"Daniel" deep-sixed: NBC's midseason series about an Episcopalian priest struggling with the difficulties of modern family life, "The Book of Daniel," has been dropped from the network's schedule. While conservative Christian groups are hailing the show's demise as a triumph of morality -- they'd protested against it before it even aired, saying it unfairly made fun of Christianity -- it might be worth pointing out there's a simpler and far more reasonable explanation for the cancellation: The show plain sucked. (Associated Press)
The next big literary hoax? Coming on the heels of Frey-gate and the revelations about JT LeRoy, it's difficult to believe that yet another prominent writer/memoirist has been revealed as a fake, but it's true. The L.A. Weekly this week has a long investigation into Nasdijj, the Native American memoirist who won a PEN/Martha Albrand award and the Salon Book Award in 2000 for his book "The Blood Runs Like a River Through My Dreams." The Weekly's piece wonders, "Did a struggling white writer of gay erotica become one of multicultural literature's most celebrated memoirists -- by passing himself off as Native American?" The short answer appears to be yes, with the paper alleging that Nasdijj is in fact Tim Barrus, formerly known for his books about the gay sadomasochistic underworld. (L.A. Weekly)
Chris Penn found dead: Chris Penn, younger brother of Sean, was best known for his role in "Footloose" and for playing nice guy Eddie Cabot in "Reservoir Dogs," but Salon's own Cintra Wilson called him "just as talented as Sean -- just a lot less cocky." Police reports from Los Angeles say Penn's body was found at his home around 4 p.m. on Tuesday, and while they haven't released a cause of death yet, they say they don't suspect foul play. (Los Angeles Times)
Brooke Shields has announced that her new baby, due in May, will be a girl. (People) ... Kate Moss, who just celebrated her 32nd birthday, is planning to write a book about her life to "set the record straight." (Vogue UK) ... Come September, UPN and the WB will merge into a new, super-second-tier channel to be called the CW. (Zap2It) ... In more media merger news, Disney is acquiring the animation studio Pixar in a $7.4 billion deal. (Market Watch) ... Kanye West appears on the cover of this month's Rolling Stone as Jesus, complete with thorny crown and blood, but the Catholic League's William Donohue isn't outraged, he just feels sorry for Kanye. "It's one thing to rip off Catholic iconography. It's quite another to exploit a poor soul like Kanye West. Anyone who is this morally and mentally challenged deserves our sympathy not our derision." (N.Y. Daily News) ... Donald Trump is suing "TrumpNation: The Art of Being the Donald" author Timothy O'Brien and publisher Warner Books, claiming the book makes defamatory statements about Trump. He's apparently seeking $5 billion in damages. (Reuters via ABC News)
After a bit of a hiatus, there's a new episode of "Veronica Mars" (UPN, 9 p.m. EST) on Wednesday, and the multitalented Jamie Foxx hosts his first musical TV special, "Unpredictable" (NBC, 8 p.m. EST). Also, U.S. ambassador to Iraq Zalmay Khalilzad appears on "Charlie Rose" (PBS, check local listings) from Baghdad.
-- Scott Lamb