Y, Me Worry?
The year 2000 goes off without a hitch — no major Y2K-related computer problems are reported. Dejected doomsayers take a ”wait till next year” approach.
Ted’s Fonda Farewell
Ted Turner and Jane Fonda call it quits after eight years of marriage. Looks like somebody didn’t consider the restoration of Barbarella a top priority.
Upon The High Seeds
Just as we’d been helplessly hoping, David Crosby is revealed to be the father of the brood (Bailey and Beckett, then 3 and 1) belonging to Melissa Etheridge and Julie Cypher.
Dunce In A Lifetime Opportunity
Contestant Brian Fodera pulls a Bill Buckner on Who Wants to Be a Millionaire’s $100 question. Rosie O’Donnell (see Feb. 8) isn’t on hand to tell him Jack Horner pulled a plum — not a blackbird — out of his pie.
The Globe Sessions
At the 57th Annual Golden Globe Awards, Jim Carrey takes home his second sphere for Man on the Moon, while American Beauty more accurately forecasts the Oscars by winning Best Drama. Another preview: Twisted sister (and Globe winner) Angelina Jolie drags her overly devoted bro onstage.
As cast members start collecting Social Security, tottering youth-demo standbys Beverly Hills, 90210 and Party of Five are canceled by Fox to make room for newer, hipper fare…like Freakylinks.
Who Let The Garth Out?
Garth Brooks says he’ll join the Mets for spring training. Bobby Valentine agrees, figuring he’ll get a decent third baseman in Brooks and trade alter-ego Chris Gaines to the Marlins.
Swedish Uber-groovers ABBA turn down an offer of $1 billion from an anonymous U.S.-British consortium to reunite for a 100-concert tour. What’s more, they threaten to write Chess II if anyone asks them again.
They’re Gonna Remake It After All
ABC reunites Mary Tyler Moore and Valerie Harper in made-for-TV movie Mary and Rhoda, which picks up with the Mary Tyler Moore Show alums as still-frisky chicks. Reviews are mediocre. The proposed Murray Slaughter 2000 is scuttled.
You Gotta Be Kidney!
It’s announced that Steven Spielberg has had a kidney removed. The media bandies about the C-word, but the director’s condition is later determined to be residual damage from 1941.
Ring Around For Rosie
Rosie O’Donnell is contestant Jerry Halpin’s lifeline on ABC’s Who Wants to Be a Millionaire. Luckily, the question isn’t about Tom Selleck (it asks for the title Princess Di lost in divorce, ”Her Royal Highness”) and Rosie’s in the right.
02/10 & 02/17
Life Doesn’t Go On
On a special two-part ER, Kellie Martin’s icky character, Dr. Lucy Knight, is dispatched to the big OR in the sky by a crazed, knife-wielding patient. Or was it just one of the show’s producers?
Julianne Moore fly-fly-flies in to replace Jodie Foster as FBI agent Clarice Starling in Hannibal, the planned sequel to 1991 Oscar champ The Silence of the Lambs. With Anthony Hopkins licking his lips to reprise his role as the eponymous cannibal, the Ridley Scott-directed flick lurches toward production.
With her portrayal of inner-city violin teacher Roberta Guaspari in Music of the Heart, Meryl Streep ties Katharine Hepburn for the record of total career Oscar nominations — 12. One more and she gets a set of steak knives.
Nicolas Cage files for divorce from Patricia Arquette, his estranged wife of four years, then suddenly changes his mind. On Nov. 17, Arquette files her own petition to divorce the star of The Family Man.
Oscar Dire, Part 1
4,200 of the nearly 5,600 Academy Awards ballots vanish after being deposited at the Beverly Hills Post Office. Fresh ballots are sent March 7. Harvey Weinstein remains at large. 03
Oscar Dire, Part 2
After 55 Oscars are filched, pro scavenger Willie Fulgear locates 52 of them next to a Dumpster on March 19 and gets $50,000 and a ticket to the show. In October, his brother is arrested for involvement in the theft. (He pleaded not guilty.)
You Be Ellen
HBO airs the lesbian-themed if these walls could talk 2, one segment of which is written and directed by Anne Heche and stars her girlfriend, Ellen DeGeneres. By the time the flick hits video stores, Heche and DeGeneres are history, and Heche is dating a guy.
