I'm sure there are those of you out there who will be watching the first installment in PBS's three-part special about Charles Dickens, "Dickens," tonight (check local listings) or even "Entertainment Weekly: Biggest Little Things of 2004" on Bravo at 9 p.m. ET. The rest of us, however, will be tuning in to the season finale of "The Apprentice" (NBC, 8 p.m. ET) to find out whether Donald Trump hires Jennifer Massey or Kelly Perdew as his next high-profile employee -- and the subsequent cast reunion show, hosted by Regis Philbin.
The mystery of ODB's death, solved: The autopsy report on Ol' Dirty Bastard's death is finally out. And? His heart attack appears to have resulted from his indulging in a mixture of cocaine and the prescription painkiller Tramadol, usually used to treat severe joint pain or cancer. ODB had a history of drug use, but claimed to be blissfully drug-free shortly before his death. The death was ruled accidental. (Gigwise.com)
Zahn tormentor, shooed: The bird-loving protester who terrorized Paula Zahn, her husband and their two sons, ages 7 and 11, outside their New York co-op building over the past week has been arraigned on charges of harassment, stalking and child endangerment and has been ordered by a judge to come no closer to the family than 1,000 feet. The man, Lincoln Karim, an Associated Press TV engineer, admitted that he may have gotten carried away when -- while protesting the recent removal of a hawks' nest from the building by the building's board, of which Zahn's husband, Richard Cohen, is the president -- he chased the Zahn's 7-year-old son when the boy took the family dog for a walk, yelling "House of shame! Bring back the nest!" in the child's ear, and causing him to burst into tears and run back into the building. "He appeared to be very threatening," said Cohen. "I'm sorry. I knew I should not have gone after the kids. I was trying to get my point across," Karim was quoted as saying. In any event, in light of ongoing protests, the co-op has decided to rebuild the nest formerly inhabited by hawks named Pale Male and Lola, albeit with a protective shield beneath it to prevent droppings and pigeon carcasses from falling on residents. (N.Y. Daily News)
Moore motives than meet the eye? But the controversy of Pale Male and Lola doesn't stop there. It extends, too, to Mary Tyler Moore, a resident of the building who has stood with the protesters holding vigil outside it and who was an early vocal supporter of Karim, raising the ire of her neighbors. "She's trying to be this virtuous Mary Richards," one member of the co-op board told the New York Post of Moore, who is trying to sell the two apartments she owns in the building. "But she hasn't worked in ages. She just needs the money. And if she loves the hawks so much, why is she leaving?" The source claims that Moore is carrying a grudge against the board and against Cohen in particular for blocking the sale of her apartment to a Russian businessman they felt may have been of questionable character. (Bodyguards followed him wherever he went.) But Moore's spokeswoman says that the actress has "always been an advocate for animal rights, so it is not out of character for her to be against the removal of the Pale Male nest." (N.Y. Post)
Also: Olympic sprinter Marion Jones has filed a $25 million defamation suit against BALCO founder Victor Conte, calling his allegations that she'd used performance enhancing drugs "false and malicious." (Ireland Online ... Doctors say James Brown is doing well and is expected to make a full recovery after undergoing surgery on Wednesday for prostate cancer. (NME.com) ... Erasure singer Andy Bell has announced that he is HIV positive, but he has been taking combination therapy since 1998 and is "feeling fine," in fact has "never felt better." (RTE.ie) ... Michael Jackson's lawyers have moved to have the child-molestation charges against their client dropped, claiming that a recent raid on the Neverland Ranch constituted "outrageous government conduct" and revealed a desire on the D.A.'s part to bring down a celebrity. In related news, court documents show that the mother of two of Jackson's children, Debbie Rowe, has in the past year repeatedly sought custody in light of the charges against Jackson. (Reuters) ... Director Sidney Lumet ("12 Angry Men," "Dog Day Afternoon," "Network," "The Verdict") will receive this year's honorary Oscar at the ceremony on Feb. 27. (Hollywood Reporter) ... The producers of ABC's "Wife Swap" are suing Fox's "Trading Spouses" for $18 million, claiming that the Fox show is a "blatant and wholescale copycat" of theirs. (BBC News) ... Adoption advocates are also pissed at Fox, claiming that the network's new reality special "Who's Your Daddy?" in which people who were adopted as children try to pick their birth father out of a lineup for a chance at $100,000. is "horrible" and "exploitative." But the special's producer insists that the show has "its heart in the right place." (N.Y. Daily News)
Leonardo DiCaprio, moving on, at the premiere of "The Aviator" Tuesday night: "I did my best for Kerry. I went out and spoke about environmental issues. I'm glad I did it. [But] the people have spoken." (Rush and Molloy)
Chevy Chase, not moving on, and shocking the audience at an awards ceremony for People for the American Way at the Kennedy Center Tuesday night: "This guy in office is an uneducated, real lying schmuck . . . and we still couldn't beat him with a bore like Kerry." (Reliable Source)
-- Amy Reiter