01/08/2004 at 01:00 AM EST
Although the case may seem forgotten in the wake of the more-recent charges against Michael Jackson and Kobe Bryant, the murder trial of Robert Blake is set to begin Feb. 9 and has a very good chance of being televised -- maybe even with an all-star cast.
Actress Christina Applegate and "A Mighty Wind" star Harry Shearer were among those picked for the jury pool in Los Angeles County Superior Court, reports New York's Dally News.
The former "Baretta" star, 70, is accused of the 2001 murder of his wife, Bonny Lee Bakley, in a car parked outside a restaurant in the San Fernando Valley.
Shearer, 60, who also lends his voice to "The Simpsons," tells the Daily News that he and Applegate both spent nine hours on Monday at the Van Nuys courthouse with hundreds of potential jurors, and that Applegate, 32, was ordered to return on Thursday.
"I think it's safe to say that she was not overjoyed to be called back," said Shearer, who reportedly was bounced from the jury after telling the judge, Darlene Schempp, that he is contractually committed to the animated FOX show (for which he does the voices for Montgomery Burns and Ned Flanders) and risked being sued for breach of contract if he didn't show up for work.
Applegate's manager, Tami Lynn, tells the Daily News that Applegate would likely offer the same argument to avoid serving on a trial that could conceivably last up to five months.
Lynn adds that Applegate is able to prove that she's expected at the Sundance Film Festival this month and committed to movies with Will Ferrell ("Anchorman") and Ben Affleck ("Surviving Christmas").
Still, since Robert Blake is an actor, shouldn't he be tried by a jury of his peers -- namely, other actors?
"Christina might be a peer of Robert Blake's," Shearer noted, "except that she didn't get out of a parked car outside a restaurant and say, 'I have to go back inside. I left my gun in the restaurant.'"