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News 03/18/2007

Would-be baby daddy Larry Birkhead and his camera-ready lawyer Debra Opri have terminated their attorney-client relationship "effective immediately," Opri said in a statement Friday. Exactly how this development may impact Birkhead's mission to prove that he is Dannielynn's true father remains unclear. "I wish Larry the very best of luck in his continuing efforts to prove that he is Dannielynn's biological father," Opri said. "My prayers will be with Larry and Dannielynn always."

Carol Burnett is suing 20th Century Fox for more than $2 million over her portrayal in an April 2006 episode of "The Family Guy," alleging the show used her cleaning woman character, the Charwoman, without her consent, incorporated an "altered version" of the theme music from her eponymous show and had the cartoon cast perform her signature ear tug.

"Jeopardy!" had its first-ever three-way tie Friday after all three contestants ended up with $16,000 after questioning the Final Jeopardy answer correctly. The category was "Women of the 1930s," the clue was "This woman, as a waitress, once served one of the men who shot her," and the correct response was, "Who was Bonnie Parker?" "We've had a lot of crazy things happen on 'Jeopardy!' but in 23 years I've never seen anything like this before," says Alex Trebek.

Star Jones Reynolds told TV Guide she has not spoken to Barbara Walters since abruptly departing "The View" in June, but claims she occasionally emails with Elisabeth Hasselbeck.

Despite being proclaimed dead by his Wikipedia entry, Sinbad is still among the living.

"Numb3rs" star Diane Farr welcomed her first child with husband Seung Yong Chung, son Beckett Mancuso Chung, Friday morning in Los Angeles, per People. Beckett, named after the Irish playwrite, weighed in at 8 pounds, 2 ounces and measured 11 inches long. "Mother and baby are happy and healthy," Farr's rep said.

Richard Hatch is expressing his distaste for prison in a new interview with People, calling it "horrendous." The original "Survivor" winner was convicted last year of failing to pay taxes on his $1 million reality winnings and sentenced to 51 months in jail; he is currently seeking a new trial.

Larry King is "doing great" after undergoing proactive carotid endarterectomy surgery Friday morning, CNN said. The talk show host expected to return to work Monday.

Eddie Cibrian and his wife, Brandi, are expecting their second child together next month, his publicist said Friday. The couple also has a three-year-old son named Mason.

Oprah Winfrey opened her second school for disadvantaged South African youth Friday, a $1.6 million environmentally friendly institution that uses innovations such as solar power and see-saws and merry-go-rounds to pump water. Meanwhile, some parents of children attending her $40 million Leadership Academy for Girls are complaining to local media that the school's policy of limiting visits with the students to once a month and forbidding parents to bring junk food is overly strict.

News 03/15/2007

In reality TV news: Brandon Rogers, a 29-year-old from North Hollywood, CA, was sent home from FOX's "American Idol 6" Wednesday, becoming the first finalist eliminated. Sanjaya Malakar survived another week, a result due, no doubt, in part to the support of votefortheworst.com. Also on Wednesday, Cassandra Watson, a 24-year-old college student from Seattle, WA, was eliminated on the CW's "America's Next Top Model 8." Finally on Wednesday, Erik Kolacz, the 28-year-old co-owner in Contrast Design Group, Inc. from Chicago, IL, was eliminated on Bravo's "Top Design."

Paula Abdul told TV Guide that, appearances to the contrary, she and Simon Cowell "actually get along great," though denying there has ever been any attraction between them, an idea she called "disgusting."

Regis Philbin came through his heart bypass surgery "with flying colors," Kelly Ripa announced Thursday on "Live with Regis and Kelly." The chatfest host underwent the surgery yesterday morning and was already up "joking around with the nurses" and "harassing people," Ripa said.

Isaiah Washington has donated $25,000 to a computer animation program that aims to recreate the geography and events of the Atlantic slave trade for an educational CD. The "Grey's Anatomy" star started a non-profit organization last year dedicated to improving the lives of Sierra Leoneans, after tracing his ancestral roots to the West African nation through DNA testing.

