Cher, Jodie Foster, and Laura Dern made headlines this week

When ABC begins production of its adaptation of Scott Turow’s second novel, The Burden of Proof, this fall, Raul Julia won’t reprise his role as Sandy Stern, the elegant defense attorney he played in last year’s Presumed Innocent. Julia was tied up with a tour of Man of La Mancha, so Hector Elizondo will star in the four-hour miniseries alongside Brian Dennehy, Mel Harris, Stefanie Powers, and Victoria Principal

Another ABC miniseries is taking longer than expected to reach the screen: The Jackson Five has been postponed until next season because of trouble finding a family-approved script.

Cher, a big fan of the reality-based drama Cops, recently called its crew and requested a few tapes of the show — to work out with, a Fox insider says. ”We tried to send her shows that were fast and action-oriented,” reveals the source. ”We sent her a real cross section of tapes, from car chases to drug busts to crowd control.” Also included in the mailing: a tape of ”Bad Boys,” the theme song performed by Inner Circle.

In one of the quickest crash publications the industry has ever seen, copies of Milwaukee Massacre: Jeffrey Dahmer and the Milwaukee Murders are in bookstores less than two weeks after a manuscript was finished. Dell signed AP reporters Robert J. Dvorchak and Lisa Holewa seven days after Dahmer was arrested July 23. The book, complete with an eight-page photo section, is ”very gruesome,” says editor Leslie Schnur. ”Bob Dvorchak had to lock his apartment door while he was writing it because it was so creepy and grisly.”

Jodie Foster as Jean Seberg? A biopic about one of Hollywood’s most tragic casualties is being prepared for the Oscar-winning actress, who debuts as a director next month with Little Man Tate. Seberg was the teen who won a talent search to play Joan of Arc in a 1957 Hollywood film, but her celebrity led to self-destruction. She died of a drug overdose in 1979, at 40. Can Foster, 28, convincingly play the radiant ’50s innocent? ”I think you’d be underestimating Jodie,” says a source, ”if you think she couldn’t pull it off.”

Laura Dern waited five years to act in Rambling Rose (Calder Willingham’s ribald saga of an oversexed Georgia teen in the 1930s) due to its controversial nature, but she won’t be waiting that long for her next role. ”I’m doing an HBO movie this fall, Afterburn, about a girl whose husband dies in an F-16 fighter plane,” she says. ”Then next summer, I’m going to star in James L. Brooks’ new film,” which should make Dern the envy of every young actress in Hollywood, given Brooks’ penchant for great women’s roles: Shirley MacLaine’s Oscar-winning performance in 1983’s Terms of Endearment and nominations for Debra Winger (Terms) and Holly Hunter in Broadcast News (1987).

Written by: Mark Harris, Tina Jordan, Stephen Schaefer