Thursday is a night for things not being what they seem, it seems. Peter Jennings takes a serious look at Ufology on "U.F.O.'s -- Seeing Is Believing" (ABC at 8 p.m. EST), and Fox takes an irreverent look at celebrities -- warts, zits, skimpy eyelashes and all -- in "Stars Without Makeup" (9 p.m. EST).
Jackson's judges: The New York Post's front-page headline writers have done their remarkably pithy thing this morning summing up the makeup of the 12 just-selected jurors in the Michael Jackson child harassment case, who range in age from a 20-year-old man to a 79-year-old widow. There are eight non-Hispanic whites, three Hispanics and one Asian -- and no African-Americans. None. (Selection of alternates has yet to take place.) What's more, the jury includes six mothers and two dads, who, it has been suggested, may be more sympathetic to the prosecution than to a man who shares his bed with children. So what did those Post writers call said group of citizens? "Jury of His Fears." (N.Y. Post, AFP)
Ugh: As ugly as you may have expected Lindsay Lohan's parents' divorce to get, you probably never expected it to get this ugly. According to divorce papers filed by Lindsay's mother, Dina, her estranged husband, Michael, who as far as any of us know is still in jail after his DUI arrest last weekend, last year told a security guard for his wife and children, "O.J. Simpson has nothing on me. I know exactly how I'm going to kill [them]. I know when I'm going to do it, and I'm going to enjoy it." Dina Lohan further alleges that her estranged husband also threatened -- in front of the couple's young children -- to kill himself, should she leave him, abused her physically, stalked her, and sodomized her against her will. She is seeking custody of the children, alimony and $1 million in damages. (N.Y. Daily News)
No bark, no bite: Don't expect a flurry of revealing heart-to-hearts with Dan Rather when he vacates his "CBS Evening News" anchor chair next month. CBS has told the New York Observer that, in order to contain lingering questions about Memogate, Rather will be permitted to do only seven "controlled" interviews with the press upon his departure. As the Observer put it, he's been "officially muzzled." (N.Y. Observer)
Also: There's been speculation among British law experts that Prince Charles' upcoming civil marriage to Camilla Parker Bowles might not be legal in light of the 1836 Marriage Act, which precluded royals from getting legal civil unions. A subsequent act dating from 1949 dealt with the issue, but its wording is said to be "ambiguous." (Associated Press) ... MSNBC is reporting that Michael Jackson's young accuser has previously accused each of his parents of abusing him, but has changed his stories on their alleged abuse several times. ("MSNBC's "The Abrams Report") ... Apparently undeterred by the fate of Oliver Stone's "Alexander," Dino De Laurentiis says he's still planning to direct his planned $150 million epic film about the Macedonian conqueror. "It will be the Alexander that everyone has been waiting for," the director told Italy's Il Corriere della Sera, though it will likely not star Leonardo DiCaprio in the title role as originally planned. (MSNBC's Scoop) ... Island/Def Jam chairman L.A. Reid is being sued for additional child support by the mother of his 5-year-old son. (Rush and Molloy) ... Christian Slater has filed for divorce from his wife of five years, Ryan Haddon, the mother of his two young children. According to Slater's publicist, "The mutual decision was reached amicably." (Associated Press) ... Martha Stewart's lawyers are trying to get federal officials to lift a ruling that would preclude Stewart from ever again serving as chief executive officer of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia. (Newsweek.com via N.Y. Daily News) ... In other Martha news, she's reportedly hired Le Cirque 2000 chef Pierre Schaedelin to cook for her during the five-month period of house arrest that will follow her upcoming release from prison. (Page Six) ... Oscar nominees Johnny Depp, Clive Owen, Don Cheadle and Leonardo DiCaprio top GQ's list of the top 10 greatest actors of our generation. (PR Newswire) ... Jack Osbourne was robbed of a "high-value amount" of jewelry while traveling from Los Angeles to London earlier this month. Authorities in Los Angeles are investigating. (BBC News) ... Natalie Portman and Israeli actor Aki Avni were surrounded by Orthodox Jews worshipping at Jerusalem's Western Wall objecting to their filming a kissing scene there for the movie "Free Zone," which the group called "immoral." (Associated Press) ... Wired magazine has given its Wired Renegade award to Howard Stern in honor of his battle with the FCC and move to satellite radio. (Associated Press)
Bob Dylan on music today: "I know there are groups at the top of the charts that are hailed as the saviors of rock 'n' roll and all that, but they are amateurs. They don't know where the music comes from ... I wouldn't even think about playing music if I was born in these times ... I'd probably turn to something like mathematics. That would interest me. Architecture would interest me. Something like that." (Program notes for his current concert tour via NME.com)
-- Amy Reiter