SLAVE 4 FASHION Oops! Britney gets speared, topping Mr. Blackwell’s Worst Dressed Women List. At September’s MTV Video Music Awards, the pop tartlet dons a live python as a tasteful accessory, thus guaranteeing she’ll hit that list one more time.
January 09 and 10
REALITY FIGHTS The year’s reality-TV craze begins with the debuts of ABC’s The Mole, a whodunit in which teamed-up contestants lie and cheat to score the loot; and Fox’s Temptation Island, a who’s-doin’-it in which coupled-off contestants lie and cheat to score some booty.
SMART ALEC Kim Basinger files for divorce from her husband of seven years, Alec Baldwin. Basinger apparently cites Baldwin’s vitriolic Mamet-method tirades as the cause of the break- up – and not the indelibleimage of him in that stupid Thomas and the Magic Railroad choo-choo hat.
D’OH! THE HUMANITY The Chilean government bestows Sting with a humanitarian award for his political support. The next day, before a concert in Buenos Aires, Sting’s humanitarian award is ripped off from his dressing room.
GLOBAL MELTDOWN Legendary Liz Taylor has a ”Farrah Fawcett moment” when she appears onstage rambling and confused at the 58th Annual Golden Globe Awards. She nearly announces the Best Picture winner before naming the nominees and snaps ”What?” to Dick Clark when he tries to clue her in.
KICK SOME JACKASS A 13-year-old boy sets himself on fire in the first reported copycat case inspired by MTV’s daredevil show, Jackass. Despite the preprogram warning, more imitation stunts ensue, as do Sen. Joe Lieberman’s demands for the show to tone down the gruesome gags. In August, host Johnny Knoxville bails on the show.
HERE’S TO GOOD FRIENDS To combat the ratings-hogging Survivor 2 on CBS, NBC ”super-sizes” Friends, expanding the show with an extra 10 minutes. If that doesn’t work, desperate producers consider throwing in extra fries and a McFlurry.
ONE FOR THE GIFFORD After a six-month search, All My Children’s Kelly Ripa, 30, is crowned Regis’ new left hand, replacing Kathie Lee. After her Feb. 12 debut, the show’s ratings skyrocket.
MARRIAGE: IMPOSSIBLE Supercouple Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman announce they’re separating. Two days later, Cruise makes being far and away official, filing for divorce.
CANNIBAL HOUSE The long-anticipated Silence of the Lambs sequel, Hannibal, hits theaters to mixed reviews. Forgive me, fava, but this movie bites.
DOLLY PARDON An action figure of Rudy Boesch, the cantankerous Survivor septuagenarian, is launched at the American International Toy Fair. Within minutes of being out of the box, insiders say mini-Rudy referred to Ken as ”fruitboots” and expressed disgust that Barbie, 42, is still unmarried.