The Fix

Imus' nanny troubles, Rather talks to ghosts, "Jeopardy!" champ's writing a book, and Star Jones' honeymoon videos!


Salon Staff
December 1, 2004 4:22PM (UTC)

Turn On:
There's a lot of quality stuff on tonight: Eric Clapton on PBS's"Great Performances" (check local listings), a Nick News Special about teenagers living with AIDS (8:30 p.m. ET), a new Bravo reality show hosted by Heidi Klum and Michael Kors called "Project Runway" (10 p.m. ET). But the big fun happens at 7 p.m. ET, when you'll want to click between "Nick and Jessica's Family Christmas" on ABC and "The Insider" on CBS; the latter will feature Star Jones giving Lara Spencer a peep at the videos she and her new hubby took on their honeymoon in Dubai.

Morning Briefing:
Imus under fire: Did Don Imus and his wife, Deirdre, fire their 5-year-old son's 24-year-old nanny in the dead of night last November, throw her to the New Mexico wolves and then defame her to boot? That's what Nichole Cathleen Mallette is alleging in a lawsuit filed on her behalf by Benedict P. Morelli & Associates, the law firm that represented the woman who accused Bill O'Reilly of sexual harassment and who made loofahs famous in a whole new way. According to Mallette's complaint, the Imuses went ballistic when they discovered that she had brought a toy cap gun and a small pocketknife with her to the couple's 4,000-acre New Mexico ranch last year. After waking her at 1 a.m., and subjecting her to "frenzied questioning," the couple had the young woman, who had no I.D. with her, escorted off the ranch at 4:15 a.m., leaving the California-raised farm girl with no way back to her Brooklyn, N.Y., home. (Happily, the ranch's chefs took her in.) Then, the next day, according to the suit, Imus bragged on his cable TV show that he'd been forced to disarm his son's nanny the night before -- and labeled her a "terrorist." So she's suing Westwood One and NBC, which air "Imus in the Morning," too. (The Smoking Gun)

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Anchor update: Viacom honcho Leslie Moonves says that CBS News is considering "every possibility" as they move to replace Dan Rather early next year and says the network may even select "more than one person" to anchor its evening news. And while we're on the subject of Rather, Hollywood Reporter Ray Richmond recalls that the departing CBS anchor told him last year that he sometimes enjoyed posthumous powwows with Ed Murrow's ghost. "Ed Murrow's ghost is here. I've seen him and talked to him on the third floor of this building many times late at night," said Rather. "And I can tell you that he's watching over us." Come to think of it, even two people might be hard-pressed to fill Rather's shoes ... (Variety, Hollywood Reporter)

Life after "Jeopardy!": So what will Ken Jennings do now that he's finally lost at "Jeopardy!" taking home a mere $2.52 million after 75 consecutive victories on the show? The Salt Lake City software designer plans to "get back to normal" -- by hopping on the lecture circuit and writing a book, of course. "The book deal [with Random House] was finalized about a week ago, and I said goodbye to work about a week ago," he said. "There have been some TV offers, but I don't know what's going to happen with that. I'm content to let these things develop and see what's fun and what's not." But as for all that money, the devout Mormon says he'll use it not on "toys," but rather to allow him to spend more time with his family. "I'd rather buy time than toys," he said. And he plans to donate 10 percent of it to his church. (N.Y. Post)

Also: Nia Vardalos helped stamp out a fellow partier's big fat burning hair and scarf at the Ms. magazine Woman of the Year fete in L.A. on Monday night. "I was acting on instinct, going back to the second grade when we learned what to do when somebody catches fire: 'Stop, drop and roll!'" she said (Lloyd Grove's Lowdown) ... Candice Bergen is joining the cast of "Boston Legal," in her first turn as a regular on a TV series since "Murphy Brown" went off the air in 1998 (N.Y. Daily News ) ... Karl Lagerfeld is under fire from H&M directors after telling the press that he designed his line of clothing for the store expressly for "slender and slim people" and was alarmed that the company had sized them from small all the way up to XXL (Rush and Molloy) ... The man accused of stalking Sheryl Crow for 15 months, showing up at her father's and sister's homes in pursuit of her, has been acquitted of any wrongdoing (Associated Press) ... "Super Size Me" director Morgan Spurlock has created a new fish-out-of-water reality TV series for FX called "30 Days." In each episode, a person will be plucked from his or her everyday life and transplanted into a very different lifestyle in order to highlight a particular social issue. In the first show, for instance, a Christian salesman who is a staunch believer in the war in Iraq travels from his West Virginia home to spend a month with a Muslim family in Dearborn, Mich. (N.Y. Post)

-- Amy Reiter

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