The Fix

Schieffer to warm Rather's chair. Regan denies peddling flick about Kerik affair. Plus: It's official ... "The Apprentice: Martha Stewart."

By Salon Staff

Published February 3, 2005 1:53PM (EST)

Turn On:
Some of you out there may be tuning in to serious documentaries like Discovery Times' "Army of One" (9 p.m. and 11 p.m. EST) or the Discovery Channel's "Osama: Dead or Alive" (9 p.m. EST) tonight. We, however, will be glued to our couches watching the "Happy Days 30th Anniversary Reunion" on ABC at 8 p.m. Ron Howard (Richie), Henry Winkler (Arthur "Fonzie" Fonzarelli), Tom Bosley and Marion Ross (Howard and Marion Cunningham), Scott Baio (Chachi), Erin Moran (Joanie), Anson Williams (Potsie), and Don Most (Ralph) will all be there. And in one never-before-seen scene, Fonzie and Mrs. C make out. Ayyyyyyyyyyyy!

Morning Briefing:
Martha's moment: It's been talked about for so long, we could swear it was official months ago. But now it's apparently really official: Martha Stewart will collaborate with reality TV guru Mark Burnett to host an "Apprentice"-like show, to be called, it seems, "The Apprentice: Martha Stewart." Donald Trump, who also has a hand in the project, in which contestants will vie for a year-long, $250,000 job working alongside Stewart, yesterday issued one of his typically understated endorsements: "We think this will be an absolutely tremendous success." Burnett, for his part, wants it known that he and Stewart nailed down the details before she began serving her time in Alderson, W. Va., and that his visits to her there were purely social. (Discussing business is verboten for inmates at Alderson.) (N.Y. Times, N.Y. Daily News)

Schieffer's temp job: CBS has tapped "Face the Nation" host Bob Schieffer as a temporary replacement for Dan Rather when the anchor retires next month from the CBS Evening News. Schieffer insists he has no plans to make the job permanent. "This is not a job that I sought, and it's not a job I want on a long-term basis," he told the press. "They came to me and said, 'Would you do this for a while?' I'm very honored to be asked to do it, but I'm not replacing Dan Rather." The move for a temporary solution has touched off talk that CBS is looking to find someone outside the network to anchor the news on a permanent basis -- bad news for CBS staffers Scott Pelley and John Roberts, who were seen by many as possible frontrunners. (N.Y. Daily News)

Regan's pitch: Is publishing powerhouse Judith Regan making the rounds in Hollywood, pitching a movie script about her tabloid-fodder torrid affair with former New York Police Commissioner and onetime Homeland Security honcho nominee Bernard Kerik? Not exactly. She is pitching a movie. But what one film exec described as a semi-autobiographical film "about [Regan's] passionate relationship with a big-city police chief that turned dangerous" is not at all that, says Regan. "I'm pitching a Jess Walter novel called 'Citizen Vince,' and it's an incredible story," she tells Lloyd Grove's Lowdown, explaining that she is a producer on the film. "Jess was the collaborator on Kerik's book, and he's always writing about cops and crime. The protagonist happens to be a male in the witness protection program. But will there be police chiefs and cops and love affairs? You bet!" No word on whether the film's top cop will have a secret love nest and carry on multiple affairs simultaneously ... (Lloyd Grove's Lowdown)

Also: Sunshine State scandal: John Rimes, Florida assistant attorney general under Gov. Jeb Bush, was beaten and mugged last week at a Tampa hotel after he called an escort service in hopes of a little paid company. The attorney general's office -- in which Rimes works -- says it will "look into the incident." (Associated Press via Rush and Molloy) ... L.A. County prosecutors are opting not to file charges against Paris Hilton for allegedly stealing a copy of her amateur porn tape from a Sunset Blvd. newsstand, saying there is insufficient evidence to do so. (ABC News) ... Tim Robbins and Catherine Zeta-Jones are the recipients of this year's Hasty Pudding awards at Harvard. (Associated Press) ... So much for a private family moment: Tony Danza's son, Marc Iadanza, informed Danza on live TV -- and in front of a studio audience -- yesterday on Danza's show that he and his wife were going to make him a grandfather for the first time in August. (N.Y. Post) ... Britney Spears, Jessica Simpson, Alicia Keys and Sean"Puffy/P.Diddy" Combs have all signed on to promote an anti-acne cream, claiming it helped them in their own complexion struggles. (Page Six) ... Alert PETA: Page Six reports that "A 'Saturday Night Live' staffer spent a whole day shopping for a thong for Tinkerbell, the pampered Chihuahua of Paris Hilton, who will host the show this week." (Page Six) ... Vanity Fair reports that Marlon Brando initially didn't want to play Don Corleone in "The Godfather," telling an assistant, "It's about the Mafia. I won't glorify the Mafia." (Vanity Fair via Reuters) ... The UPN is cancelling "Star Trek: Enterprise," effective May 13, leaving "Trek" fans with no new "Trek" shows to watch for the first time in 18 years. (USA Today) ... Seriously icky news: R&B singer Houston has gouged out his own eye in a London hotel after his handlers prevented him from committing suicide by jumping out his hotel room window and locked him in the room. (Billboard)

-- Amy Reiter

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