Toast Of The Town
DJ Elvis Duran of NYC station Z-100 puts ‘N Sync-er Justin Timberlake’s uneaten French toast on eBay. (The band stopped in for an early-a.m. interview.) By 5 p.m., the ‘N breakfast is worth $1,025 and still tasty.
No Harmon Asking
Law & Order prosecutor Angie Harmon gets a surprise marriage proposal from her boyfriend, New York Giants defensive back Jason Sehorn, on The Tonight Show With Jay Leno. Harmon agrees, on the grounds that Sehorn pleads to murder two.
Stephen King’s short story, ”Riding the Bullet,” is made available exclusively on the Internet. Even after discovering it isn’t porn, 400,000 Web surfers shell out $2.50 apiece to read the yarn on its first day online.
Brand New Bag
The once-scandalous, now-fabulous Monica Lewinsky’s full line of totes goes on sale at Henri Bendel’s. Pundits note that this will probably not affect Hillary’s long-term accessorizing plan.
Summit Of All Fears
Actor Leonardo DiCaprio interviews President Bill Clinton for an ABC News Earth Day special, creating an uproar after meticulous research reveals that DiCaprio is not a journalist.
Mariah Carey, felled by bad oysters and dehydration, must postpone a Boston concert. Just days earlier, Britney Spears gets stitches after being hit in the head with a camera. Christina Aguilera and Hoku are given round-the-clock security details.
A version of the Cold War classic Fail Safe airs live on CBS, with ER vet George Clooney producing and starring, alongside Richard Dreyfuss, Harvey Keitel, and Don Cheadle. Unlike ER’s live experiment in 1997, Fail Safe loses the ratings race: The Practice and Millionaire spell mutually assured destruction for Clooney’s stunt.
Buy One, Get Winfrey
Oprah Winfrey’s women’s magazine O launches, and (surprise!) quickly establishes itself as a success. Oprah vows it will shed those extra 30 pages by the end of the year.
Take That, Pavlov
Taco Bell’s Chihuahua becomes the latest pup to ring the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange. Sadly, the Chalupa-loving pooch’s ad campaign is soon put to sleep, replaced by four Chalupa-loving men.
Reege Against the (Sewing) Machine
Regis Philbin announces the launch of a line of shirts and ties from Phillips-Van Heusen to be called the Regis Collection. Insiders say Regis Pez is just around the corner.
Lucasfilm announces that little-known Canadian actor Hayden Christensen, 19, will play Anakin Skywalker in the next two installments of the Star Wars movie franchise (sweeping both popular and electoral votes).
A Lotta Swerve
Shortly after his release from the hospital for a stomach ailment, Matthew Perry of Friends crashes his Porsche when he swerves to avoid an oncoming car in the Hollywood Hills — a funny way to celebrate that new $750,000-an-episode paycheck.
Hugh Grant and Elizabeth Hurley, arguably Britain’s least dentally challenged couple, say they’re putting their 13-year romance on hold. Jane quotes Hurley slamming Grant’s sexual prowess, but later issues a retraction saying that — oops — Hurley never made those comments.
Patrick Swayze’s twin-engine Cessna crash-lands near a small Arizona town. The Ghost star denies there were spirits on board.
Return To Gender
Sinead O’Connor declares, ”I’m a lesbian.” But later, the singer sets the record, uh, straight in the London Times: ”I’m not a lesbian…if you fall in love with someone it doesn’t matter if it’s a man or a woman or alien.”
Sharon Stone and her journalist husband, Phil Bronstein, adopt a baby boy named Roan. They immediately place all household copies of Basic Instinct out of reach.
ABC adds Dennis Miller to the announcing booth for Monday Night Football. Critics say veteran sportscasters Al Michaels and Dan Fouts will beat him to death with his own thesaurus, but the allusive Miller has survived.
Hail To The Chef
Culinary heartthrob Bobby Flay loses a cook-off to the Iron Chef (Masaharu Morimoto) in a special Stateside episode of the Food Network’s hit Japanese import. Flay manages not to commit ritual seppuku.
Is This A Flop I See Before Me?
Broadway’s Macbeth, starring Kelsey Grammer, closes after 13 performances. Plans for a Grammer-driven Braveheart stage show are put on hold.
Bond. Sir James Bond.
Sean Connery is finally knighted by Queen Elizabeth, two years after he was denied the honor — rumor had it — because of his support for Scottish nationalism.
