Downey Sentenced: Actor Robert Downey Jr., who has undergone nearly three months of court-ordered drug rehabilitation since heroin and cocaine addiction landed him in jail three times last summer, was sentenced Wednesday to undergo three years probation and another three months at the live-in treatment center. Downey was also sentenced to 99 days of jail time for the drug and weapons violations, but that sentence was covered when he was given credit for time already served, both in jail and at the rehabilitation center. "If you've ever had a chance here to deal with this problem and maintain your sobriety, this is . . . it," Malibu Judge Lawrence J. Mira told Downey. "I wish you good luck. You've made a good start."
Simba to Roar On Broadway: The stage version of "The Lion King" that Walt Disney Theatrical Productions has been developing under the direction of Julie Taymor has received a go-ahead to become the company's second full-fledged stage musical (following "Beauty and the Beast"). The production will play for eight weeks in Minneapolis next summer, then open on Broadway in the fall of 1997, at Disney's renovated New Amsterdam Theatre. The stage version will feature five of the movie's songs by Elton John and Tim Rice, plus 10 other songs by the same duo and other artists associated with the "Rhythm of the Pride Lands" album inspired by the film.
Spielberg's Next Assignment: After completing work on his "Jurassic Park" sequel, "The Lost World," Steven Spielberg will direct "Amistad," a historical drama based on the true story of an 1839 mutiny aboard a slave ship. The movie will mark Spielberg's first feature for DreamWorks Pictures, the studio he co-founded with partners Jeffrey Katzenberg and David Geffen. Debbie Allen ("Fame," "A Diff'rent World") will produce the film. Principal photography is scheduled to begin in February.
What's His Name?: Just "The Artist." That's what the artist formerly known as the Artist Formerly Known as Prince now wants to be called, although he's still "officially" using the unpronounceable symbol from his previous name change. "The Artist" will roll out his shortened handle along with his new three-CD album, "Emancipation" (due in stores Nov.19), in a half-hour satellite TV, radio and Internet broadcast Tuesday night that will be aired in part on MTV, VH1 and BET. Included will be the video premiere for the first single, a version of the Stylistics' hit "Betcha By Golly Wow," plus a four-song performance with his band, the New Power Generation.
Pop Chart: The third and final installment of the Beatles' "Anthology" series entered the national sales chart at No. 1 Wednesday, but posted a marked decline from first-week sales of the previous two collections. "Anthology III" sold 236,740 copies last week, according to SoundScan, far behind the 885,000 first-week sales of "Anthology I" and the 442,000 initial sales of "Anthology II." The biggest chart surprise was the second-place finish by rapper Ghostface Killah's debut. The Wu-Tang Clan member's "Ironman" sold 156,000 copies last week. Babyface's highly anticipated "The Day" placed sixth.
Series News: "MacGyver's" Richard Dean Anderson will star in "Stargate SG-1," a science-fiction series based on the big-screen movie, for cable's Showtime. Set to premiere in July, the series closes out MGM's science-fiction trilogy for Showtime, following "The Outer Limits" and "Poltergeist: The Legacy." . . . Over at the networks, both CBS and NBC announced a batch of series pickups Wednesday. The Eye has extended its commitments to "Early Edition," "Everybody Loves Raymond," "Moloney," "Pearl," "Promised Land" and "Cosby." While the exact number of episodes ordered was not specified for most series, CBS noted that it had brought "Cosby's" season total to 25--three greater than the standard 22-episodes. NBC, meanwhile, has extended all five of its freshman comedies: "Suddenly Susan," "The Jeff Foxworthy Show," "Men Behaving Badly," "Mr. Rhodes" and "Something So Right." The UPN network also announced that it has ordered more episodes of its Tuesday night drama, "The Burning Zone."
And the Winners Are: Morphosis and Eric Owen Moss Architects, two long-standing cutting-edge firms, collected four of seven regular awards doled out by the American Institute of Architects' Los Angeles chapter Wednesday at the Biltmore Hotel. Other firms took the rest: Antoine Predock Architect with Dworsky Associates, Hodgetts + Fung Design Associates, and RoTo Architects Inc. (a 1992 offshoot of Morphosis). Meanwhile, the special AIA/LA Gold Medal was presented to Raymond Kappe, who is perhaps best remembered for founding SCI-Arc (the Southern California Institute of Architecture), recognized as one of the most free-thinking and inventive architecture schools in the country.
Columbia Pictures will re-release its critically acclaimed, but little-seen movie "Fly Away Home" on Friday, in a run scheduled to last through Thanksgiving. The studio said it received a large number of calls from moviegoers who missed the family film on its first outing. Jeff Daniels and Anna Paquin star in the story of a man and his daughter who help teach a flock of geese to migrate. . . . Paul Anka has sued his dentist for malpractice, claiming it's his fault that the crooner's crown dislodged and flew into the audience during a June 20 concert in Las Vegas. Dentist Frederick Glassman could not be reached for immediate comment.