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''NYPD Blue'' will keep its Tuesday-night time slot

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Dennis Franz, Rick Schroder, ...
Frank Ockenfels

‘BLUE’ ALERT First the good news: ”NYPD Blue” will keep its Tuesdays-at-10 time slot after all. But ABC will not air Steven Bochco’s cop drama until January. Instead of broadcasting the Emmy-winning show’s premiere on Nov. 7 as originally scheduled, ABC wants to give rookie drama ”Once and Again” an extra 10 weeks to solidify its ratings. Bochco — who has accused ABC of favoring ”Once and Again” because it’s owned by the network’s sister company Touchstone Television — said in a conference call: ”ABC is robbing Peter to pay Paul, and unfortunately I’m Peter.”

SPLITSVILLE The ”King of All Media” Howard Stern, who used to proclaim on nearly every radio show that despite his raunchy antics he was a monogamous, loving husband, is separating from his wife of 21 years, Alison. A family spokesman announced that the Sterns’ breakup is amicable. Perhaps Alison finally got sick of Stern complaining to his listeners about his sex life and inviting a barrage of porn stars and big-breasted strippers to visit him at the station.

CONCERT NEWS Oasis plan to answer some U.S. Christmas wishes, by playing a series of concerts and benefit shows here this December. So far, only one concert is confirmed, a radio-sponsored gig at Philadelphia’s First Union Center on Dec. 3 (other performers include the Foo Fighters, Beck, and Moby). But MTV reports that the Brit band will play at least five other shows in Boston, Chicago, New York, and Los Angeles, although dates and places have not been finalized. And in case you’re wondering, yes, there will be at least one guitarist present: The Gallagher brothers have recruited Gem, from Heavy Stereo, to replace Paul Arthurs, who recently left the band.

Y2K PARTY MTV has announced it will host an airborne millennial celebration dubbed Fly 2K. The music network is commissioning a custom-equipped airplane to take 10 contest winners on an overseas trip with Goo Goo Dolls and 98 Degrees. The party starts Dec. 20, when the plane will head to Cairo, then Rome, Paris, London, and finally New York City, in time for MTV’s official New Year’s Eve party in front of its Times Square studio.

DEATH WATCH Due to sagging Nielsen ratings, the following new TV shows are close to cancellation: Fox’s ”Action” and ”Ryan Caulfield, Year One”; NBC’s ”Cold Feet”; ABC’s Kevin Williamson drama, ”Wasteland”; and CBS’s ”Love & Money.”

JUDAS ON FILM Four years after directing the Oscar-nominated story of an inspirational music teacher (”Mr. Holland’s Opus”), Stephen Herek will helm another musicial story — this time about… Judas Priest. Variety reports that Herek has agreed to direct ”Metal God,” a feature based on the story of Ripper Owens, the frontman for a Judas Priest cover band who was chosen to replace original Priest singer, Rob Halford. And who’s developing the heavy-metal rags-to-riches film? George Clooney‘s Maysville Productions, with ”Three Kings” pal Mark Wahlberg as a contender for the lead role.

CASTING Sarah Polley (”Go”) will coproduce and star in the independent Canadian film ”A Wilderness Station.” Anne Wheeler (”Better Than Chocolate”) will direct the low-budget feature, which is based on a short mystery by Canadian author Alice Munro.

SWEET DEAL Norm Macdonald was right. Germans DO love David Hasselhoff. Kaleidoscope Media and its German partners have green-lit 22 episodes of the ”Baywatch” king’s new hour-long action-drama, ”AKA Picasso.” Thanks to Hasselhoff’s phenomenal following in Europe, the show –which is about an infamous art forger who joins a covert government agency that fights the international trade of stolen and forged art — grabbed ”record” license fees from foreign distributors, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

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