- - Thursday, March 1, 2012

Nicollette Sheridan should receive $6 million for her character being killed off “Desperate Housewives” after the show’s creator slapped her, her attorney said Wednesday as a defense lawyer argued that her on-screen demise was a natural part of television.

The dueling characterizations of a dispute between Miss Sheridan and “Housewives” creator and executive producer Marc Cherry were presented to jurors in opening remarks of a case that will offer glimpses into the behind-the-scenes maneuvers of a hit TV show.

Miss Sheridan, 48, was scheduled to be the trial’s first witness Thursday. Her wrongful-termination and battery trial centers on whether her complaints about Mr. Cherry’s slap — described by her attorney as a hard whack and by a defense lawyer as a tap meant to give artistic direction — led to her character, Edie Britt’s, violent demise and the loss of her $175,000-an-episode job.

Mark Baute, Miss Sheridan’s attorney, claims her character was killed off only after ABC, which airs the series, cleared Mr. Cherry of wrongdoing. He told jurors that determination was made after a sham investigation and the plotline was hastily planned.

Mr. Cherry and ABC have denied all wrongdoing. Adam Levin, who represents Mr. Cherry and ABC, said he would present evidence that the decision to kill off Miss Sheridan’s character came months before the on-set dispute and was made after consulting the highest ranks of the network’s management.

Bristol Palin reality show to air on Lifetime this year

Bristol Palin’s home life in Alaska is the subject of a reality series starring the daughter of former vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin.

Lifetime said it will air 10 episodes of “Bristol Palin: Life’s a Tripp” later this year. The series will explore the pressures of raising her toddler son, Tripp, as she maintains her close relationship with the larger Palin clan, the network said.

The former first daughter of Alaska, Miss Palin became one of the nation’s most prominent single mothers after the 2008 birth of Tripp. Last summer, a reality series built around her was announced by the Bio Channel but never aired.

In 2010, Miss Palin was a competitor on ABC’s “Dancing With the Stars.” Last June she published a best-selling memoir.

Two ‘Idol’ semifinalists perform same Adele song

There wasn’t only one performance of Adele’s “One and Only” on “American Idol.”

Elise Testone, the soulful 28-year-old teacher from Charleston, S.C., and Jen Hirsh, the soaring 25-year-old singer from Agoura Hills, Calif., both tackled the same jazzy tune during Wednesday’s performances from the top 12 female semifinalists on the Fox singing contest — and both were lauded by the judges for their take on the Grammy darling.

Miss Hirsh was the first to perform “One and Only,” compelling judge Randy Jackson to note that she was “one of the greatest singers in the competition this year.” Miss Testone was seated behind a piano when she closed the show with her rendition, prompting Mr. Jackson to repeat himself. He told Miss Testone she has “one of the best voices in the competition.”

Several other contestants also felt the love from the panel, including 26-year-old disc jockey Erika Van Pelt of South Kingstown, R.I., with Heart’s “What About Love,” 18-year-old Hollie Cavanagh of McKinney, Texas, with Christina Aguilera’s “Reflection,” and 16-year-old shopaholic Jessica Sanchez of San Diego with “Love You I Do” from “Dreamgirls.”

Brielle Von Hugel, a 17-year-old cheerleader from New York, impressed the judges with a compelling “(Sittin’ on) the Dock of the Bay” by Otis Redding, but other contestants surprised the panel for the wrong reasons: Mr. Jackson wasn’t a fan of 23-year-old Haley Johnsen’s version of the Eurythmics’ “Sweet Dreams.”

“It was a bit of a nightmare for me instead of a dream,” Mr. Jackson told the barista from Beaverton, Ore.

The top 25 semifinalists, including the 13 men who performed Tuesday, were all to learn Thursday if they had received enough votes to be among the viewer-selected top 10 contestants or one of the three “wild card” finalists picked by the show’s judges. The 13 singers will take to the stage next week for the first round of the finals of season 11.

Compiled from Web and wire service reports.

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