FROM THE NEWS DESK: Was Eddie’s Ferrari Smash-Up A Hoax? (March 28th)

By George Larrimore and McKay Heim

BRIGHTON NOT MALIBU: Heather Mills is definitely winning over a lot of people on “Dancing With The Stars,” hoofing on her one natural leg. She can’t take all the credit but ABC brags that the ratings are up from a year ago.So this morning one of the New York Papers reported she was looking for a place in Malibu Colony, so she could actively pursue a Hollywood career. It’s not happening.While Heather is pursuing other options in Los Angeles “Heather is never moving here, as long as Beatrice (Heather’s daughter with Paul McCartney) is in school,” her spokesperson told us today.And she also said Heather will go to England in April to visit her daughter, even if she’s still on “Dancing With The Stars.”

REAL WRECK: We talked with Eddie Griffin today and got to the straight story about whether that wreck he was in was real or staged. You’ve probably seen the crash vid on the Internet: Eddie behind the wheel of a $1.2 million Ferrari, when suddenly he goes straight through a turn and into a concrete barrier, with several cameras rolling. The hood was bashed in but he was not seriously hurt. He told us today it’s ridiculous that people would think it was set up or staged. He says he has bumps (including one on top of his head) and bruises to prove it was an accident. This happened while he was promoting the movie “Redline” (opening in April) so a lot of people thought it was a wee bit too much of a coincidence. But think about it this way: Hollywood is as conservative as a bank. They’re not about to put an actor in a position to get hurt if they can help it. There’s too much money at stake.

IDOLATRY: So who says Sanjaya (so far, this season’s Idol surprise) has no real talent? A lot of people are saying he can’t sing, but look who we’re talking about today.He’s young and cute with a huge smile, and he knows how to generate Buzz. Last night he went on stage in that hideous hair-do they’re calling a Faux Hawk and made us all but overlook his voice.We talked with the guy who did the do and he said “50% will love it, 50% will hate it, but nobody will every forget it.” Couldn’t have written it better if I was his publicist.

GOOD TV: In Discovery Channel’s ambitious new series “Planet Earth” you really can see it all up there on the screen.The series of dramatic moments captured around the globe cost a reported $1,000,000 an episode. Big, big money for cable. We’re told today it’s being seen by six million people a night, the highest numbers for Discovery since November of ‘05.

POLITICAL JABS: We can’t wait to see ‘What We Call News,’ the latest offering from Web video producers Jib Jab. The news spoof, first being played at the White House Correspondents Association dinner tonight, will be available for download later today.

CATCH AND RELEASE: The best Press Release today is for Dr. Gary Greenlee, of Potosi, Mo. outside of Kansas City. The release says he has “moved his second career as a Christian and gospel singer into overdrive” with the the national debut of his CD and DVD. But the headline says it all; “Doctor’s singing career gets booster shot..“Dr. Gary is a chiropractor and might be willing to break into song while he’s giving you an adjustment.

Takes all kinds of ingredients to make a News Stew. . . send us yours at McGeorge.news@nbcuni.com

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