JACKSONS ADD: The project, by the act formerly known as the Jackson Five ("ABC"), will be called J5.
CAMEOS: Ellen DeGeneres will jump from ABC to NBC, guesting as a caterer on the May 19 season finale of Mad About You. Titanic helmer James Cameron also appears.
FORCE IS WITH THEM: Fox has won the Star Wars sweepstakes. The studio, which distributed the original space-opera trilogy, has obtained the rights from Lucasfilm to distribute the new prequel trilogy.
BARBIE WORLD: Barbie (the doll) has signed a record deal with Sony Music, toy maker Mattel says. Barbie will sing and play guitar on an album due this fall.
BARBIE ADD: There's a chance that Barbie and her band (fellow dolls Christie and Teresa) could follow up the album with a tour. Honest.
UNFUNNY BUSINESS: The Andy Kaufman biopic to star Jim Carrey ignores the late comic's sweeter side, his dad complains to The New York Times.
OOOHHH, MORE CHIPS! The last Simpsons hold-outs--including the voice of Homer--have reupped for next season, Daily Variety reports.
POP DADDY: Rap mogul Puff Daddy and his girlfriend are parents of a baby boy, born last night in New York City.
FULL MONTY 2? Star Robert Carlyle may not want any part of it, but Fox Searchlight is reportedly in talks with producer Umberto Pasolini, director Peter Cattaneo and writer Simon Beaufoy to produce a sequel to the highly successful film about stripping steel workers from Sheffield.
TRIBUTE: The name of Puff's kid: Christopher. In honor of the late Notorious B.I.G. (aka Christopher Wallace).
SPRINGTIME FOR TOMMY: Tommy Lee doesn't want jurors in his upcoming civil trial for popping a paparazzi to know he used to have a swastika tattoo.
DON'T BE A DUMMY, BE A SMARTY...: Seems the photog Tommy clocked was Jewish.
MOVING UP: Oscar officials today announced plans for a Hollywood theater to permanently house the Academy Awards, starting in 2001.
SWELL ELLEN: The "coming out" episode of Ellen has received the prestigious Peabody Award for broadcast excellence.
JERRY-RIGGED: Chicago news anchor Carol Marin got a Peabody just for quitting when her station hired Jerry Springer.
SUBSCRIPTION ALERT: The Highlander TV star who says she had sex with Bill Clinton will be featured (naked) in May's Playboy.
KING OF THE WORLD: The Titanic soundtrack topped the U.S. pop album charts. Again. This ranking, for the week ended Sunday.
HOLE IN TWO: Courtney Love's band, Hole, has reportedly wrapped its second album. Look for a July 6 release.
GETTING RELIGION: Whitney Houston snubbed the Grammys--but she'll do the Doves, the April 23 Christian music awards show.
ROCK ON: Final lineup's out for June's Tibetan Freedom Concert. Beck, Sean Lennon join likes of Pearl Jam, R.E.M.
ACTING UP: Richard Gere's new cause: Helping launch an AIDS-awareness program in India.
HELLO, DALAI: Gere's old cause: Talking up the Dalai Lama to students today in India.
COULD...GO...ALL...THE...WAY! EPSN marks the 20,000th edition of SportsCenter May 17 with a 90-minute special.
CUTTING COSTS: Ratings-starved ABC has axed 70 jobs so far this year, the Hollywood Reporter says.
SIGN HERE: Walter Matthau did the hands-in-wet-cement thing at Hollywood's famed Chinese Theater today.
IN THE DOGHOUSE: The New Jersey research lab that broke beagles' legs--and provoked Kim Basinger's wrath--is facing 23 federal charges of animal abuse.
KIM'S HUBBY: A sword-wielding Alec Baldwin almost sliced off a costar's finger during a performance of Broadway's Macbeth, it can now be told. It was an accident.
STAT OF THE DAY: Buddy Ebsen turns 90 today--meaning it only seemed like TV private eye Barnaby Jones was a hundred years old.