LOS ANGELES – Nicollette Sheridan was not wrongfully fired from TV’s “Desperate Housewives,” an appeals court ruled Thursday, but the actress should be allowed to pursue claims that she was retaliated against for complaining that the show’s creator struck her.

A three-justice panel of the 2nd District Court of Appeal agreed with attorneys for ABC and Touchstone Television that Sheridan left the show when her contract was not renewed after the show’s fifth season, and that barred the actress from receiving a new trial of her wrongful termination lawsuit.

“Sheridan cannot pursue a cause of action for wrongful termination in violation of public policy because, contrary to what she claims, she was not fired, discharged or terminated,” the court wrote in a 10-page ruling.

The court, however, ruled that Sheridan should be allowed to file an amended lawsuit claiming retaliation, although her damages would be limited to her salary losses.

Adam Levin, an attorney for ABC and Touchstone, wrote in an email that he expects the companies would win again if Sheridan kept pursuing the case. Sheridan’s attorney Mark Baute did not return a phone message seeking comment.

The ruling was the latest twist in Sheridan’s case, which was first filed in April 2010. She later claimed she was fired after complaining that series creator Marc Cherry struck her in the head during an on-set argument.

Simmons stashing his ‘Family Jewels’

NEW YORK – The A&E Network is kissing Gene Simmons and his family goodbye.

The network and the Kiss guitarist said that the “Gene Simmons Family Jewels” reality show is ending after seven seasons. Once one of the network’s top-rated shows, it has faded over time.

Simmons said that with Kiss on tour and his other business commitments, he and his family have decided to move on from the show. It depicted his out-of-makeup life with his colorful family.

A&E said it thanked Simmons and his family for opening up their lives, warts and all.

Swimmer dives into first acting gig

LOS ANGELES – Olympic champion Ryan Lochte put his toe in the acting pool for a cameo appearance on the CW drama series “90210.”

The swimmer says it was his first acting gig and he was “really nervous” because he “didn’t want to mess it up.”

He says “everyone was really nice. They helped me out,” adding: “Hopefully, I killed it through the end.”

Lochte won five medals, including two gold medals, in swimming events at the London Olympics.

The “90210” episode with Lochte will air at 9 p.m. Oct. 29. The show’s producers say there’s no water involved in the scene, adding that Lochte “deserves a little rest on dry land.”

Downey injured on ‘Iron Man 3’ set

LOS ANGELES – Production on “Iron Man 3” is on hold after star Robert Downey Jr. hurt his foot during filming.

Marvel Studios said Thursday that Downey was injured while performing a stunt and “there will be a short delay in production while he recuperates.” The 47-year-old actor is shooting the third installment in the superhero franchise in North Carolina.

“Iron Man 3” is set for release next summer. Downey plays billionaire playboy Tony Stark. Gwyneth Paltrow is his love, Pepper Potts. Guy Pearce and Ben Kingsley also star.

– From news service reports