A DISTANT COUSIN

My Cousin Vinny II will not be coming soon to a theater near you—or to a theater anywhere for that matter. The sequel, which was in development at Fox, has been abandoned, sources say, because the studio could not make a deal with Marisa Tomei, whose portrayal of Joe Pesci's Brooklyn-inflected girlfriend in the 1992 original earned her the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress.

My Cousin Vinny grossed $50 million; Tomei was paid only $350,000. Her price went up for the sequel—she was asking $5 million. That proved to be "the deal breaker," says one source, who adds that at one point Fox "would have paid a king's ransom for Marisa—but then Only You [her most recent film] bombed."

HEARTS AFIRE?

If John Ritter has been spending a lot of time around the Wings set, it's not because he's auditioning for a role on the NBC show. The lure is Amy Yasbeck, 31, who plays Crystal Bernard's snobby sister on the series.

Sources tell us that Ritter, 46, who is separated from the woman he married in 1977, Nancy Morgan Ritter, has been dating Yasbeck for several months. The couple met on the set of Problem Child in 1989.

NEVER SAY NEVERLAND?

Has Lisa Marie Presley been house hunting near L.A., either because her children don't like Neverland, the 2,700-acre California ranch north of Santa Barbara that is owned by her husband, Michael Jackson, or because they want to be closer to their maternal grandmother, Priscilla Presley, who lives in Los Angeles proper?

Well, we're hearing conflicting reports. Several real estate sources say that Presley recently bought a place in Hidden Hills, outside of L.A., but a source of ours close to the couple insists that such reports are distorted. According to this source, Lisa Marie purchased her Hidden Hills home prior to her marriage to Jackson in May. The source adds that Presley and Jackson stay there whenever the two are in the L.A. area. Another source close to the couple tells us that Jackson, 36, and his 26-year-old bride have not stayed at Neverland, which has its own zoo, railway system and amusement park, "since they got married." These days, the only people at Neverland, according to this source, "are the caretakers and the children's groups that come up to visit."