Today's News: Our Take


IT'S NOT ALL BAD

Michael Jackson has been cleared of allegations that he molested an unnamed child in Los Angeles in the late '80s, the LAPD said Wednesday. Unfortunately for Jacko, the decision has no impact on his child-molestation case in Santa Barbara. read more

IN RELATED NEWS...

HBO is breaking into the traditional sitcom biz. According to reports, the cabler is looking to develop multicamera comedies á la Friends, Roseanne and All in the Family — none of which ever cleared anyone of murder. read more

FROM THE GRAPEVINE...

NBC is developing a 12-hour limited series about the history of Motown, Variety reports. The project, which wouldn't air until the 2005-06 season, is based on founder Berry Gordy's autobiography To Be Loved: The Music, the Magic, the Memories of Motown. read more

IN RELATED NEWS...

HBO is breaking into the traditional sitcom biz. According to reports, the cabler is looking to develop multicamera comedies á la Friends, Roseanne and All in the Family — none of which ever cleared anyone of murder. read more

SIMPSON SUES

Jessica Simpson has filed a breach of contract lawsuit against a New Jersey producer-promoter she claims owes her $140,000. According to the suit, Nick's other half agreed to perform at the Grand Prix of Puerto Rico on Oct. 23 but was never paid for her troubles. She also agreed to wear a T-shirt imprinted with the racing company logo "MOTOROCK" while shooting one of her music videos. I wondered what the significance of that T-shirt was. (Actually, that's a lie. I never gave it a second thought.) read more

CURB'S GOOD DEED

Who says TV doesn't do good? HBO's Curb Your Enthusiasm helped free Juan Catalan, a 26-year-old California man wrongly charged with murder. Catalan spent nearly six months in jail, accused of slaying a San Fernando Valley woman who had testified against his brother in court. In actuality, he and his daughter were watching a baseball game at Dodger Stadium during the victim's time of death. Catalan's lawyer proved his innocence with unaired footage shot by Curb's cameras that day for the sitcom's Feb. 8 episode entitled "The Car Pool Lane." In it, star Larry David picks up a street prostitute en route to a Dodgers game in order to avoid traffic. read more

THE CRITICS SPEAK!

The Television Critics Association (of which you-know-who is a member) announced the nominees for its annual tube awards today and Fox's Arrested Development, Comedy Central's The Daily Show, NBC's The Apprentice, and HBO's The Sopranos and Angels in America will duke it out for Program of the Year. Arrested was also singled out in the Best New Series slot, along with HBO's Deadwood, CBS's Joan of Arcadia, Fox's The O.C. and the late, great Wonderfalls. I voted for HBO's Carnivale, which shows you how much pull I have in this club. read more

CURB'S GOOD DEED

Who says TV doesn't do good? HBO's Curb Your Enthusiasm helped free Juan Catalan, a 26-year-old California man wrongly charged with murder. Catalan spent nearly six months in jail, accused of slaying a San Fernando Valley woman who had testified against his brother in court. In actuality, he and his daughter were watching a baseball game at Dodger Stadium during the victim's time of death. Catalan's lawyer proved his innocence with unaired footage shot by Curb's cameras that day for the sitcom's Feb. 8 episode entitled "The Car Pool Lane." In it, star Larry David picks up a street prostitute en route to a Dodgers game in order to avoid traffic. read more

FAMILY CRISIS

Remember little Andy Keaton from Family Ties? No? Well, listen up anyway. His now 22-year-old portrayer, Brian Bonsall, was busted by cops in Boulder, Colo., last week on suspicion of DUI. read more

THE NEXT CLAY AIKEN?

Don't feel too sorry for Diana DeGarmo, folks. The American Idol runner-up will release her first single on June 22 — one week after winner Fantasia Barrino's debut track, "I Believe," hits stores. RCA Records is keeping the title of DeGarmo's single under wraps, but here's a sample lyric: "I've reached my rainbow's end, too! And there was plenty of gold there. Plenty!" read more

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