DI REACT: From Kensington Palace in London, the royal family's response to the Kevin Costner interview offered a slightly different take on things: Nope. Never happened. Diana was not waiting for her close-up.
DECISIONS, DECISIONS: Jerry Seinfeld says he'll decide within the next 30 days whether his top-rated Must See sitcom will end its run next spring after nine seasons or come back for one more year of nothing. Seinfeld tells the New York Times he already knows what the series finale would entail. Sorry, he's not dropping any hints.
TRIAL SET: In Los Angeles today, a judge has set a February 17 trial date for the accused killer of Bill Cosby's only son. Mikail Markhasev has pleaded not guilty to gunning down Ennis Cosby last January on an L.A. freeway roadside.
COURTROOM DRAMA: Here's a plot twist worthy of an Aaron Spelling soap. Lawyers for actress Hunter Tylo--suing the makers of Melrose Place for wrongful termination--want to call a surprise witness: Heather Locklear. Tylo's legal eagles want to prove that Tylo, canned because she got pregnant, was treated differently than Locklear, who was allowed to work through her recent pregnancy.
SANITIZED FOR YOUR PROTECTION: The violent, profane and, yes, Oscar-winning Pulp Fiction makes its broadcast TV debut on a local Los Angeles station tonight. And don't think KTLA Channel 5 didn't have to do some fancy edits. Actors, including costar Samuel L. Jackson, even rerecorded bits of dialogue to make the flick palatable for couch potatoes.
SLAM DUNK? Is NBA great Isaiah Thomas about to bail on his front-office job for a behind-the-mike gig? A published report out of Canada today says the 36-year-old Thomas could exit the executive suite of the Toronto Raptors by week's end for NBC. The ex-Detroit Piston would reportedly serve as a game analyst--plus, host his own show on cable outlet CNBC.
ROAR! The Lion King is slaying 'em on the Great White Way--shattering Broadway records for one-day grosses ($2.7 million last Friday), on its way to becoming the biggest, fastest-selling New York show ever. Disney reportedly is installing new phone lines and computers to keep up with ticket demand.
TALKING TURKEY: "Hi, this is Fiona Apple..." And so begins the 20-year-old pop phenom's phone-line rant (1-888-VEG-FOOD) against the folks at Butterball Turkey. Apple has teamed with the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals to protest Butterball's annual holiday help line which dispenses cooking and basting tips. There is no good way to eat these "beautiful birds," says Apple.
CHUCK AMOK: Chuck Norris doesn't just play a Texas ranger on TV, he's a volunteer lawman in real life, too. On Tuesday, he helped police round up some 100 drug suspects in a raid near Dallas. Guess nobody told him you should never arrest potential viewers during sweeps month.
JACKO ON ICE: Your daily Michael Jackson update: The Gloved One is reportedly considering buying into a ski resort in the snow-bunny paradise of South Korea. The resort is currently owned by the nation's largest underwear manufacturer. And now you know.
NURSERY NEWS: Actor Dan Aykroyd and wife Donna Dixon are expecting their third child. Dixon spilled the beans on the pregnancy on Tuesday's Live with Regis and Kathie Lee.
DADDY DEAREST? A welfare mom is suing jazz great Ornette Coleman for child support. The woman, Coleman's ex-wife, says the sax player is the father of her 18-year-old daughter. Coleman says that ain't necessarily so--even if a DNA test ruled that there was a 99.7 percent probability he was the dad.
FRESH BLADE? Here's an intriguing item floated today by gossip maven Liz Smith: A sequel to cult sci-fi classic Blade Runner. The producers of the original 1981 flick, an initial box-office bomb, are said to be talking of such a project, which ideally would reunite much of the original cast, including Harrison Ford, Rutger Hauer and Sean Young.
JENNY JONES, THE MOVIE: The Jenny Jones TV talk-show murder case could wind up back on TV--as a movie. Dr. Carol Lieberman, a California psychiatrist, is writing a book on the case (one guest was shot by another after revealing his gay crush) and is negotiating the TV rights. Lieberman testified for the defense during the trial as an expert witness.
