Watch celebrities gush over each other tonight at 9 p.m., when CBS airs "The 27th Annual Kennedy Center Honors." Or watch the weight-challenged contestants on "The Biggest Loser" binge in what they thought was secret in the blooper-filled look back at the series' first eight episodes, airing at 8 p.m. on NBC.
Full steam ahead in Jacko trial: A California judge has denied the request by Michael Jackson's attorneys that his child-molestation trial be pushed back -- or even dismissed -- because of what the lawyers called "vindictive prosecution and outrageous government conduct." In seeking the delay, the defense pointed to a witness list filled with errors, one of which, it claimed, led them to believe that a porn star was being called as a witness. Nevertheless, the judge said the trial will begin as planned on Jan. 31, saying a delay would be "a huge step backward." (Associated Press, Ireland Online)
Gun stun? Robert Blake's trial for the murder of his wife, Bonnie Lee Bakley, is finally underway. Both sides agreed, in their opening statements, that the marriage was loveless and based on Blake's devotion to -- possibly obsession with -- the couple's daughter, Rose. But among the things the prosecution and the defense do not agree on is that strange alibi Blake provided about having gone back to the restaurant in which the couple had just eaten to retrieve the gun he carries for self-defense (not the murder weapon) and having been inside the restaurant at the time of the shooting. According to the prosecution, Blake was too freaked out after shooting his wife in the head to go back to the restaurant as planned. "What the defendant found out was that shooting somebody in real life was a whole lot more traumatic than in the movies," she contended. "He was not able to compose himself. No one could recall him going back to the restaurant." (Reuters)
Snipes vs. NYC: Wesley Snipes is suing the city of New York in connection with an arrest warrant the city has issued against him in a paternity case brought by a woman he claims is a "mentally ill crack addict" he's never met. Snipes claims the city has no jurisdiction in the case, in which his DNA has been sought to establish whether or not he is, in fact, the father of the 3-year-old child of the woman, who says she had sex with Snipes in a Chicago crack house. According to Snipes, the woman, who originally pursued her claims in a court in Indiana, after they were dismissed in Illinois, has a history of delusions about close contact with famous people, including Bill Clinton, Oprah Winfrey and Prince. (BBC News)
Are they or aren't they? Last week, Us Weekly reported that Anna Kournikova and Enrique Iglesias recently got hitched in a secret ceremony on a beach in Mexico. Now, People magazine is reporting that Kournikova and Iglesias are still single as can be. "They definitely did not get married," People says its source insists. But Us editor Janice Min is not backing away from her magazine's story, saying she is absolutely certain that its conclusions are correct. "I can't tell you who our sources are, but three credible people incredibly close to the situation are telling us they're married," Min told Lloyd Grove's Lowdown. (Lloyd Grove's Lowdown)
Meanwhile ... The gossips are all atwitter over the fact that Jennifer Aniston, who flew to L.A. from London, where she'd been filming "Derailed" -- arriving either sick with grief over the sudden death of her longtime therapist or ready to party it up in celebration of husband Brad Pitt's 41st birthday, depending on whom you ask -- was not wearing her engagement or wedding ring. But don't worry too much. "Everything is fine with Jennifer and Brad," Aniston's spokesman told Rush and Molloy. "They are together now and will be enjoying the holidays together." (Page Six, Rush and Molloy)
Also: Oscar de la Renta will design Laura Bush's inauguration dress, which will be ice blue, and Badgely Mischka will design a couple of "slinky and sexy" gowns for first daughters Jenna and Barbara. All three Bush women will wear matching coats. (Rush and Molloy) ... "American Pie" star Natasha Lyonne was arrested in her NYC apartment after she allegedly stormed into a neighbor's apartment late at night, threatened the neighbor's dog and ripped a mirror off the wall. Arf! (N.Y. Daily News) ... J.K. Rowling says she's finished the sixth Harry Potter book, "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince," which will hit stores on July 16, 2005. (Reuters) ... "Fat Actress" star Kirstie Alley has been hired as Jenny Craig's new celebrity spokeswoman. She's hoping to lose 50 pounds "in a healthy way and a good -- but profitable -- way!" (ContactMusic.com) ... The rapper Young Buck (aka David Darnell Brown) has been arrested in connection with the stabbing at the Vibe Hip-Hop Awards in November and is now free on $500,000 bail. (NME.com)
-- Amy Reiter