Buzz Briefs: Peter Falk, Eva Longoria

Actor Peter Falk, best-known for his role as the eccentric Lt. Columbo, gestures while on location for "Columbo Likes the Nightlife" in this Oct. 29, 2002 file photo, in Los Angeles. AP Photo/Ric Francis


"Columbo" Star Peter Falk Has Alzheimer's

A court document filed by Peter Falk's daughter says the Emmy-winning actor is suffering from Alzheimer's disease.

Catherine Falk is seeking a court's approval for a conservatorship of her 81-year-old father, who she claims no longer recognizes people. A hearing has been scheduled for late January.

Falk is familiar to most audiences as the star of the television series "Columbo," for which he won four Emmys. He was also nominated twice for Academy Awards for movie roles in 1959 and 1960.

The petition filed Friday in Los Angeles Superior Court states Falk lives in Beverly Hills with his wife and recently had hip surgery and requires constant care.

A phone message left for Falk's manager was not immediately returned Tuesday.


A-List Actors Oppose Actors Union Strike Vote

Delivering a rebuke to the leadership of the Screen Actors Guild, more than 130 actors signed a letter urging their colleagues to reject a strike-authorization vote in January.

"We don't think that an authorization can be looked at as merely a bargaining tool," said the letter, signed by "Desperate Housewives" actress Eva Longoria Parker, "Spider-Man" star Tobey Maguire, and others. "It must be looked at as what it is - an agreement to strike if negotiations fail."

"We do not believe in all good conscience that now is the time to be putting people out of work," it said.

Other signatories included Tom Hanks, Josh Brolin, George Clooney, Cameron Diaz, Heather Graham and Edward Norton.

The letter, sent to guild board members and staff, is the latest sign of unhappiness with the leadership of the 120,000-strong union.


Fox Follows In "High School Musical's" Footsteps

The Fox network is making a musical comedy, a somewhat unusual project for prime time television.

Fox said Tuesday it had ordered 13 episodes of "Glee," a scripted series about a high school teacher trying to transform a glee club into a national power. The characters include a diva-in-training, a nerdy soprano and a quarterback who tries to stay cool while singing. At least three musical numbers will be performed in each show.

Sound familiar? The success of the movie franchise "High School Musical" proved youngsters don't consider musicals an anachronism. Fox said the new series will appear sometime in 2009.


NBC's "Today" Show Takes On Prime Time

Four hours in the morning apparently isn't enough. NBC's "Today" show is going prime time, for one night only.

Matt Lauer, Meredith Vieira, Al Roker and Ann Curry will host a one-hour review on Dec. 22 of the year's biggest news events. It won't be strictly serious; the show will include big moments in pop culture and "Today" show bloopers. It's the first time they've tried something like this in more than a decade.

With its prime time schedule suffering, NBC is reaching toward its more successful areas for programming. Late night king Jay Leno is moving to prime time next fall.


Liquid Courage Helped Montag, Pratt "Elope" On "The Hills"

Heidi Montag and Spencer Pratt apparently had some liquid motivation for their "elopement." The Monday episode of MTV's "The Hills" chronicling the reality TV couple's supposedly surprise wedding ceremony depicted Pratt, 25, and Montag, 22, agreeing to exchange vows after downing several shots of tequila while vacationing near Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.

"You don't have to tell anyone," Pratt told an intoxicated Montag. "It's our secret marriage."

But it was never much of a secret. The pair appeared on the Nov. 26 cover of Us Weekly with the headline "Heidi & Spencer Elope!" The accompanying story featured an interview with the pair and photos of the so-called impromptu ceremony, which the couple later acknowledged was symbolic, and not legally binding. The story didn't note that they had never obtained a marriage license.


Blogger Pleads Guilty To Guns N' Roses Leak

A man accused of leaking nine unreleased tracks from the Guns N' Roses album "Chinese Democracy" has pleaded guilty to a federal copyright violation.

Kevin Cogill entered the plea Monday morning in a Los Angeles courtroom.

Prosecutors accused him of leaking the album online on his blog, months before Axl Rose's long-delayed opus arrived on store shelves. A document shows they agreed to recommend probation in exchange for the plea deal.

Cogill admitted he leaked nine of the 14 songs that appeared on the album, but has not publicly stated how he received the tracks. His plea agreement requires him to cooperate with investigators.

According to his plea deal, Cogill could be sentenced to a year in federal prison, probation and a hefty fine.


Jury Rules Pickford Agreement Is Valid

A jury has ruled in favor of the organization that hands out the Academy Awards in a dispute over whether statuettes won by one of its founding members can be sold.

The panel in Los Angeles sided with the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences on Monday, saying three women who own Oscars won by silent film star Mary Pickford are bound to an agreement barring their sale.

Monday's ruling paves the way for a judge to formally block any sale of the statuettes.

Heirs of a woman who married Pickford's third husband, actor and band leader Buddy Rogers, wanted to sell the actress' award for the 1929 film "Coquette" and donate the money to charity.

The academy argued that Pickford signed an agreement in the 1970s barring the statuette's sale.
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