BOW INCLUDED? Jack Benny's prized violin has been auctioned for $84,000. The late comedian, who really was a skilled fiddler, used the violin in his act for more than 40 years. An unidentified American bought the instrument.
LOTTA CHEESE: Mickey is one wealthy rodent. The Walt Disney Co. has reported record revenues and earnings for its just-completed fiscal year. The Mouse House's operating income increased 18 percent to $4.3 billion for the year.
I.O.U. Thanks to a federal appeal court, country crooner Tim McGraw must pay his ex-manager at least $320,000, plus legal fees. The court found McGraw illegally dumped Carol Booth and owed her for profits from his big-selling debut, Pricetag of Love.
BEASTLY: Fran Drescher has been sued and--surprise--it's not over her grating voice. A stuntwoman has sued The Nanny and others involved with her dud flick Beautician and the Beast, saying she has suffered asthma and other medical problems after being sprayed with a fire retardant. Drescher has asked for the case to be tossed out.
RESTRAINED: Janet Jackson persuaded a judge Monday to issue a temporary restraining order against Eric Leon Christian, a Baltimore man who allegedly has been harassing the singer and employees at her Beverly Hills production company.
CHEAPSKATES? Charlie Sheen and former Poison-frontman-turned-Hollywood-player Brett Michaels were sued for $1 million Monday for allegedly reneging on a deal over a film. Sheen starred in The Last Child and Michaels directed but, according to the complaint, never paid the two producers who helped finance the flick.
SWAN SONG: Rapper Master P, he of the best-selling collection Ghetto D, says his next solo album will be his last. He says he won't be taken seriously as a businessman until he steps out from behind the mike.
DOUBLE AGENT: Looking for a legal license to kill Sony's planned James Bond flick, MGM filed suit Monday against the rival studio, seeking to shut down the planned 1999 production and preserve its $1 billion 007 franchise.
OBITUARY: Saul Chaplin, who won Oscars for orchestrating the musical classics An American in Paris, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers and West Side Story, has died, it was reported today. He was 85.
PAY DAY: Meg Ryan's moving up on the Hollywood food chain. She'll reportedly earn a cool $10.5 million for reteaming with Sleepless in Seattle partner Tom Hanks in the email romance, You Have Mail. The movie is set to start shooting in February.
STILL AFLOAT: Forget those stories about David Hasselhoff's turning in his Baywatch Speedos for the musical theater. The erstwhile Knight Rider has signed a new, three-year deal that'll keep him on the beach--as star and executive producer of the syndicated lifeguard series--through 2000 and beyond.
CHANNEL SURFING: CBS' alien sitcom, Meego, pulled for the November sweeps, will be benched again, starting January 9. The Bill Cosby-hosted Kids Say the Darndest Things, drawing big ratings in a trial stint, will move into the vacant timeslot.
MORE FALL TV: Two very low-rated freshman drama series have become the unlikeliest candidates for renewal. ABC has picked up both Cracker and the oft-besieged Nothing Sacred through the end of this season.
GETTING SMALL: A couple of movie types going TV: Writer-director John Singleton (Boyz in the Hood) is set to detonate Crash, a drama series about a Los Angeles SWAT team, on ABC next fall. He?ll write, direct and executive produce the pilot...Bette Midler is reportedly eyeing the tube, as well. No word on what her project would be. Just that the Divine One is considering.
DREAM TEAM: Oprah Winfrey, John Travolta and Whoopi Goldberg will be among those to lend their voices to a new animated special about the life of civil-rights leader the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. The hourlong program is set to debut on pay cable, before getting a home-video release in 1999.
BUT NO FACELIFT: Toy giant Mattel announced Monday that it plans to reconfigure Barbie. The doll, due in 1998, will have smaller boobs ("less graduated," says Mattel), a larger waist and smaller hips. Studies indicate that if the current incarnation were real, Barbie would measure an improbable 38-14-34.