SLAMMED Fox has been issued a Silver Sewer award by William Bennett and Sen. Joseph Lieberman, for what they say is an unrelenting record of putting on too many shows with vulgar, adult content. ”Nothing seems too cheap or degrading to be played for a laugh,” said the up-with-family-values Lieberman. Fox owner Rupert Murdoch no doubt put the dubious award on his trophy shelf right next to the letters of commendation from Larry Flynt and Ron Jeremy.
HONORED President Clinton will cheer the man who he seems to have based his extracurricular life on: Original James Bond Sean Connery. The actor will receive the esteemed Kennedy Center Honor this year, along with Stevie Wonder, Jason Robards, Victor Borge, and Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater leader Judith Jamison. The applause-a-thon will be televised on Dec. 5.
STILL PRODUCING Tupac Shakur continues to be the hardest working dead man in show business. A book of poetry that he wrote when he was 19, ”The Rose That Grew From Concrete,” will be published this fall, with all of his poems printed in his original handwriting. His sixth-grade book report on ”A Separate Peace” should be in stores by next Christmas.
SPIN-OFF Denzel Washington’s 1995 movie ”Devil in a Blue Dress”, based on the book by Walter Mosley, is being turned into a one-hour drama series for ABC next season, albeit without Washington. The show will follow the adventures of detective Easy Rawlins as he fights crime and racism in 1940s L.A.
BIG SALE The guitar that John Lennon was allegedly playing when he met Paul McCartney in 1957 was auctioned off for $225,100 at Sotheby’s on Tuesday. The undisclosed victor in the bidding war paid $64,000 more than the auction house expected to get. Meanwhile, the price of the drum Ringo Starr was playing the day he approved the script for ”Caveman” continues to hold at $32.75.
CLEARED Motley Cruer Nikki Sixx will not be prosecuted for his recent arrest in Las Vegas, according to the Associated Press. Sixx was hauled in for remarks he made during a 1997 concert, where he told the crowd they should start flipping over cop cars if the police gave them any trouble. But a judge said that even though the comments were offensive (but, oooh, very rock ‘n roll!), they were protected by the First Amendment.
BIRTH Oasis frontman Liam Gallagher and actress Patsy Kensit have had their first child together: Lennon (named after Beatle John) was born one month early, on Tuesday, and immediately upon delivery tendered his resignation from Oasis.
ON THE BEAT Sarah Ferguson (or Fergie, as she’s known in the British annals of scandal) has been hired by the ”Today” show as a London correspondent. The former Duchess of York will contribute one story a month about human-interest stories, most likely on a wider range of topics than just ”Why the Queen is a Big Fat Doodyhead.”
BOARDING UP Walt Disney World was shut down for the first time in history in anticipation of Hurricane Floyd. Although the rides, shops, and restaurants were closed yesterday and today, hotels remained open, to accommodate the many Florida coastal residents who were fleeing inland.
OBITUARIES Charles Crichton, who directed ”A Fish Called Wanda,” died in London after a short illness at the age of 89. Crichton had directed a string of Ealing comedies in England during the 1940s, 50s, and 60s, including ”The Lavender Hill Mob,” and was called out of retirement by John Cleese for ”Wanda,” which garnered him an Academy Award nomination in 1989…. Harry Crane, who cocreated ”The Honeymooners” with Jackie Gleason, died of cancer on Tuesday at 85. Crane had also been a writer for such classic comics as Red Skelton and the Marx Brothers, and was the grandfather of actresses Melissa and Sara Gilbert.