Plus: Stern to stay with Infinity, Billy Crystal a stage hit, and more

By Stephen M. Silverman
December 08, 2004 08:00 AM

CAST: Colin Farrell will make his U.S. primetime TV debut in an episode of the NBC sitcom Scrubs scheduled to air Jan. 25, reports Variety. His role will be that of Billy Callahan, an unruly Irishman. Farrell, who currently stars in Oliver Stone’s Alexander, which is tanking at the box office, is pals with series star Zach Braff, the trade paper says. Farrell, 28, just completed movie director Terrence Malick’s The New World.

DEMANDED: Viacom Inc.’s Infinity unit expects its renegade radio host Howard Stern to abide by the terms of his contract and remain with them through the end of next year when his contract expires – despite Stern’s saying in October that he would jump to Sirius Satellite Radio Inc. earlier than January 2006. “We are counting on Howard being on the air, but we are feverishly looking for someone to replace him,” said Infinity’s president and chief operating officer Joel Hollander at a media conference, adding: “If you were to give me a check for $100 million, I’ll let him go tomorrow.” A Sirius spokesman declined comment to Reuters, while Stern uncharacteristically has yet to chime in.

EARNED: Billy Crystal, 57, is a smash on Broadway. On Monday, the day after its opening (to rave reviews, except in The Washington Post, which didn’t like the sentimental portion), his autobiographical one-man show, 700 Sundays, took in $600,000 at the box office, pushing the advance to more than $8 million, the Associated Press reports. The show is all but sold out, although some seats still are available for select dates in January and February, Michael Hartman, a spokesman for the show, said Tuesday.

DISMISSED: Charges were dismissed for the second time against actress Robin Givens, 40, who was ticketed for running over an elderly pedestrian’s leg. County Court Judge Steven Leifman dismissed the case on Monday because the Miami police officers who were present in court did not witness the accident and could not testify to the cause of the accident.

SLATED: Osirus, a new album of Ol’ Dirty Bastard material recorded during the six months before his Nov. 13 death, is set to hit stores Jan. 4, reports The 15-track CD, named for one of the late rapper’s aliases, will be the debut release from JC Records, the label formed after ODB’s death by his mother Cherry Jones and manager Jarred Weisfeld, who presented the possibility of future ODB CD and DVD releases, saying in a statement: “Dirty’s legacy will continue.”

DIED: Emmy-winning producer William Sackheim, 84, whose ’60s shows (with star Sally Field) included Gidget and The Flying Nun, died of a degenerative brain disease Wednesday at his home in Beverly Hills, his family said. Sackheim also co-wrote the first “Rambo” movie. … Jay Van Andel, 80, a co-founder of Amway who began with a basement soap-selling business and ended up with a $6 billion global company that helped him contribute millions of dollars to conservative political causes, died of natural causes Monday in Ada, Mich., a family spokesman said.