NEWSMAKERS: Rick Schroder, Thirtysomething

It happens to the best of us. Rick Schroder is 30 today. Yes, the “NYPD Blue” leading man — formerly the “Silver Spoons” kid and “Lonesome Dove” cowboy — enters the aged ranks of the young middle-aged today. Schroder was born April 13, 1970, in New York.

We don’t really have much else to say on the topic. We just thought it was kinda interesting.

UNSEXY SEX SCANDAL! An Arizona man was busted by the feds today on allegations he tried to extort more than $250,000 from “Family Feud” funnyman Louie Anderson in a bid to buy his silence about a reputed sexual overture issued by the burly comic.

TIMING IS EVERYTHING: In Los Angeles, a judge has dismissed a lawsuit filed by formerly acclaimed filmmaker Francis Ford Coppola over the Carl Sagan book turned movie “Contact.” Coppola said the late Sagan stole the idea for his sci-fi story in the mid-1980s. The judge said Coppola, in filing in 1994, waited too long to complain.

FOR THOSE WITH REALLY GOOD CABLE: The elusive Marlon Brando has taped a commercial for a telecommunications company to debut this weekend in Italy.

A LEG UP: In Britain, Paul McCartney‘s one-legged girlfriend, Heather Mills, has been awarded more than $361,000 in damages for a 1993 motorcycle accident that left her one-legged.

NOW HEAR THIS: Set to debut on toy shelves next week, an all-new Barbie dubbed “Sign Language Barbie.”

CZECH MATE: For those of you planning to catch a Friday night screening of “American Psycho” in the Czech Republic, you’re screwed. The local distributor there has decided to pass on the R-rated flick on account of it seems to be a tad on the morally repugnant side.