Cheap Trick, N.W.A., Chicago, Steve Miller and Deep Purple will join the pantheon of inductees to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 31st annual ceremonies April 8 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn.

The Hall of Fame's voters mostly played it safe with 1970s rock standbys, even though several of them — Cheap Trick, Chicago and Miller — were being nominated for the first time. Among those who did not make the cut are Chic, which has now been turned down for a record 10th time; alternative rock heroes Nine Inch Nails and the Smiths, and Janet Jackson.

The other rejected nominees this year are Chaka Khan; the J.B.'s, one of James Brown's classic backing bands; Los Lobos; the Spinners, and Yes, the progressive-rock stars whose absence from the hall has long rankled fans.

The music world has been closely watching the results of the secretive rock hall process after the organization this year dismissed a large contingent of its influential nominating committee and, according to reports, made an effort to expand its membership with younger voters and more women. But that process has yet to yield any radical changes.

Maher, O'Reilly have common link

The PBS series "Finding Your Roots" has discovered that political TV's polar opposite Bills — Maher and O'Reilly — are distant cousins. The revelation shocks the men as it seems to tickle the show's host, Harvard University professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. In the third season, which begins Jan. 5, O'Reilly, the pugnacious Fox News Channel host, is shown with a book of his ancestry. He turns a page to see a picture of Maher, the liberal host of HBO's "Real Time." "Oh, geez," he said. "You're going to have to put him on 24-hour medical watch. This ruins his career. This destroys him." Maher is more measured about the connection, saying, "It just shows you what a great place America is." Both men share a common male ancestor from Kingdom of Breifne in Ireland, which was in place from the 13th through the 17th centuries, said CeCe Moore, the show's DNA consultant.

the next icon: Having already played Jackie Robinson and James Brown, Chadwick Boseman will tackle another icon in a courtroom thriller about Thurgood Marshall. Producers said Boseman will star as the legendary attorney in "Marshall," a film to be directed by "Django Unchained" producer Reginald Hudlin. The film focuses on a case early in the career of the Supreme Court justice.

winding down: Puff Daddy is close to the finish line as a recording artist. But first the performer wants to go out with a bang by rereleasing his well-received mixtape, "MMM (Money Making Mitch)," on iTunes on Friday. The mixtape, initially released Nov. 4, serves as the prequel to "No Way Out 2," his final album to be released next year. After his recording career is done, Sean Combs said he plans to travel and spend more time with his six children while plotting his next steps.

pleads guilty: The lead singer of the Irish rock band The Cranberries, Dolores O'Riordan, has pleaded guilty to assaulting three policemen and a flight attendant during an alleged psychotic episode last year. O'Riordan's lawyer said she accepted evidence of the assault and obstruction charges facing her. Judge Patrick Durcan ordered the singer to write letters of apology to those she attacked. Durcan said he would sentence her next year. She faces possible penalties ranging from a cash fine to six months' imprisonment.

News services