Trades Bid Farewell to One of Their Own

The big news in the trades was about the trades today. Variety's legendary gala fixture, columnist Army Archerd died yesterday at age 87. The Defamer Trade Roundup lowers its flag to half mast in tribute.

Every trade paper and site is saying goodbye to Army today. Variety's Editor Tim Gray called Archerd one of showbiz's "defining voices." celebrating his work as one of the first to call attention to AIDS in the industry, standing up to the blacklist and as the last lion of the red carpet. He died of "a rare form of mesothelioma cancer, thought to be the result of his exposure to asbestos in the Navy during WWII." [Variety]

• The ever-spectacular Jerry Bruckheimer sweepstakes has been won by NBC, which bought the new pilot from the world-devouring producer. The new show "tells the stories of a team charged with making sure fugitive criminals don't evade justice." [THR]

• The first omens of Fall TV were so-so at best, with the debuts of 90210 and Melrose Place pulling in "sluggish ratings." [Variety]

• Whitney Houston is back on top. Her comeback album "I Look To You" was #1 on Billboard's Hot 200 selling 305,000 copies. [Billboard]

• The long running litigation between the estate of JRR Tolkien and New Line pictures is nearing a conclusion, with the Tolkeins and their co-plaintiff Harper Collins looking to rake in upwards of 100 milion dollars. [Hollywood Reporter]

Expect a light news day today as much of the industry is en route to Toronto, where the Oscar race officially kicks off tomorrow.