Today's News: Our Take


The legal team for accused murderer Robert Blake said in court Tuesday that they could make a "compelling case" that Marlon Brando's son, Christian, killed Blake's wife. Unfortunately, the judge presiding over Blake's upcoming trial said the defense couldn't call a witness that would have backed up that claim. Bummer. read more


NBC has been touting Friday's wedding-themed Ed as the show's "final" episode — and for once it seems the Peacock's promo department is telling it like it is. "It's been a terrific run, but the odds are this is its final season," NBC entertainment president Jeff Zucker tells TV Guide Online. Although Zucker adds there's a small chance the 4-year-old dramedy could return next season — "We're going to leave ourselves a little flexibility for when we put the schedule together in May" — he confirms that the show's actors have been given the green light to pursue other work. Translation: Fork. Stick. Done. read more


The History Channel is coming under fire for a documentary it aired in November that implicates President Lyndon Johnson in the assasination of JFK. Critics of The Guilty Men — which include MPAA president Jack Valenti, LBJ's widow, Lady Bird, and former presidents Ford and Carter — are demanding that The History Channel investigate the film's accusations and air a rebuttal. "I thought it was [as] obscene as you can get," Valenti, a former special assistant to Johnson, vented to the New York Post. "It was so riddled with surmise." read more


American Idol judge Randy Jackson was among the 89 million people who saw Janet Jackson's nipple — and he doesn't see what all the fuss is about. "The music business is always crazy and wild and unpredictable, that's why we love it," he tells TV Guide Online. "I think it was great. I think people are making too much of a boob." Filmmaker Spike Lee begs to differ. Speaking at a Kent State University event Tuesday night, Lee criticized Jackson's peep show as a "new low" of attention-getting antics by entertainers. read more


Drew Barrymore received a star on Hollywood's Walk of Fame Tuesday... A memorial service for Keiko the killer whale will be held Feb. 20 at the Oregon Coast Aquarium, where the 6-ton Free Willy star lived from 1996 to 1998. Keiko died Dec. 12 of pneumonia... Former 24 damsel in distress Sarah Wynter is joining the cast of USA Network's The Dead Zone in a recurring role, according to The Hollywood Reporter... Lifetime is reviving the classic game show Queen for a Day... Alias genius J.J. Abrams has inked a new seven-figure deal to keep his production company — Bad Robot Television — at Disney-owned Touchstone TV, Variety reports. read more


CBS, which is on high alert following Janet Jackson's Super Bowl striptease, will air Sunday's Grammy Awards on a five-minute delay to "safeguard against any unexpected and inappropriate content." But despite rumors, both Jackson and her partner in crime, Justin Timberlake, are still scheduled to appear. But the pair could still be bumped if CBS' probe finds that the pair intended to act like boobs. Speaking of breastgate fallout, for the first time ever, ABC will impose a five-second delay at this year's Oscar telecast so that obscene material — like a best picture win for Seabiscuit — can be edited out. Meanwhile, America Online, which sponsored the Super Bowl halftime show, is reportedly seeking at least a partial refund of its $7.5 million investment. read more


Citing irreconcilable differences, Grammy-winning songstress Natalie Cole has filed for divorce from hubby Kenneth Dupree after two years of marriage. This was Cole's third marriage. read more


Wanda Sykes, whose Fox sitcom Wanda at Large was axed last fall, has found a new gig at Comedy Central. The comedian has signed on to headline a series that focuses on her real-life efforts to do everyday jobs. read more


Maria Shriver has quit her job at NBC News to focus on her duties as first lady of California. In a statement, Arnold Schwarzenegger's other half — who has been on extended leave from the network ever since her hubby announced he was running for governor — said she reached the decision "after much soul-searching." Shriver isn't retiring, though. She will continue to pitch the network specials, including an upcoming project on Alzheimer's. read more


A jury has ordered a Philadelphia surgeon to pay $15 million to Kelly Ripa's less-famous sister for failing to properly repair her broken ankle. Linda Ripa, 30, was nearly killed in a 1999 car accident that fractured her pelvis, sternum and ankle. She sued her doctor, claiming he improperly set her broken bones following the crash, leaving her foot permanently deformed. read more

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