Plus: Congress grills baseball stars, Carson's mic up for sale, and more

By Stephen M. Silverman
March 18, 2005 08:00 AM

CAST: Tara Reid plans to get dramatic in a FOX pilot called Hitched, about a brother and sister (Mark-Paul Gosselaar and Leslie Bibb) who run a drive-though Las Vegas wedding chapel. Reid, who starred in the movie American Pie and shows up on NBC’s Scrubs, will play the siblings’ new business partner, says the Hollywood Reporter. … In other TV news, Cybill Emmy winner Christine Baranski will play the main character’s adoptive mother in the ABC pilot Adopted, the trade paper also reports.

TESTIFIED: On what he said was the advice of his lawyers, baseball champ Mark McGwire, 41, repeatedly told Congress “I’m not here to talk about the past” on Thursday, as he spoke to a House committee investigating steroid use in the Major Leagues. His appearance comes three years after his retirement and two years before his eligibility to be inducted in the Baseball Hall of Fame. Others who testified were players Sammy Sosa, Jose Canseco, Rafael Palmeiro and Curt Schilling, who were all asked if they considered using steroids to be cheating. All answered in the affirmative, except for McGwire, who said: “That’s not for me to determine.” As for whether proven steroid use should cause a player to lose his record standing, the five were indecisive, except for Schilling, who replied: “Absolutely not.”

OBSERVED: Michael Jackson’s housekeeper from 1991-2003, Kiki Fournier, testified at his molestation trial on Thursday that she called his Neverland ranch “Pinocchio’s Pleasure Island” because children were allowed to run wild without adult supervision, AP reports. Fournier also said under oath that on several occasions she saw children who appeared to be intoxicated, and that many young guests became rowdy and unruly. She said they included Jackson’s accuser and his brother, who trashed their living quarters toward the end of their stay. Fournier named nine boys between the ages of 10 and 14, including Macaulay Culkin, who became close friends of Jackson and spent time at the ranch during her tenure.

OFFERED: A microphone that sat on late TV host Johnny Carson’s Tonight Show desk in the 1960s and ’70s will be auctioned off by Heritage Galleries in Dallas come April. As of yet, says a press release, no estimate has been given. “I think the thing should start around $20,000,” says auctions director Doug Norwine. “But it could hit six figures.” The object still has the words “Johnny’s mic… not Ed’s … not Fred’s” on a label – a reference to Carson’s cohost Ed McMahon and producer Fred de Cordova.

SIGNED: Buffy the Vampire Slayer creator Joss Whedon will write and direct the Wonder Woman movie, say trade reports. Lynda Carter donned the red and gold costume to play the DC Comics character in the 1970s TV series. No one has yet be named to star in the big-screen version. In a statement, Whedon said: “In a way, no one has met her yet. … What I love most about icons is finding out what’s behind them, exploring the price of their power.”

REVISITED: Oscar-winning Mary Poppins star Julie Andrews, 69, caught the hit London stage version of her classic 1964 film at a charity performance on Thursday, reports the BBC. Laura Michelle Kelly, 23, who plays the magical flying nanny on stage, said she was “very nervous” about meeting Andrews, because she is “my absolute hero.” Also noteworthy: the new Poppins, which is due to come to New York next year, is currently playing at the Prince Edward Theatre, where Andrews had her first starring role – in a performance of Humpty Dumpty in 1948.