Michael Jackson has won a legal fight to stop a New Jersey man from selling Jackson family memorabilia on the Internet. Unfortunately, Henry Vaccaro claims he already shipped the goods to a European buyer. Jackson's lawyer says he'll seek a court order to have the knickknacks returned.
Fox is launching six original series in June as part of an aggressive summer lineup that includes the Mark Burnett-produced reality gamble The Casino, the Andy Richter comedy Quintuplets, the Hawaii-set soap North Shore and the return of The Simple Life. Noticeably MIA: Forever Eden. But rumor has it Fox may bring the low-rent Paradise Hotel knock-off back this summer under the misleading title Forever Eden and Cruz.
Question: Did a cast member of the Waltons TV show pass away this week? Wanda C., Blairsville, Ga.
Televisionary: Not a cast member, Wanda, but the youngest brother of series creator Earl Hamner, who based the show on his own family and his life growing up in Schuyler, Va. James E. Hamner, who was the inspiration for Jim-Bob, died April 1 at the age of 67.
ABC has tapped Ben Sherwood, the former No. 2 guy at NBC Nightly News with Tom Brokaw, to succeed Shelley Ross as exec producer of Good Morning America... ESPN has renewed Dream Job America's Next Top Model set in the booth for a second season.
Question: After reading your column about Robert Reed fighting Sherwood Schwartz about the quality of The Brady Bunch, I wonder what the cast of his earlier show, Gilligan's Island, thought. Did any of them complain, too? Neal K., Philadelphia, Miss.
Televisionary: Only Tina Louise gave truly critical quotes to TV Guide during the show's original 1964-67 CBS run, Neal. And Schwartz fired back in kind.
"I was ashamed when I saw the first show," the actress, who played siren Ginger Grant on the series, told TV Guide in 1965. "I had studied at the Actors Studio and I'd started to get some interesting roles and some good reviews. I mean like my scene was singled out in
ABC's Kingdom Hospital has claimed another victim: Susan Lyne has stepped down as the network's entertainment president. The move comes two weeks after Lloyd Braun exited his post as network chairman, four weeks after Stephen King's Kingdom Hospital was put on life support, six months after the arrival of It's All Relative and more than a year since Are You Hot? crashed and burned. So, who's minding the store now? Touchstone Television president Stephen McPherson, the dude responsible for such shows as Scrubs and Alias. I like him already.
Lil' Kim will go on trial in November for her eight felony counts of perjury, conspiracy and obstruction of justice. As previously reported, the rapper is accused of lying to a grand jury about the February 2001 shootout she witnessed outside Manhattan radio station WQHT. She pleaded not guilty last week and was released on $500,000 bail. "Kim is not a criminal," her attorney, Mel Sachs, told reporters. "These charges have been extracted out of context, magnified out of proportion. She's been singled out and used because of who she is in the music industry."
Welcome to a night in my TV-watching life.
7:30 PM: Family Plots
Remind me never to die in San Diego. I just finished watching a preview tape of tonight's Family Plots episode. It's a new show on A&E about three sisters and a dad who work at the Poway-Bernardo Mortuary. And, yeah. It taught me a little more than I need to know about the
realities of working at a funeral home. I mean, I don't want to know that embalmers occasionally have to do a rush job on people. Nor do I want to know that they use wax on dearly departed faces, "forget" folks' funerals or have to tape some body parts to keep them from oozing.
8 PM: Bernie Mac
I'd like to be watching my man Bernie. Right. Now. But I can't because the thousandth American Idol special is on. Like Bernie, I say, "America, can't a woman get some peace and quiet to watch her show?" Tonight, apparently not.
8:18 PM: American Idol Uncut, Uncens
Viewers are having some serious reservations about The Restaurant. The new season kicked off Monday night with just 6.7 million customers. Mama's gonna take this badly.
Question: Please, please help me. I am dying to find out what song is playing during a Barilla pasta commercial. The woman is preparing for a dinner party and the handsome neighbor leaves pasta on her doorstep. The song playing throughout the commercial is beautiful and I'd love to find out what it is. Thanks so much. Love your column! Lisa, Portland, Ore.
Televisionary: OK, one more song question. That's Andreas Bocelli's "Mille Lune Mille Onde" and you'll find it on his Cieli Di Toscana CD.