DADDY? Autumn Jackson's extortion trial may be over, but Bill Cosby still wants to prove that he's not the young woman's father--as the defense charged during trial. The entertainer has drawn blood for a paternity test and he's challenging Jackson and her mother to do the same. Last week, a jury in New York found Jackson guilty on all charges facing her.
SQUEEZING JUICE: O.J. Simpson must turn over his Ford Expedition sports utility vehicle and his grand piano, a judge has ordered, to help meet the $33.5-million in damages owed the families of Nicole Brown and Ronald Goldman--the two people whose murders Simpson was found liable for by a civil jury last February. The judge's order didn't set well with Simpson who says the Ford and piano are gifts from his mother.
SIMPSON CASE ADD: Marcia Clark, the prosecutor who failed to win a conviction in O.J.'s criminal trial, can relive the whole debacle in living color when CBS turns her best-selling memoir, Without a Doubt, into a TV-movie. Fellow prosecutor Christopher Darden's version of things, In Contempt, is already being developed into a movie for Paramount Pictures.
SUPERMODEL SAGA: The case of two men accused of trying to blackmail supermodel Elle Macpherson with allegedly stolen naked photos of her is headed to trial. Both defendants today waived their rights to a preliminary hearing. One of the accused--29-year-old Michael Mishler--claims he's Macpherson's former lover. She says she's never heard of him. For more star-studded litigation, see Celebrity Courthouse.
CUNANAN INVESTIGATION: Police don't think it's likely, but they're going to check anyway into the possibility that alleged spree killer Andrew Cunanan was responsible for three unsolved murders in his hometown of San Diego, California, dating back to 1992. Cunanan, the top suspect in the slaying of designer Gianni Versace, committed suicide last week before authorities could capture, or question, him.
PARTY OF ONE: Actress Neve Campbell has separated from her husband of more than two years. Campbell, 23, and actor Jeff Colt married in April 1995. No reason given for the split. The Party of Five co-star is currently filming a sequel to her first movie hit, Scream.
"STAR WARS" SNEAK: Filming's started in Italy for the new Star Wars movie--a prequel to the original space trilogy. Says director George Lucas: "This is a film about Anakin Skywalker. He's 9 years old and he is the character who eventually becomes Darth Vader and the father of Luke and Leia." Hope this clears things up. The movie, by the way, isn't due in theaters until May 1999.
KREMLIN HONORS: Marvin's Room, the weepy Meryl Streep-Diane Keaton drama which never really opened up to moviegoers here last fall, has been embraced in Russia, where it's been named the grand-prize winner at the star-studded Moscow International Film Festival. Robert De Niro, who produced the film, accepted the award.
MRS. ELVIS? Actress Debra Paget, who co-starred with Elvis Presley in the King's first movie, Love Me Tender (1956), says she could have been the First Lady of Graceland. Elvis proposed by phone, Paget tells a Tennessee newspaper, but her parents objected.
RED EYE: Profits fell 23 percent for CBS parent company Westinghouse Electric during the second quarter, as its TV network posted a $7 million loss for that reporting period. Ratings are up at CBS, but its programs still aren't attracting the young viewers that make advertisers drool.
"BULLY" SLY? The production company being sued for $20 million by Sylvester Stallone says the actor is a "bully" who has "a history of picking on the little guy." Stallone charges that D-E-M Productions is promoting his six-minute cameo in the movie, The Good Life, as a starring role--so he's suing to get paid his normal, eight-figure fee.
FAMILY HOUR: Dawson's Creek, the WB's coming-of-age drama series premiering this December, will come of age in a later time slot. The network's moving the show from 8 p.m. (as originally scheduled) to 9 p.m. in the wake of complaints that the show was too sexually frank to be considered family-friendly.
OLYMPIC EFFORT: Ready for the 2000 Summer Olympics? How about 2008? General Motors is. The car company is about ready to close a deal that would see it plunk down a whopping $300 million to buy ad time on NBC for five consecutive winter and summer Olympic games between 2000 and 2008. It would be the largest commercial sponsorship for a TV sports event ever.
RERUN HEAVEN: Even in reruns, Seinfeld rules the TV ratings' race. The sitcom took first place for the week ended July 27. Also in the top five: 20/20, Dateline NBC--both Monday and Tuesday editions, and Suddenly Susan. For all the industry stats, see By The Numbers.
CAN'T GO HOME AGAIN: Members of U2 still haven't found what they're looking for. A court in the Irish rockers' native land has again put on hold two planned concerts at a rugby stadium in Dublin in August--ruling that the events violate local planning laws. U2's been wrangling with the courts--sometimes winning, sometimes losing--for the past month now over this issue.
PBS SINGS: Big Bird, get those vocal chords loose. PBS is launching its own record label. First releases are expected in stores early next year. No word yet on what those releases will be--maybe jazz and opera performances culled from PBS' wealth of music programs. Mike Ovitz's old stomping grounds, Creative Artists Agency, helped get the wheels turning on the record deal.
SAYING GOOD-BYE: The family of singer/songwriter Jeff Buckley will hold a memorial service in New York on Friday for fans of the 30-year-old who disappeared during a swim on May 29. His body was recovered six days later.
EDDIE OK: Singer Eddie Fisher is back at home and on the mend, following a brief hospital stay last week. Fisher's wife says her 68-year-old husband had a bad reaction to medicine he takes for depression. "There's nothing to be alarmed about," Betty Lyn Fisher told USA Today.
SELENA WEAR: Her family says it was Selena's dream to launch a designer fashion label. And now the slain Tejano superstar's vision will be realized. A Dallas clothing company is developing a line of women's clothes inspired by Selena. The apparel will first be available in September in New York.
"DIRTY" ANNIVERSARY: Coming to a theater near you next month, Dirty Dancing: 10th Anniversary Special Edition. Well, at least it's for a good cause. A premiere party in Los Angeles on August 20 will benefit an AIDS healthcare provider. The film's director, Emile Ardolino, died of AIDS in 1988.
OSCAR HYPE: The people who hand out the Oscars wants Hollywood to do the near-impossible: Turn down the hype. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences has issued new guidelines to movie studios and producers governing the freebie videos and mailers that Oscar voters get deluged with each winter--even banning phone banks from soliciting support for films.
GETTING "RANSOM": The Mel Gibson thriller, Ransom, is the No. 1 video rental in the country for the second straight week. Rounding out the top five: Jerry Maguire, Private Parts, Metro and Scream.
LITTLE SCREEN: Oscar-winner Marisa Tomei (My Cousin Vinny) returns to her TV roots for an upcoming ABC TV-movie, National Geographic Presents: Reflections of Eden. Tomei plays a scientist who studies orangutans. For all the casting news, see The Dotted Line.