PASSAGES: Eminem Tops Timberlake Sales
DENIED: Robert Blake, 69, jailed since last April on charges that he shot and killed his wife, has been denied bail while he awaits a Dec. 11 preliminary hearing in the case, reports the Associated Press. The California Supreme Court handed down the decision Wednesday. Blake, who has pled not guilty to all the charges against him, stands accused of murdering his wife, Bonny Lee Bakley, 44, who was found shot to death in the family car outside a restaurant where she and Blake had dined on May 4, 2001.
DIED: "Northern Exposure" actress Margaret "Peg" Phillips, 84, who played good-hearted shopkeeper Ruth-Anne Miller on the series, died Thursday of lung disease at a suburban Seattle care center, reports the AP, which described her as an unrepentant smoker. Fame came late for the actress, who was 65 and a retired accountant when she took her first acting class. "Northern Exposure" ran from 1990-95.
SETTLED: The organizers of TV's Primetime Emmy Awards, who had held negotiations with HBO to switch the program to the pay cable network, decided on Wednesday to stay with the big four broadcasters (ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC), which had threatened to boycott an HBO broadcast, reports Reuters. In return, says the news service, the networks will collectively shell out $52 million over eight years for the right to take turns airing the show. Todd Leavitt, president and CEO of the nonprofit Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, called HBO (which, like PEOPLE, is part of AOL Time Warner) a prestigious outlet with excellent marketing ability, but the big four networks had the advantage of reaching all 106.6 million American homes with TV sets. At best, HBO could reach nearly 85 percent of TV households were it to unscramble its signal so it could be picked up on cable.
PLANNED: Elton John, 55, who claims to own some 4,000 pairs of eyeglasses (including some with flashing lights), says he plans to have corrective laser surgery so he can go spectacles-free, reports the AP. "I'm so fed up with 'Where are they?' I can't see anything, so why wait?" John said in a televised interview Wednesday. He plans on having the procedure done in February. Perhaps he has Valentine's Day in mind.