News, Dec. 8: Marriages Made in Heaven? For Paltrow, Maybe; for Bachelorette Trista, Definitely; and for Peter Jackson and “The Hobbit,” Hopefully. More…

Top Story: Paltrow and Martin Apply for Marriage License

Looks like wedding bells may soon ring for Coldplay front man Chris Martin and actress Gwyneth Paltrow, who is expecting the couple’s first child this summer, The Associated Press reports. The couple applied for a marriage license in Santa Barbara County, Entertainment Tonight reported Friday, while Mary Rose Bryson, a supervisor in the county recorder division, told AP the couple hadn’t requested a public marriage license; however, she did say some licenses are granted confidentially and must be used in Santa Barbara County within 90 days. Paltrow has been dating the British singer for a year and both have been reticent about publicly discussing their relationship.

Affiliates Refused To Show Sharpton’s SNL Stint

Several NBC affiliates did not carry last weekend’s Saturday Night Live hosted by Democratic presidential candidate Al Sharpton for fear it would fall under the federal “equal time” provision and compel them to offer airtime to the eight other Democrats running for president, AP reports. NBC told AP 23 of its 230 affiliated stations had said they were considering not running SNL. The network did not have a final count Sunday on how many stations did not air it.

Jackson Considering Hobbit

At the European premiere in Berlin of his third and final installment The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, director Peter Jackson said he’d like to direct The Hobbit, J.R.R. Tolkien’s prequel to the Rings trilogy set 50 years earlier, Reuters reports. If he could resolve the complex rights issues, Jackson told reporters, “I’d be interested in doing it because I think it would give continuity to the overall chapter.” While many of the lead Rings characters do not appear in The Hobbit story, the wizard Gandalf, played by Ian McKellen, and Gollum, the cave dweller corrupted by the powerful ring, do and should, Jackson said.

“Godfather of Soul” Honored

The Kennedy Center Honors paid tribute to R&B icon James Brown Sunday, AP reports, where rapper LL Cool J said Brown “broke down mental and social barriers and made it possible for me, a black kid from Queens, to stand in front of presidents and say, ‘Say it loud, I’m black and I’m proud.'” The Kennedy Center also honored country singer Loretta Lynn, violinist Itzhak Perlman, comedian Carol Burnett and director Mike Nichols.

Winfrey and Late Show Don’t Mix

Oprah Winfrey won’t be making an appearance on the Late Show With David Letterman any time soon. AP reports for its Dec. 15 issue, Winfrey told Time magazine, “Both times I was sort of like the butt of his jokes. I felt completely uncomfortable sitting in that chair, and I vowed I would not ever put myself in that position again.” Letterman has made several references to Winfrey on his show, especially in his desire to be a guest on her daytime program.

Bachelorette No More

Trista Rehn, star of ABC’s reality program The Bachelorette, finally wed her man Ryan Sutter Saturday in a million-dollar wedding near Palm Springs, Calif., Reuters reports. The couple exchanged vows in front of television cameras and 300 guests, including some of the bride’s former suitors from The Bachelorette. ABC will air the two-hour wedding special on Dec. 10.

Ozzy Blames Pills for Being Spaced Out

Rock star and MTV icon Ozzy Osbourne says he was “wiped out” on prescription medications during his dazed performances on his MTV reality show and in public. Osbourne told the Los Angeles Times he took as many as 42 pills a day, including Valium, while being treated by a Beverly Hills doctor. “I was wiped out on pills,” Osbourne told the newspaper. “I couldn’t talk. I couldn’t walk. I could barely stand up. I was lumbering about like the Hunchback of Notre Dame. It got to the point where I was scared to close my eyes at night afraid I might not wake up.” Osbourne and wife Sharon said they fired the doctor in August after paying $650,000 in medical bills since June 2002, Reuters reports.

Movie Piracy Becomes Law

You’ll be officially breaking the law in California if you sneak a camcorder into a movie theater. AP reports the new law, which takes effect Jan. 1, will allow moviegoers to make a citizen’s arrest if they see someone in a theater with a recording device. Signs will also be posted at all Los Angeles County theaters notifying patrons of the new law. People convicted under the law could be subject to a maximum one year in jail and a fine of $2,500, AP reports.

Role Call: Sandler Clicks on Next Comedy

Adam Sandler has signed on to do Click, a comedy for Columbia Pictures/Revolution Studios. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the film centers on a workaholic architect who finds a universal remote that allows him to fast-forward and rewind to different parts of his life. Complications arise when the remote starts to make the decisions for him.