Conan O’Brien says no thanks to NBC move
Los Angeles — Conan O’Brien has refused to play along with NBC’s plan to move “The Tonight Show” and return Jay Leno to late-night, abruptly derailing the network’s effort to resolve its scheduling mess.
O’Brien said in a statement Tuesday that shifting “Tonight” will “seriously damage what I consider to be the greatest franchise in the history of broadcasting,” and he expressed disappointment that NBC had given him less than a year to establish himself as host at 10:35 p.m. CST.
He doesn’t have an offer in hand from another network, O’Brien said. Fox, which lacks a network late-night show, has expressed its appreciation for him but said this week that no negotiations have taken place.
In his statement, the comic knocked his network’s prime-time ratings woes, which stem in part from the poor performance of Leno’s new prime-time show. “The Jay Leno Show” debuted in the fall after Leno surrendered his 17-year stake in the “Tonight” last spring to O’Brien.
Jewels, clothes nabbed from Usher’s SUV
Atlanta — Atlanta police say a thief stole $1 million in jewelry, clothing and other belongings from R&B; singer Usher’s SUV while he shopped last month.
According to an Atlanta Police Department report, the Atlanta resident was returning from the airport on Dec. 14 when he and a companion stopped at an AT&T; Store in an upscale shopping area in the Buckhead neighborhood.
Police say an unidentifed man pried open the driver’s side door of the SUV and stole $1,065,700 worth of laptops, cameras, jewels and other items. A witness tells police the suspect escaped in a burgundy Chevrolet Impala.
A message left seeking comment wasn’t immediately returned by a spokeswoman for Usher, whose real name is Usher Raymond IV.
Shepherd’s son charged in mid-air thefts
Philadelphia — The son of actress Cybill Shepherd has been charged with stealing from fellow airplane passengers during a cross-country flight.
Police say 22-year-old Cyrus Shepherd-Oppenheim was arrested in Philadelphia on Tuesday around midnight after the United Airlines plane arrived from San Francisco.
Police say witnesses identified Shepherd-Oppenheim as the man who allegedly stole cash, a digital camera, leather make-up case and a small travel bag from two passengers’ carry-on luggage.
Shepherd-Oppenheim has been charged with theft and receiving stolen property.
He is the son of “Moonlighting” star Cybill Shepherd and chiropractor Bruce Oppenheim, who divorced in 1989.
Shepherd-Oppenheim lives in Sebastopol, Calif. It was not immediately clear if he had a lawyer.
McCartney, Ford bound for Golden Globes
Los Angeles — The Golden Globes’ guest list includes a former Beatle, an Oscar winner and Indiana Jones.
The Hollywood Foreign Press Association says Paul McCartney, Reese Witherspoon and Harrison Ford will be presenters at Sunday’s show.
Ricky Gervais will be host to the 67th annual awards at the Beverly Hilton Hotel.
The show will air live on NBC (7 p.m. CST).
Other presenters include Olivia Wilde, Mickey Rourke, Christina Aguilera, Neil Patrick Harris, Julia Roberts, Leonardo DiCaprio, Jodie Foster, Mel Gibson, Sophia Loren and Cher.
Palin makes debut as Fox News contributor
New York — Sarah Palin accounts for the controversy she attracts by saying her opponents don’t like the “commonsense, conservative solutions” she represents.
Debuting as a Fox News analyst, the 2008 vice presidential candidate and former Alaska governor was the guest of Bill O’Reilly on Tuesday’s edition of “The O’Reilly Factor.”
During the interview, Palin said sinking approval numbers for President Barack Obama reflect “an uncomfortableness” some Americans feel toward his administration.
“There is an obvious disconnect between President Obama and the White House, what they are doing to our economy and what they are doing in terms of not allowing Americans to feel as safe as we had felt,” she said.
She told O’Reilly she hadn’t seen a recent “60 Minutes” report about her, explaining she was warned it contained “a bunch of b.s.”
Court rejects Rather’s appeal against CBS
Albany, N.Y. — New York’s top court has rejected Dan Rather’s bid to reinstate his $70 million breach-of-contract lawsuit against CBS Corp.
Rather’s motion was denied without comment Tuesday by the Court of Appeals.
CBS spokeswoman Shannon Jacobs says the network is pleased with the outcome. Rather calls the ruling “a grave miscarriage of justice.”
Rather sued CBS and its top executives in 2007, claiming he had been wrongfully removed from his “CBS Evening News” anchor post over a report that examined President George W. Bush’s military service.
In September, a five-member Appellate Division panel unanimously concluded there was no breach of contract because CBS still paid Rather his $6 million annual salary after the disputed 2004 broadcast.