TOP OF THE NEWS: A Los Angeles judge gave the maximum sentence of nine years to Death Row Records Chairman Marion "Suge" Knight for probation violation.

WIDER PLOT? Yet another suspect arrested today in the alleged $40 million extortion attempt on Bill Cosby. Authorities say Boris Sabas helped Autumn Jackson travel to New York from Los Angeles to blackmail the man she said was her father.

BREAK IN CASE: Two men who say they witnessed the shooting in Las Vegas that wounded Knight and killed singer Tupac Shakur told the Los Angeles Times that police never asked them to view photos of suspects. Police have previously complained that witnesses weren't cooperating.

DEATH: Prolific songwriter Ben Raleigh died in a fire in Hollywood at 83. He wrote "Wonderful, Wonderful" for Johnny Mathis, "Tell Laura I Love Her" for Ray Peterson and the theme to the cartoon show Scooby Doo.

SWEPT AWAY: The Rosie O'Donnell Show beat The Oprah Winfrey Show during the February "sweeps" rating period in the Los Angeles market. It's the first time Oprah has lost in the nation's number-two media market.

RED LIGHT: Daily Variety reports that ABC turned down Roseanne's request to extend her show for another year but is listening to her pitch for a new sitcom.

TRIVIAL PURSUIT: A New York judge ruled that the book The Seinfeld Aptitude Test violated the show's copyright. The book, published in 1994, asks 643 trivia questions.

COVERUP: This morning we carried a report from Daily Variety that Elizabeth Taylor would appear on the April cover of Life magazine--hairless, in a photograph taken just before her surgery. Not so, says Life. "She'll appear on the cover, but not bald," says the magazine's spokeswoman.

PROFIT MOTIVE: National Public Radio wants to go commercial--on television. The government-funded network seeks a Hollywood partner to produce a news-quiz show called Wait, Wait...Don't Tell Me!.

BACK TO SCHOOL: Producers of the Broadway revival of the musical Annie fired their lead, 12-year-old Joanna Pacitti, after selecting her last year through a highly-publicized search. They reportedly found her acting wooden.

AWARDS SEASON: Sling Blade will receive the fourth annual Beatrice Wood Film Award in Ojai, California on Sunday. The ceramic trophy is made and handed out by 104-year-old Beatrice Wood, based on a vote by the previous winners...Two-time Oscar winner Jodie Foster will be a presenter at the Academy Awards on March 24. For more news about the big show, visit our Oscar section... Claire Danes and Alex D. Linz (the kid in One Fine Day) will receive Star of Tomorrow awards from thecountry's movie theater owners at their annual ShoWestconvention next Thursday.

GREEN LIGHT: David Cronenberg, director of the controversial movie Crash (about a group of car-accident fetishists), will next shoot a sci-fi film about a time in the future when the world is run by interactive-game designers.

BOOB TUBE: HBO plans a movie about the two doctors who created the silicone breast implant in the 1960s.

PRIDE AND PREJUDICE: Kevin Costner passed over a list of established young actresses to cast Olivia Williams as the female lead in his new film, The Postman. She previously starred in a British TV production of Emma. Costner also cast Larenz Tate (Dead Presidents) in the futuristic action movie. For all the latest Hollywood employment notices, see The Dotted Line.

NEW TINSEL: A plan to revitalize Hollywood Boulevard, starting with a renovation of Mann's Chinese Theater, got a boost yesterday as key Los Angeles officials lined up behind the proposal.

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