Happy Mother's Day: "Friends" star Lisa Kudrow gave birth to a 6-pound, 12-ounce boy at an L.A. hospital early Thursday, the same day her NBC series garnered its highest ratings of the season with 31.6 million viewers tuning in for the hourlong season finale (in the episode, Kudrow's character stayed home from a planned London wedding because of her forthcoming baby). The real baby--the first for Kudrow and her husband, advertising executive Michel Stern--is named Julian Murray Stern.
'60 Minutes' Investigation: CBS' "60 Minutes" is investigating whether footage it aired in June about a Colombian drug courier who carried heroin in his stomach was based on made-up information. The report, anchored by Steve Kroft, was based on a British documentary, "The Connection," which London's Guardian newspaper alleged this week was a fake. Kroft will read a statement on Sunday's "60 Minutes" about the investigation, CBS said Friday. Before airing the footage, CBS interviewed the producer and showed the documentary to a federal drug enforcement official, who said he thought it looked real, CBS said.
Ratings Already Stellar: The above-mentioned "Friends" wasn't the only NBC show with impressive ratings Thursday. The penultimate "Seinfeld" was the outgoing series' most watched episode ever, with nearly 39 million viewers turning in.
But Not All Viewers Happy: Manny Mirabal, president of the National Puerto Rican Coalition, on Friday denounced Thursday's episode as "an unconscionable insult against America's Puerto Rican community." Mirabal said the episode--in which the "Seinfeld" characters got stuck in a traffic jam because of the Puerto Rican Day Parade--portrayed the parade "as an event where mob mentality and riots occur" and "used the Puerto Rican flag in a defamatory manner . . . to get laughs." Castle Rock Entertainment, which produces the series, responded Friday by saying: "There was no intention or desire to offend the Puerto Rican community. The episode . . . presented a tapestry of comedic events against the New York City background. The only people presented foolishly, as usual, were the regular 'Seinfeld' characters. If anyone took offense . . . Castle Rock Entertainment does apologize."
The Santa Monica Museum of Art christened its new space at Bergamot Station on Thursday night with a gala fund-raiser featuring performances by Karen Finley and Beck. A crowd of about 700 watched Finley deliver an X-rated fantasy involving her and several conservative political figures, while Beck presented a performance art piece titled "New Age Evisceration I." With accompanying musicians called the Dream Weavers and dressed in '60s hippie attire, Beck delivered an obscure, occasionally comic, text, backed by synthesizers, bass and percussion. He concluded his performance by eviscerating one of his synthesizers with a power saw. . . . The Eagles will be together in full force at Universal Amphitheatre's Tiger Jam '98, with Don Henley, Don Felder and Timothy B. Schmit joining the previously announced Glenn Frey, Joe Walsh, Hootie & the Blowfish and Babyface. The June 8 event benefits the Tiger Woods Foundation, formed by the golfer to promote racial harmony. . . . A two-day sale of 19th century European art at Sotheby's New York auction house set record prices for a dozen artists and yielded a total of almost $22.5 million--the highest ever for a 19th century European paintings sale--Sotheby's said Friday. Among the artists to set records were Alfred Stevens, Edwin Lord Weeks and Maurice Leloir.