COURTROOM DRAMA: Jury deliberations continued today in the case of the daytime soap star versus Melrose Place. Yesterday in closing arguments, attorneys representing the makers of the Fox drama accused actress Hunter Tylo of being a publicity hound. Tylo was canned from MP after producers learned she was pregnant--hence the suit.
BIG MOUTH: Comedy Central's Daily Show is making due with substitute anchors while host Craig Kilborn serves a one-week suspension for making "inappropriate comments" in the new Esquire magazine. In the article, the ex-ESPN guy says (among other "inappropriate" things): "There are a lot of bitches on the staff, and, hey, they're emotional people. You can print that!"
LITIGATION: It's a no-go for two production companies trying to accuse Sylvester Stallone and brother Frank of racketeering. A federal judge has dismissed that portion of a lawsuit brought last July. The rest of the suit--concerning whether the brothers reneged on deals to appear in the independent film, The Good Life--will still be heard in a superior court.
BAD MANNERS: It's not nice to mess with Martha Stewart. Three New York radio station workers have been cited for trespassing after allegedly sneaking onto the grounds of the domestic goddess' Connecticut home last Friday. When Stewart found out the trio was there, she instructed a maid to call the cops. It was the proper thing to do.
ON SALE: You can still pick up Prodigy stocking stuffers at Target. The retailer is breaking rank with the likes of Wal-Mart and Kmart and refusing to pull the techno band's controversial album Fat of the Land from shelves. Instead, Target will attach parental advisory stickers to the CDs.
SNEAK PEAK: Pearl Jam's record label is clamping down on Web sites that have posted audio clips from the band's upcoming album. The concern? Yield isn't due in the stores until February.
CAPEMAN COMETH LATE Paul Simon's stab at a Broadway musical, The Capeman, will reportedly not make its scheduled January 8 opening due to last-minute fine-tuning. The show has been in previews since December 1. Early reaction has been so-so.
POSTMAN DELIVERS: Don't let Kevin Costner hear any of this Dirtman talk. (Dirtman is what snide types are calling Costner's latest, The Postman. It's a sly reference to his much-maligned Waterworld.) Costner says the "buzz" has been wrong before--notably on his Oscar-winning Dances with Wolves--and it will be wrong again about The Postman, scheduled to open Christmas Day.
CABLE GUY? ABC News confirms that Good Morning America coanchor Charles Gibson is talking with cable's A&E about becoming the new host of its Biography series. But what's not clear is whether that deal would end Gibson's GMA run. ABC hasn't ruled out Gibson doing both. Gibson himself isn't talking.
NEW GIG: Connie Chung officially ends her primetime TV exile tomorrow night--making her debut on ABC's PrimeTime Live.
MORE AWARDS: Good thing Hollywood loves awards, 'cause here come some more: Nominations for the second annual Golden Satellite Awards, honoring TV and film, are out--and the leaders of the pack are Titanic (12 nods, film divison) and NYPD Blue (four nods, TV division). The Golden Satellites are handed out by a splinter group of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association--the Golden Globe people, who do their own nominating thing come Thursday morning.
GRAY MATTER: A new demographics study offers all sorts of tasty, telling TV tidbits, including this one: 60 Minutes caters to primetime's oldest audience--with the median age of viewers pegged at 57.3 years old.
ROYAL SPICES: Holiday trick or treat? Prince Charles escorted sons William and Harry to Monday's London premiere of Spice World, the new movie starring (who else?) the Spice Girls. The young boys also finagled a meet-and-greet with the pop quintet.
NO GO: Forget about Sarah Ferguson making her Broadway debut in Jeckyll and Hyde. A spokesman says the Duchess of York was offered a walk-on bit in the musical--and she declined, contrary to a published report Monday that said she was "considering" the role.
HOLIDAY GIVING: When soap-on-the-rope isn't enough. Blues great B.B. King plans to present his guitar--name of Lucille--to Pope John Paul II when he plays the Vatican Christmas party on Friday night. All part of getting into the spirit of the season, King says.
THE GAMBLER: Porn publisher Larry Flynt has been given the OK by a federal bankruptcy judge to purchase a card club in Gardena, California. Flynt promises to make the establishment a right fine place--scantily clad waitresses need not apply.
SICK DAY: Here's a new one: Diva guy Luciano Pavarotti has been forced to cancel a series of concerts this week. The location (this time): London. The excuse (this time): The flu.
ON THE MEND: As expected, the Rev. Robert Schuller has been released from the hospital--this just days after the Hour of Power televangelist suffered a mild heart attack.
THAT THING HE DID: Reportedly unhappy with 20th Century Fox's handling of his directoral debut, Tom Hanks has jumped ship to Universal Pictures, signing a three-year development pact with the studio. Hanks wrote and directed the rock comedy-drama That Thing You Do! for Fox last year.
BUYING BOND: MGM has found a sure way to make some of its money back on the latest James Bond installment, Tomorrow Never Dies--sell its broadcast TV rights to CBS for $20 million. The tube deal is the richest ever for a Bond flick. Tomorrow Never Dies opens in theaters on Friday.
HERE'S JOHNNY: Tonight Show legend Johnny Carson has donated $1 million to a cancer center in his hometown of Norfolk, Nebraska, to build new exam and treatment rooms. Carson's gone this charity route before--which would explain why the center is already named in honor of his family.
JAILBIRD: Elle Macpherson's thwarted cyber-extortionist was sentenced to nearly seven years in prison Monday. Michael Mishler pleaded guilty earlier this month to swiping nude photos of the supermodel from her Los Angeles home and threatening to post them on the Internet unless she paid him off.
BE NICE: "A temperamental, spoiled and conniving entertainer." That's how a lawsuit filed by a renowned construction company is characterizing Cher. The firm, Arya Group, says the Oscar-winning actress hired them to built a beachfront mansion then dumped them, leaving thousands in unpaid bills. The suit seeks unspecified damages.
NAME GAME: Wag the Dog, a Palo Alto, California, graphics art firm, has filed a federal trademark infringement suit against New Line Cinema over Wag the Dog--the movie. The company wants a judge to bar the film's release (due out next year) until New Line changes the name. Wag the Dog stars Dustin Hoffman.