Clooney, MTV lead Haiti TV benefit

Networks to rally for Haiti

Spurred by actor George Clooney and MTV, 11 broadcast and cable television networks have signed on to air a two-hour telethon Friday that will benefit the earthquake victims in Haiti.

“Hope for Haiti,” presented by MTV Networks, will air commercial-free at 8 p.m. on ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox, CNN, BET, the CW, HBO, MTV, VH1 and CMT.

The event, which will raise money for five relief organizations working in the ravaged country, will be hosted by Clooney in Los Angeles, singer Wyclef Jean in New York and CNN anchor Anderson Cooper in Haiti. The effort is similar to a telethon held in 2005 to assist victims of the deadly Southeast Asia tsunami.

-- Matea Gold

Polanski prevails in privacy claim

Film director Roman Polanski, fighting extradition to the United States, won his claim against a French newspaper for violating his family’s right to privacy with photos taken after he was released from jail to stay at his home in Gstaad, Switzerland.

The newspaper, Le Parisien, was ordered Friday by a judge in Paris to pay Polanski and his wife $6,473 in damages. The newspaper had said during a hearing last week that the photos were justified as illustrations of a newsworthy event, namely the start of his house arrest.

The court ordered Le Parisien to publish a statement on the ruling within two weeks, saying the article on his return home “did not justify the publication, without authorization, of a photograph of Emmanuelle Seigner, wife of Polanski, taken while she found herself to be inside her home, near a window, nor that of the couple’s son, age 11, while on the family property.”

-- bloomberg news

‘Idol’ spot leads to a new stage

He won’t be the next American Idol, but the show’s hardly over for “General” Larry Platt.

The 63-year-old civil rights veteran has become an Internet sensation after being seen Wednesday night performing his original song, “Pants on the Ground,” at an audition for the ninth season of “American Idol.” Within hours, the clip had been clicked and tweeted into one of the Internet’s most popular topics.

Jimmy Fallon reprised a version of the song on his show Thursday night, and Platt is scheduled for an appearance on ABC’s daytime talk show “The View” next week.

Surrounded by plaques recognizing his work in civil rights and photographs of Platt with the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., Congressman John Lewis and others from that era at his home in East Atlanta this week, the e- celebrity seemed dazed by the attention. Platt -- given the nickname “General” for his work during the civil rights era -- said he hoped his message of personal responsibility doesn’t get lost in his popularity.

His message is simple and the lyrics of the song came to him one day after he spotted a young man holding a child, his pants hanging below his waist.

“After all this work I did with Dr. King . . . walking around with your pants on the ground?” Platt said. “They’re going to have to get them up. I’m sorry.”

Platt is still an activist and can frequently be seen in downtown Atlanta holding signs protesting foreclosures, war, violence, racism and “any wicked things that take place.”

-- associated press

CBS news exec heading west

Scott Diener, who has been news director of CBS-owned KTVT-TV and KTXA-TV in Dallas-Fort Worth since 2007, on Monday will join the CBS-owned duopoly of KCBS-TV Channel 2 and KCAL-TV Channel 9 as its vice president and news director, the stations said.

Diener will replace Nancy Bauer Gonzales, who, a spokesman said, “is no longer with the station.” No official reason was given for her departure. Gonzales had headed the stations’ news operations since they were merged in 2002.

Before heading up the Texas stations, Diener, who was born in Los Angeles and grew up in Arcadia, served as news director elsewhere, including KTVK-TV in Phoenix and WCPO-TV in Cincinatti, Ohio.

-- Greg Braxton

Play date on Nickelodeon

Get ready for the tween mother lode.

Dan Schneider, creator of Nickelodeon’s hit comedy “iCarly” and the upcoming performing arts high school series “Victorious,” said a crossover event is in the offing.

“Both casts are very excited about that possibility, so now it’s up to me to come up with something good,” he said.

The last time Miranda Cosgrove, who plays Carly, and “Victorious” star Victoria Justice went head to head -- in the boxing ring for the “iCarly” special event “iFight Shelby Marx” -- 8 million viewers showed up.

“Victorious” premieres March 27.

-- Denise Martin