TOP OF THE NEWS: The judge repeatedly prevented Simpson's attorney Robert Baker from questioning Kato Kaelin about Nicole's drug use. Baker then suggested evidence was switched at the civil trial today.

BACK TO REHAB: Scott Weiland, lead singer of Stone Temple Pilots, checked into a treatment facility and the band put tour plans on hold. Last year, STP also stayed off the road while Weiland dealt with drug problems.

LICKING BOGIE: Tough-guy Humphrey Bogart will get his own postage stamp next year, it was announced today. Bogie will be the third "Legend of Hollywood" so honored, behind Marilyn Monroe and James Dean.

WHITNEY AWARDS: Whitney Houston scored for both her music and movies and dominated the field as the NAACP announced nominees for its annual Image Awards.

DOWN TO EARTH: Richard Branson had to end his bid for the first round-the-world balloon flight after 19 hours when his craft developed technical problems. He and his crew of two landed in Algeria.

ZIGGY BIRTHDAY: To celebrate his 50th birthday, David Bowie is releasing cuts from his career on 50 Web sites today. Tomorrow: his big birthday concert in New York.

INSTANT GRATIFICATION: WebTV Networks, the purveyors of Internet-ready televisions, will reportedly announce today a new technology that allows high-quality, quarter-screen video clips to be viewed via the Net with no download time...The American Film Institute will show classic movies on the Web, using another no-waiting technology.

COMING ATTRACTION: Warner Home Video announced a list of movies it would release in the new digital video disc format starting in March and including Batman, Space Jam and Twister.

SAY NO: ABC announced that it would devote the month of March to an anti-drug campaign, with public service announcements showing every hour, series episodes presenting plot lines dealing with drugs--and a period in which the network would go dark in an effort to encourage parents to talk to children about drugs.

THE OTHER RATINGS: The TV industry may submit its new ratings system for approval by the Federal Communications Commission as early as today.

SPLIT DECISION: The Slamdance International Film Festival leads off on January 17 with a showing of Split Screen, an irreverent TV series on independent filmmaking developed by John Pierson.

STARTING GUN: A total of 248 feature-length films qualified for 1996 Oscar consideration, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences announced Tuesday. The number is down slightly from last year's crop of 255. Oscar ballots are mailed today.

MOB PSYCHOLOGY: Robert De Niro is in talks to play a mob boss who seeks the help of a shrink--played by Billy Crystal--in a new comedy, Analyze This. For all the casting news, see The Dotted Line.

STILL MAD: Richard Jewell, the Atlanta security guard cleared of suspicion in the Olympics bombing, says he doesn't have his good name back, even though NBC paid him a reported $500,000 in damages. He still hears people say "that's the one they thought did it," he said on NBC's Today show.

QUESTIONING: Veteran television producer Merv Griffin is launching his first game show in five years, an educational weekly show for teens called Click. Griffin created Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy

TO ARMS: Mark Lindsay, former lead singer of '60s band Paul Revere & the Raiders, sued his former band leader, accusing Revere of using a lookalike singer and passing him off as Lindsay.

NEWS FOR SUITS: Viacom Inc. will write off $100 million against its fourth-quarter profit to cover the costs of closing 50 unprofitable Blockbuster Music stores, wiping out the entertainment giant's quarterly profit.

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