TV NEWS The nearly 3.5 million homes that were unable to watch last night’s much anticipated celebrity edition of ”Who Wants to Be a Millionaire,” (as well as ABC’s other programming) have reason to rejoice today. Time Warner (EW.com’s parent company) and Disney (ABC’s parent company) have reached an agreement that puts ”Millionaire,” ”NYPD Blue,” and all the network’s other shows back on the cable system — at least until July 15, according to Reuters. Time Warner Cable Chairman Joseph Collins said: ”We are pleased that Disney accepted our offer quickly and agreed to keep ABC on our cable systems while we continue to negotiate the terms of a long-term agreement.” In a statement that aired when its signal returned to screens, ABC said: ”We’re gratified that Time Warner is now making the viewers their first priority. We’ve been dismayed that they would place their own customers in the middle of a business negotiation.” The problem started because Time Warner and Disney couldn’t come to terms on how much Time Warner should pay for Disney’s cable channels, which include the Disney channel and the Soap channel…. Barbara Walters has yet to respond to yesterday’s Los Angeles Times report that she will step down as anchor of ”20/20 Friday” when her contract expires in the fall. Of course, if Time Warner and Disney don’t resolve their conflict, a few million people won’t even notice.
CHARGED Richard Hatch, 39, a contestant from the CBS reality show ”Survivor” was charged with child abuse, according to the Associated Press, for allegedly forcing his 9-year-old son to go jogging at 4:30 a.m. and then beating the child when he got tired and stopped. Hatch, who is one of ”Survivor”’s 16 castaways on a remote island vying for a $1 million prize, is free on $10,000 personal recognizance. The game show begins airing May 31.
CASTING Cameron Diaz will join Leonardo DiCaprio in director Martin Scorsese‘s ”Gangs of New York.” We imagine these mean streets will be a breeze for Diaz after spending time on the ”Charlie’s Angels” set.
SUMMER LOVIN Fox will bring back Jennifer Love Hewitt‘s low-rated ”Time of Your Life” this summer, beginning June 14. The show was pulled from the network’s schedule earlier in the year with about half of its original episodes unaired…. HBO has signed actor/director Peter Berg to a two-year development deal. Berg’s most recent series, ”Wonderland,” was canceled by ABC after two episodes.
SHORT MAN RUNNING According to the Fox News Channel, former ”Diff’rent Strokes” star Gary Coleman, 32, intends to seek a California Senate seat. Just when we thought the former child actor might finally turn his life around….
LAWSUITS Neil Young is being sued for $ 1.8 million by former Village Voice writer Jimmy McDonough, who was working on an authorized biography of Young. McDonough claims that Young withdrew his support from the project.
OBITUARY Vicki Sue Robinson, 46, best known for her 1976 disco hit ”Turn the Beat Around,” died of cancer last Thursday.