Yancey Butler, star of the defunct TNT series "Witchblade," was charged with driving under the influence in Connecticut after crashing her Saab into a wire guardrail, police said. She was also charged with failing to drive in the established lane and was ordered to appear in court Mar. 26. It's been a tough couple of months for the actor, who was charged with disorderly conduct in February following an argument with a former boyfriend.

Seminole tribal police and Bahamian authorities met about the probe into Anna Nicole Smith's death, but prosecutors in Florida said no homicide investigation is underway. The results of Smith's autopsy were delayed last week after police turned over additional information to the medical examiner, but they are expected to be released next week. Meanwhile, Prince Frederic Von Anhalt, Zsa Zsa Gabor's husband and one of the many men claiming to have fathered Dannielynn Hope Marshall Stern, is suing Bill O'Reilly and FOX News for $10 million after O'Reilly referred to him as "a fraud" on the air. The prince is alleging that the insinuation "directly injured" his reputation.

Peter Noone of Herman's Hermits and Lulu will appear on "American Idol 6" to serve as the celebrity coaches for next week's British Invasion theme, and to perform on Wednesday's results show.

David Duchovny is returning to TV to star in a new as-yet untitled series for Showtime, per the Hollywood Reporter. The network ordered 12 episodes of the series, which centers on a writer (Duchovny) who balances the care of his 16-year-old daughter and lingering feelings for his ex-wife with an insatiable appetite for beautiful women. The series expected to premiere in August.

News 03/14/2007

In reality TV news: Brittany Diiorio, a 20-year-old manager of a night club/singer/dancer/model from Virginia Beach, VA, was eliminated Tuesday on the CW's "Pussycat Dolls Present: The Search for the Next Doll."

"Live with Regis and Kelly" hosts Regis Philbin and Kelly Ripa were passed over in both the Outstanding Talk Show Host and the Outstanding Talk Show categories when the nominations for the 34th annual Daytime Emmy Awards were announced Wednesday, marking the first time in years the chatty duo has been out of the running. Meanwhile, long running soap "Guiding Light" earned a leading 17 nominations.

Heather Mills told "Access Hollywood" Tuesday that she plans to donate her appearance fee for "Dancing with the Stars" to Viva!, an organization that campaigns on behalf of animals killed for food. Mills also revealed that she has a backup artificial leg, in case she breaks a leg during her performance.

Sanjaya Malakar has won the endorsement of anti-"American Idol" site votefortheworst.com, which could be his only hope of remaining on the show after a poorly received performance Tuesday night. The verdict will be revealed during Wednesday's results show, which will also feature a performance from Diana Ross. Meanwhile, Simon Cowell will be profiled on Sunday's "60 Minutes," including a segment in which the cantankerous "American Idol" judge will himself face a panel of judges critiquing him on something he is passionate about, CBS announced Wednesday.

New grandma Candy Spelling is continuing her mother-daughter goodwill tour, telling People she is overjoyed about the birth of Tori's son, Liam. "Words can't describe the joy and elation I feel at this truly happy event," Spelling said. "I am looking forward to doting on my new little grandson and all the memorable fun that comes with it."

Turner Broadcasting is renaming Court TV in order to reflect the network's new action-driven lineup, which includes a new talk show hosted by Star Jones Reynolds. The new name won't be revealed until summer and will go into effect at the start of next year, Turner said Tuesday.

Celebrity fashion designer Anand Jon, who has made several appearances on "America's Next Top Model" and reportedly has his own VH1 reality show in the works, was arrested and charged with rape and sexual assault on two women and a 15-year-old child, police said. Jon is being held in lieu of $1.3 million bail; his attorney is stating that he denies the allegations.

News 03/13/2007

Tori Spelling and Dean McDermott welcomed a baby boy named Liam Aaron McDermott, born Tuesday in Los Angeles and weighing in at six pounds, six ounces, Spelling's rep confirmed. It's the first child for Spelling and the second for McDermott, who has a son from his previous marriage. After months of estrangement from her daughter, Tori's mother, Candy Spelling officially waved the white flag and joined the couple at the hospital to welcome her grandson, "E! News" confirmed.

