On Friday night, Oxygen treats viewers to an "Absolutely Fabulous" special (10 p.m. EST), in which Jennifer Saunders and Joanna Lumley, aka Edina and Patsy, are joined by Nathan Lane, Miranda Richardson and other guest stars.
Regrets, she has a few: Yes, yes, in her forthcoming autobiography, "My Life So Far," Jane Fonda writes about the threesomes with other women -- sometimes prostitutes -- she had with first husband Roger Vadim. "I know one thing: It really hurt me ... and it reinforced my feeling I wasn't good enough," she tells Lesley Stahl in an interview airing on "60 Minutes" on Sunday, adding that she opted to discuss the incidents at this point to highlight the poignancy of her journey to become the woman she is today. But what she regrets far more than that, she says, is the incident that got her branded "Hanoi Jane," which she now sees as a "betrayal" of the U.S. military. Though Fonda says she does not regret traveling to North Vietnam or visiting American prisoners of war there, she does regret being photographed visiting a North Vietnamese anti-aircraft gun site, from which U.S. planes were shot down. That 1972 photo op, she says, was the "largest lapse of judgment that I can even imagine." Fonda tells Stahl, "The image of Jane Fonda, Barbarella, Henry Fonda's daughter ... sitting on an enemy aircraft gun was a betrayal." ("60 Minutes" via BBC News)
Ellen to come out as new Ted? So if Ted Koppel is leaving ABC News' "Nightline" when his contract expires at the end of the year, after 25 years at its helm, as was announced yesterday, what happens next? Maybe, but probably not, Jon Stewart. Or maybe, but probably not right away, Jimmy Kimmel. Or maybe ... Ellen DeGeneres. "Another alternative, and possibly the best one for ABC, is Ellen DeGeneres, who has impressed viewers and critics with her daytime talk show, which has as its format a comedy monologue followed by guest interviews, like most late-night shows," New York Times writer Bill Carter opines in today's paper. "A woman might be the ideal way to compete against the two male stars in late night, and Ms. DeGeneres is considered clearly the best female comic working in television." (Associated Press, N.Y. Times)
False "Idol"? The arrest records of one of the nine finalists on "American Idol" have turned up on the Web. Scott Savol, 28, was apparently arrested in Ohio in February 2001 on felony domestic violence charges following a scuffle with the mother of his then 3-week-old son. According to police reports, during a Valentine's Day dust-up, Savol called his ex-girlfriend "several vulgar names," yanked an engagement ring off her finger, threatened to take the couple's infant son, shoved the young woman and threw a phone at her chest so hard, it broke. Savol was eventually charged with misdemeanor disorderly conduct, fined $500 and required to complete a domestic violence or anger-management course. (The Smoking Gun)
A word from William: Shortly after his father called the press "bloody people," Prince William gave an informal interview to the British tabloid the Sun and shared his plans for his future. In case you were wondering, he does not plan to marry anytime soon. "Look, I'm only 22 for God's sake. I am too young to marry at my age," William said, when asked his intentions toward girlfriend Kate Middleton. "I don't want to get married until I'm at least 28 or maybe 30." The prince said he was happy that his father was planning to marry longtime love Camilla Parker Bowles, but somewhat dismayed at how his brother, Harry, had been portrayed in the media. "Harry is a great lad," he told the tabloid. "The image people have of him is nothing like the real thing." (The Sun via AFP, Times News Network)
Also: Veteran gossip Liz Smith is contesting the claim of her home paper, Newsday, that she "did not exercise her option to extend her contract, which has expired," and says the paper is trying to push her out. The matter is expected to go to arbitration. (Editor and Publisher) ... Horrors! PR "PoweR Girl" Lizzie Grubman was apparently reduced to taking a public bus in Miami after failing to flag down a taxi. (Lloyd Grove's Lowdown) ... Last night, Bill Clinton made his first public appearance following his recent surgery to remove fluid and scar tissue from his chest, accepting an award for his work fighting the spread of AIDS. (N.Y. Daily News) ... Courtney Love has reportedly signed on to play Linda Lovelave in a biopic of the "Deep Throat" star. (Page Six) Much-gossiped-about gossip Pat O'Brien will reportedly be out of rehab and back in his "Insider" hosting chair in May and will discuss his struggles with addiction on national TV with an interviewer he has yet to select. (Page Six) ... Brad Pitt has reportedly bought a new five-bedroom, three-bathroom Hollywood home -- with tennis court and beach access -- in which to live following his split with Jennifer Aniston, who will keep the former couple's house. (The Sun via News 24)
Star Jones Reynolds on PETA's new "Fur Is a Drag" ad featuring cross-dresser Flotilla DeBarge dressed as Reynolds in white bridal gown and blood-splattered fur coat: "Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. I hope his hair and makeup look fabulous and he remembers to shave." (Associated Press)
-- Amy Reiter