Tribeca.
Barton also lives in Los Angeles. The lawsuit filed yesterday says her one-year lease on the Manhattan apartment began in September. At the time, she was in "The Beautiful Life," a series about the New York modeling world. The show was canceled in September.