PASSAGES: Bob Hope Honors Comedy
DONATED: Comic legend Bob Hope, 98, has given $1 million to the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences to help build an archive of comedy performances, the AP reports. The check was turned over this week by Linda Hope, the comedian's daughter, in the name of her father and her mother, Dolores Hope, 92. The money is headed for the Academy's Archive Comedy Collection, which includes performances by and interviews with Steve Allen, Bea Arthur, Phyllis Diller, Bob Newhart, Barbara Eden and others . . . AWARDED: U.S. District Court Judge David O. Carter has ruled that former Playboy Playmate Anna Nicole Smith is entitled to more than $88 million in damages as part of the bitter fight over the estate of her late husband, Texas oil tycoon J. Howard Marshall II, reports the Associated Press. The California jurist ruled Thursday that Marshall's son, E. Pierce Marshall, had interfered with Smith's attempt to secure part of her late husband's vast oil fortune. E. Pierce Marshall released a statement vowing to appeal the decision . . . RESURRECTED: Jim Henson Television is joining forces with Fox TV to develop an all-new Muppet series that will feature a fresh crop of characters in addition to Kermit, Miss Piggy and other long-standing members of Henson's band of critters, says the Hollywood Reporter. While the project is still in the early stages of development, it has been stated that this will not be a remake of the successful "Muppet Show" (which aired in syndication from 1976-81) but something entirely new . . . ANNOUNCED: Tousle-haired comedian Phyllis Diller, 84, has announced that she's retiring her stand-up act after 45 years in the business, reports the Los Angeles Times. She'll make her final Los Angeles appearances at the California State University at Northridge on April 13 and 14.