FIRST LOOK: The News in Brief, March 25, 1997

Michael Jackson...O.J. Simpson...Brian Bosworth...

By Jeff B. Copeland Mar 26, 1997 2:47 AMTags
TOP OF THE NEWS: The English Patient flew off with nine Oscars at last night's Academy Awards. Some 73 million viewers watched all or part of the telecast on ABC, a 10 percent decline from last year. For all the highs and lows of Hollywood's big night, see our special section.

PROTEST: The Reverend Jerry Falwell urged General Motors, Chrysler and Johnson & Johnson on Tuesday to withdraw their sponsorship of the episode of the sitcom Ellen when the Ellen DeGeneres announces her homosexuality. Falwell called DeGeneres, Ellen "DeGenerate."

TRADITION: Michael Jackson told the British magazine OK! that he has named his new baby Prince Michael Jackson Jr. He said the name Prince is a traditional one in his family. The magazine published the first photos of the Jacksons, father and son Tuesday.

SECOND THOUGHT: Disneyland restored a discount program for handicapped children which it had quietly dropped.

AGAIN? O.J. Simpson filed for a retrial of his civil case, saying the $33.5 million judgment against him was excessive.

DEATH: Harold Melvin, lead singer of the doo-wop Blue Notes, died Monday from the effects of a stroke in Philadelphia. Melvin was 57.

SLEEPLESS: Keenen Ivory Wayans signed a deal with Disney's Buena Vista Television to lead a late-night talk show for syndication. He's best known for his work on In Living Color.

BENEFITS: Garth Brooks plans a free concert in New York's Central Park, says the New York Post...The Fugees will give a benefit concert on April 12 in Port-au-Prince, Haiti to raise money for Haitian refugees. MTV will televise. Band members are of Haitian descent.

SPURNED: Joanna Pacitti, the fired child star of the Broadway revival of Annie, sued Macy's department store, which sponsored the casting contest that won her the job.

BENCHED: Fox yanked Lawless, the show starring ex-football player Brian Bosworth, after one showing last Saturday. The network also renewed its troubled Millenium for another full season.