Contract Smashing?: Virgin Records has sued one of its top acts, the Smashing Pumpkins, for breach of contract, claiming in an L.A. Superior Court lawsuit that the band told Virgin officials in January that it would not make any more albums for the company, even though four more are due under a seven-album contract. However, under a state law, such contracts expire in seven years; the band signed with Virgin in 1991 and hopes to now work out a better deal. Virgin was legally required to file suit to protect its rights to the band. The Pumpkins' management had no comment on the suit Wednesday but confirmed that the group's next album, "Adore," is due to be released in May on Virgin.
Madonna's Power: At the pop star's request, MTV has cut 53 seconds of footage showing Madonna playing with her baby daughter, Lourdes, from "Ultrasound," a profile airing Saturday at 6 p.m. MTV showed the exclusive footage to TV critics last month to tout the show. But the network willingly cut the shots after Madonna's representatives called MTV President Judy McGrath to ask that the footage be omitted. MTV newsman Kurt Loder called the decision "a human situation. It's someone's baby. And it's not that important to the show."
New DGA Award: Director George Sidney ("Our Gang," "Anchors Aweigh") will be the first recipient of the Directors Guild's President's Award, to be given March 7 at the DGA's annual bicoastal awards ceremony. The new award, established on the guild's 50th anniversary, honors those who have "provided leadership and made extraordinary efforts to enhance the welfare and image of the Directors Guild of America and the motion picture industry."
New York Police have downgraded a misdemeanor assault charge filed against actor James Brolin after a scuffle with a photographer last week. The actor is now charged with harassment, which is defined as physical contact without injury. New York Daily News photographer Richard Corkery had accused Brolin of ramming into him; Brolin said that it was Corkery who bumped into him as he and fiancee Barbra Streisand tried to get away. . . . "Everybody Loves Raymond" star Ray Romano became a father for the fourth time on Monday when his wife, Anna, gave birth to son Joseph Raymond Romano. . . . Actor and Tibetan rights activist Richard Gere urged Congress Tuesday to increase U.S. aid for Tibetan refugees. Gere told a House subcommittee that a Nepal refugee transit camp was in need of a medical clinic, and he urged lawmakers to negotiate with China on creating safe corridors for refugees' passage to Nepal and India.