Anna Nicole Smith and Howard K. Stern by Carlos Antonio Rios/Houston Chronicle/
Did Ashton Kutcher steal the idea for Pop Fiction from Anna Nicole Smith? That's what Smith lawyer/lover Howard K. Stern is alleging, saying that he and Smith pitched a similar idea to E! execs in 2004. According to Stern, Kutcher's show (in which celebs stage fake photo-ops to trick the press) is nearly a carbon copy of Celebrities Strike Back, Stern and Smith's treatment (TMZ has the WGA-registered documents).

Stern even says that as recently as two months ago there was talk of Paternity Sweepstakes Winner Larry Birkhead being the subject of the first prank, and then hosting the show.

In response, E! issued this statement: " Pop Fiction is a program independently created and developed by Ashton Kutcher's company, Katalyst. Pop Fiction is not based on any idea or concept that may have been pitched to E! by any other party."

Kutcher's Pop Fiction debuted on Sunday with (fake) stories about Paris Hilton and her "guru" and Avril Lavigne and her "baby bump." It's a great idea for a show, especially these days when almost every celeb headline has a degree of incredulity. Which recent "news" sounds like a Pop Fiction segment to you? My vote: Britney Spears guest-starring on How I Met Your Mother. - Mickey O'Connor