Thursday night at 9 p.m. EST, Court TV brings you the televised version of the play "The Exonerated," about death-row inmates freed after spending years of their lives behind bars, starring Danny Glover, Susan Sarandon, Brian Dennehy, Delroy Lindo, Aidan Quinn and David Brown Jr. Or, if you prefer the topic of murder served up a different way, at 8 p.m. EST the History Channel offers a docudrama about a would-be presidential assassin called "The Plot to Kill Nixon."
A mother's pain: Katherine and Joe Jackson, parents of Michael and Janet, among others, are commenting on the trials and tribulations of their two most famous children. "I do a lot of praying," Katherine said in an interview airing on CBS' "48 Hours" on Saturday night -- and excerpted on "The Insider" this week. She's been unhappy about the news coverage of Michael's child-molestation case so far. "A lot of people get on television just to be on television .... They have to remember that there's a family out there that loves that person they're lying on and talking about. Especially a mother, and she has feelings," Katherine said. "When they took him down to jail and I saw them put handcuffs on him, that hurt worse than anything else." Her husband added, "She's not doing well. She's taking it very, very hard. She don't sleep at night. She's awake crying. My wife cried a lot about this whole thing. She's having problems with her heart." Adding to their pain is the residual controversy over their daughter Janet's Super Bowl "wardrobe malfunction" last year, particularly Janet being made to take the fall all by herself, while Justin Timberlake got off pretty much scot-free. "What I didn't like is there wasn't one person on that stage," Katherine said. "There were two people. After a while, there was only Janet Jackson. That's all there was. Janet Jackson." Yeah, said Joe, "Janet don't pull that thing open herself. He did it. We were surprised that they didn't say anything to Justin about it." (N.Y. Daily News)
More grabby celebrity news from Sundance: Ludacris reportedly waltzed off with the PlayStation 2 console from his green room, along with the NFL Street 2 game, after his Park City show the other night. And Pam Anderson tried to make off with a pair of one-of-a-kind Swarovski ski goggles from the Fred Segal salon, but deigned to return them after a rep caught up with her to explain that they were a prototype, and not for the taking. (Rush and Molloy, Page Six)
Puff piece: The New York Post is beside itself with glee after spotting Bill Clinton playing a round of golf in Miami Beach with an -- unlit, plasti-wrapped -- cigar "sticking out of his kisser." He can't smoke the things, under doctor's orders after his quadruple bypass surgery, but according to Clinton's spokesman, Jim Kennedy, "On occasion, he does carry an unlighted one, which I imagine was the case here." The paper, which ran an item on the golf-course cigar sighting under the headline. "Bill's 'Fore' Play Stogie," titters, "As the world knows quite well, Clinton had a fondness for cigars during his days in the Oval Office." Sigh. (N.Y. Post)
Dance, Martha, dance: A report from a fellow inmate of Martha Stewart's at the Alderson, W. Va., correctional facility she's called home these last few months: Stewart is taking line-dancing classes. "She learned the steps for Brooks & Dunn's 'Boot Scoot Boogie,' and she and a friend had quite a workout. Both will receive a certificate at the end of a four-week attendance in the classes." Next up, the chicken dance. (Page Six)
Also: Paris Hilton has adopted a new dog -- a Rottweiler -- to keep her precious fashion-accessory Chihuahua, Tinkerbell, company. (Rush and Molloy) ... "Desperate Housewives" creator Marc Cherry insists that Pam Anderson was never offered a part on his hit show, despite her recent expression of regret at having turned down the role that ultimately went to Teri Hatcher. (Rush and Molloy) ... Jenna Bush has a new boyfriend, a 26-year-old former intern for Karl Rove and Bush-Cheney reelection campaign staffer named Henry Hager, who comes from a solid Republican family in Richmond, Va. (Reliable Source) ... Don Cheadle apparently didn't know he'd been nominated for a best actor Oscar for some time after the announcements were made because he was camping out in Sudan, visiting refugees from the genocidal conflict there with a delegation that included five members of Congress and Paul Rusesabagina, the heroic hotel owner he plays in "Hotel Rwanda." (Reliable Source) ... Kate Moss, who has had her own struggles with addiction, is reportedly worrying pals by dating ex-Libertines frontman Pete Doherty, who has been called England's "most famous drug addict," though Doherty swears the supermodel's pure love has inspired him to get clean. (London Guardian and Sun via Page Six) ... A New York radio DJ named Miss Jones and her morning show staffers were suspended after they aired a "joke" song about victims of the tsunami in which they used racial epithets and joked about floating corpses and orphans, prompting a huge outcry from listeners and advertisers. (Newsday) ... A New York judge has refused to quash an arrest warrant against Wesley Snipes in connection with a paternity claim filed by a woman the actor insists he has never met. (Reuters) ... Stan Lee is creating a new animated crime-fighting superhero based on and voiced by ex-Beatle Ringo Starr. (E! Online) ... Hip-hop music mogul Irv "Gotti" Lorenzo, whose The Inc. label features artists like Ashanti and Ja Rule, has been arrested on charges of money laundering -- to the tune of $1 million. (Reuters) ... The lesbian parents from Vermont who were featured in the episode of PBS's "Postcards From Buster" that was recently condemned by Education Secretary Margaret Spellings have expressed disappointment that PBS has decided not to distribute the show, which will nevertheless air on public television stations in Boston, New York and Vermont. (Associated Press, N.Y. Times)
"Desperate Housewife" Eva Longoria on her love-making predilections: "I have been tied up with silk scarves. Theres something very sexy about being submissive because your guard is down; you have to totally surrender to something like that." (Londons Daily Star via Scoop)
-- Amy Reiter