PASSAGES: New Judge Joining 'Idol'?
MOURNED: Richard M. Helms, 89, who directed the Central Intelligence Agency during the late 1960s and early '70s, died Wednesday in Washington, The New York Times reports. The Times described him as "an urbane and dashing spymaster (who) began his career with a reputation as a truth-teller and became a favorite of lawmakers." After he left the CIA in 1973, Helms served for four years as the American ambassador to Iran under the Shah. He later became an international consultant who specialized in trade with the Middle East.
SEARCHED: Random House, which published late author Mario Puzo's immortal "Godfather" trilogy, is looking for a new writer to revive and continue the Corleone family saga, the Associated Press reports. The deadline for authors to submit outlines is Nov. 4. No publishing date has been set. Puzo died in 1999. Paramount Pictures, which made the three "Godfather" movies (the first two of which are classics), is said to have first option on the film rights.
DECLINED: New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission officials have passed on allowing a wraparound car ad to appear on the city's Yellow Cabs that would show Kyle from Comedy Central's "South Park" breaking wind. "We want our yellow cabs to look yellow," TLC commissioner Matthew Daus tells the New York Post. A Comedy Central spokeswoman told the paper, however, that the cable network is upset not because the TLC turned its thumbs down on the ad because of its content but because it apparently does not approve of "South Park" in the first place. Countered Daus: "It's not a top priority."