A soap opera of a different order is premiering this spring.
The presiding judge in Dr. Conrad Murray's involuntary manslaughter case said today that he is "comfortable" with allowing TV cameras in the court room when Michael Jackson's physician goes on trial next month.
Hooray for Hollywood.
"I need a definite proposal as to what you want to do," Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Michael E. Pastor, who ordered Murray's case to trial several weeks ago, instructed the members of Radio Television News Association of Southern California and reps from truTV (ne Court TV) who gathered to hear his ruling on their motion to allow cameras.
The cameras will not be rolling, however, when jury selection begins March 24--four days earlier than previously scheduled--but they will be permitted for opening statements, testimony, closing statements and the reading of the verdict.
Pastor also ordered Deputy District Attorney David Walgren to hand over his witness list and other discovery items by Friday, and the defense team to follow suit by Feb. 15.
Murray again pleaded not guilty at his Jan. 25 arraignment. to causing Jackson's death by administering a lethal dose of propofol.
"Dr. Murray is looking forward to telling his side of the story," one of his attorneys, Ed Chernoff, said at the time.
Jury selection is expected to take about a week as 50 jurors are called in for questioning at a time, while the trial is expected to last six to eight weeks.
--Reporting by Claudia Rosenbaum