Larry Birkhead's attorney, Debra Opri, asked a judge Tuesday to order Howard K. Stern to come to California and provide a DNA sample to determine whether he is the father of Anna Nicole Smith's daughter, Dannielynn, as he claims. The judge refused to make Stern part of the paternity court action, but agreed to revisit the matter in two weeks after reviewing the law more closely.

Lane Garrison spoke out for the first time on his December car crash that left a 17-year-old passenger dead, telling People that he prays daily for all the families involved and "will live with a sense of guilt for the rest of my life." The former "Prison Break" actor was charged with vehicular manslaughter last week and could face up to six years and eight months behind bars.

Viacom is suing Google and YouTube for copyright infringement and seeking more than $1 billion in damages.

Tryouts for the second season of ABC's "American Inventor" will take place in March and April in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, New York, Orlando, and Houston. The winner of the reality contest takes home a million-dollar prize, as well as the chance to market their winning product.

Kristy Swanson has been cast as an "Anna Nicole-ish" character in an upcoming "ripped from the headlines" episode of "Law & Order," and David Cross has signed on as a "Howard K. Stern-ish" character, NBC confirmed.

Sarah Jessica Parker is channeling her inner Carrie and is launching a new fashion line called Bitten, Women's Wear Daily reports. Details of the collection remain under wraps.

"Law & Order" and "Law & Order: Criminal Intent" are potentially in danger of cancellation, Daily Variety reports. Series creator Dick Wolf is expected to sit down with NBC in the near future to discuss how to boost ratings and cut costs on the shows...or else.

College student Lyndsay Clements, whose apartment in Muncie, Indiana, was mistakenly raided by police during filming for the quickly canceled CBS reality show "Armed and Famous," took the first step in filing a lawsuit by lodging a claim against the city in which she said she "also holds liable all those associated with filming and airing the show."

Amy Brenneman ("Judging Amy") and Merrin Dungey ("Alias") are joining the cast of the extended "Grey's Anatomy" episode expected to serve as the pilot for the upcoming spin-off centered on Dr. Addison Montgomery, per the Hollywood Reporter. Taye Diggs, Tim Daly, Chris Lowell, and Paul Adelstein are already attached to the project.

A former "American Idol" production assistant is suing the show's producers and ex-contestant Mario Vasquez, alleging he was fired for complaining about being sexually harassed by Vasquez, who dropped out of the fourth season. Magdaleno Olmos claims in his suit that Vasquez cornered him in a men's restroom and tried to initiate sex.

CBS will broadcast two primetime specials..."Listen Live" and "Why Listen"...to benefit the world's most disadvantaged children, with top artists from film, TV, music, and literature expected to participate, the network announced Tuesday. The specials are set to air in July.

News 03/12/2007

In reality TV news: Married couple (from Season 7) Rob Mariano, a 30-year-old construction foreman, and Amber Brkich-Mariano, a 28-year-old administrative assistant, both from Pensacola, FL, were "Philiminated" from CBS's "The Amazing Race 11: All-Stars" in Sunday's episode after Rob flubbed the spelling of "Philippines" during a challenge. Also on Sunday, Chad Doreck, a.k.a. "Ambitious Danny," a 27-year-old soccer coach from Los Angeles, CA, was eliminated on NBC's "Grease: You're The One That I Want." Third on Sunday, Kinetic team member Surya Yalamanchili, a 24-year-old brand manager from Cincinnati, OH, was fired on NBC's "The Apprentice 6: Los Angeles." Finally on Sunday, Playboy personality Andrea Lowell was eliminated on VH1's "The Surreal Life: Fame Games."

Regis Philbin announced on Monday's "Live with Regis and Kelly" that he will undergo heart bypass surgery this week after suffering recent symptoms such as chest pains and shortness of breath.

Diana Ross will make a special guest appearance on "American Idol 6" this week, coaching the 12 finalists through numbers from her songbook on Tuesday and performing on Wednesday's results show.

Candy Spelling told People that she and estranged daughter Tori "have been in touch with each other and are in the process of communicating and working things out." Randy Spelling says his mom is "so excited" about being a grandmother: "My mom is having a grandchild and that puts things into perspective." Tori and hubby Dean McDermott are expecting their first child this spring.

All news gathered from E! Online and other sources

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