WEEK AHEAD: Survivor Fires Up
SUNDAY, SEPT. 12: The Dave Matthews Band must be feeling like you-know-what lately: In a PR nightmare last month, the band's bus driver allegedly emptied 800 lbs. of raw sewage from the group's tour bus onto a boat full of unsuspecting tourists as the vehicle crossed a Chicago River bridge. Now, however, the group is getting back to what it does best – making music with a message – by playing San Francisco's Golden Gate Park in a benefit for several Bay Area charities. Regarding their recent trouble in Chicago (the state of Illinois is suing the band for damages) Dave and company say on their Web site: "We are not attempting to avoid any responsibility we may have for the incident."
MONDAY, SEPT. 13: The Man in Black may no longer be with us, but his memory is being kept alive. On the day after the first anniversary of country legend Johnny Cash's death, his authorized biography, The Man Called Cash: The Life, Love and Faith of an American Legend, hits stores. Then for three days, (Sept. 14-16), a third of Cash and wife June's estate will be auctioned off at New York's Sotheby's. The 773-piece collection, which includes June Carter Cash's childhood shoes, Johnny Cash's gold record for "I Walk the Line," his six-string Hawaiian-style guitar, black jackets from his stage performances and a 1987 Rolls Royce (valued at $50,000 to $60,000), is valued at $1.5 million. Proceeds will go to the Cash estate.
Meanwhile, Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban is hoping to give Donald Trump a one-two punch with his new reality show, The Benefactor, in which 16 "total strangers" vie for $1 million of his money. To avoid getting booted, contestants have to prove to the billionaire that they deserve the money, through tests "based on his life experiences, to determine who has what it takes to be successful." The Donald has accused Cuban of basing the show too closely on The Apprentice. Cuban's response? "The Apprentice is a knockoff of Survivor," he taunts Trump on his blog, adding, "The Apprentice's success depended far more on Sam being a goof and Omarosa being a drama queen than anything you did."
THURSDAY, SEPT. 16: Speaking of Survivor, the granddaddy of them all is back, with 18 new contestants outwit, outplay and outlast each other for $1 million. For its ninth season, the setting is the South Pacific island of Vanuatu, near Fiji, and it's a battle of the sexes. The women of the yellow Yasur team include Julie Berry, a 23-year-old youth mentor from Maine, and Twila Tanner, a 41-year-old highway repairwoman, while the men's red Lopevi team has Chad Crittenden, 35, a teacher (and amputee) and Lea "Sarge" Masters, 40, a drill sergeant.
Finally, Jennifer Lopez will return to Will & Grace for the show's season premiere. When we last left off in April, Lopez had chosen Jack (Sean P. Hayes) as one of her touring backup dancers. Having returned from her tour, Lopez will try to avoid Karen (Megan Mullally), who's convinced that her song, "I Hurt, Too," is a hit Lopez just has to record. The NBC sitcom will be visited by more pop royalty this season: Janet Jackson guest stars on the show's Sept. 23 episode.