At Least It Wasn’t Kathie Lee
Roger Ebert chooses Chicago Sun-Times columnist Richard Roeper to succeed the late Gene Siskel on his show, which is retitled Ebert & Roeper and the Movies.
Variety reports that James Cameron will not be back to direct Terminator 3. A new liquid-metal version of the helmer, the Cam-1000, is the rumored replacement.
Good News, Babs News
It’s reported that Barbra Streisand will perform four final concerts in September — two in L.A. and two in New York — before bidding goodbye to her concert career. Ticket sales, however, are not the way they were.
It’s A Mob!
More than 10,000 people show up for an open casting call of The Sopranos at Harrison High School in Harrison, N.J. Precious few are actually ”made” that day.
Money manager Dana Giacchetto, 37, tearfully admits to a federal judge that he bilked investors (including Matt Damon) out of millions. He refuses to take any blame for The Legend of Bagger Vance.
Break Out The Hyphens
Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones become the parents of a baby boy, Dylan. To help celebrate, the pair get hitched Nov. 18 in an intimate, low-profile ceremony at the Plaza Hotel in New York. This is probably the first you’ve heard of it.
Time For ”Virgin Birth” Jokes
Madonna gives the world a boy, Rocco, along with new material for Letterman and Leno. Following the example of Catherine Zeta-Jones, she reportedly plans to make an honest man of boyfriend Guy Ritchie on Dec. 22.
Riot On The Set!
At the MTV Video Music Awards, Rage Against the Machine’s Tim Commerford is arrested for scaling a huge prop during Limp Bizkit’s speech. He pleads guilty to disorderly conduct and is freed the next day.
End Of The Feline
After 18 years of caterwauling on Broadway, Cats is finally put down. The Winter Garden Theatre’s next tenant will be the ABBA musical Mamma Mia!, set to open next fall.
The Vice-Man Cometh
Presidential hopeful Al Gore appears on Oprah. The Veep introduces a plan that would reduce Oprah by 20 percent by 2002.
Bored Of The Rings
With much fanfare and weird floating jellyfish in the opening ceremonies, the 27th Olympic Summer Games debut in Sydney, Australia. Ratings also go down under, much to NBC’s chagrin.
The Bush-Man Also Cometh
George W. Bush matches Gore’s Oprah appearance with one of his own, upping the ante by giving the host a wet one. Oprah rarely kisses on the first interview, and Bush strategists are encouraged.
Phish performs its last show before taking a hiatus. Thousands of lives instantly lose direction and meaning.
The Catholic League is upset over Cher’s new song ”Sisters of Mercy,” which lambastes nuns. Cher is just happy to have another thing in common with Madonna.
Giving It Away
Madonna gives a free concert in New York. On Nov. 28, she does another freebie: a six-song webcast from London. But the Not-So-Material Girl rethinks her egalitarianism when someone waltzes out of her London pad in December with some of her material possessions.
‘Zine Of Nice?
It’s reported that McCall’s will be relaunched in the spring as Rosie’s McCall’s. Rosie O’Donnell will be the editorial director. The first cover will feature a Koosh ball…as will the second…and the third…
Grinch And Bear It
Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas gets mixed reviews but leads at the box office for weeks. Hospitals report a corre-sponding rise in the number of people overdosing on stupid Who puns.
Robert Downey Jr. is busted on drug possession at a Merv Griffin resort. He’s bailed out the next day and soon back on the Ally McBeal set. It’s unclear if he’ll do time, since his Ally work constitutes community service.
For nearly 62 hours, magician David Blaine is encased in ice in Times Square, aided only by air and water tubes and a catheter. Too bad he forgets to leave out a hat for donations.
Creed All About It
Creed is Group of the Year, according to online voters of the My VH1 Music Awards. The rockers’ ”Higher” is also voted Song of the Year. A few days earlier, the rockers were the subject of VH1’s Behind the Music, signaling the beginning of the end of their career.
Joan Rivers becomes a grandmother, thanks to the efforts of her daughter Melissa. Rivers criticizes the infant’s wrinkled birthday suit.
Haul Of Fame
The truck used to deliver 462,644 presidential ballots from Palm Beach to Tallahassee goes up for auction on Yahoo.com. The Ryder vehicle could fetch more than $100,000 — just a bit less than the last Winona Ryder vehicle, Lost Souls.