RATINGS RACE: In a battle of the miniseries, CBS (The Last Don) narrowly beat NBC (The Odyssey) in the last full week of May sweeps competition, with an overall 10.9 rating and 19 share...Fox and UPN TV networks released their fall schedules Tuesday.
LUCKY KID: Eight-year-old Jake Lloyd is likely to be cast as Annakin Skywalker, the young Darth Vader, in the upcoming Star Wars prequel, says the Hollywood Reporter. George Lucas has searched for years for just the right kid.
INDICTED: NBC sportscaster Marv Albert is under indictment in Virginia on charges that he viciously bit a woman friend and forced her to perform oral sex. He denies the allegations. For other legal problems of the well-known, see Celeb Courthouse.
LITE JUDGMENT: A federal jury in Los Angeles has found Miller beer company liable for copyright infringement for using as a commercial jingle a tune that sounded too much like the Spin Doctors' hit "Two Princes."
ON PROBATION: O.J. prosecutor Chris Darden will co-star in a murder mytery for ABC, playing a cop.
GREEN WITH ANGER: Environmentalists called for a boycott of The Lost World, opening Friday, to punish Steven Spielberg for trying to build his DreamWorks studios near some Los Angeles wetlands.
OUT OF TOWN TRYOUT: A Congressional hearing in Peoria, Illinois heard average citizens slam the new TV-content ratings system, just as its organizers had hoped.
EXTENDED PLAY: HBO will run all 13 episodes of the just-completed fifth season of The Larry Sanders Show beginning at 2:30 a.m. on June 7.
OVER-COMMITTED: Daily Variety says that Paramount and Warner Bros. are dueling for who gets Nicolas Cage first--Paramount for Snake Eyes or Warner for Superman. His agents committed him to both, apparently without making the timing clear.
NEW SPECIES: Species II is on its way with a reprise from the cast of the 1995 sci-fi film (Michael Madsen, Marg Helgenberger and Natasha Henstridge) and another group of aliens bent on propagation of their kind. For all the casting news, see The Dotted Line.
RETURN TICKET: Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen agreed to sell his 55 percent stake in Ticketmaster to the Home Shopping Network for an estimated $230 milliion, ending his dream of making the ticket company the centerpiece of a new-media empire...The US Justice Department asked Microsoft to provide more information about its proposed purchase of WebTV Networks, the TV-PC-hybrid manufacturer, indicating the Feds may oppose the merger.
JAGGED EDGE: Record producer-songwriter Glen Ballard was named songwriter of the year by the American Society of Composers, Authors & Publishers Monday. He co-produced and co-wrote Alanis Morissette's Grammy-winning debut Jagged Little Pill... Naomi Wallace's One Flea Spare took the best play prize Monday at the Obie Awards for Off and Off Off Broadway productions.