Happy New Year, EW Readers! We know you're busy staring at your cookie-engorged gut and moaning, but here at the home office we've been hard at work trying to guess what you'll be watching, listening to, and talking about in 2007. Unlike last year when we nervously lowballed we are prepared to guarantee that not one but two of these predictions are totally going to come true. That's because we're trained professionals. Don't try this at home.
Madonna will be permitted to keep her Malawian baby, but risks yet another international scandal by trying to adopt Suri Cruise. The pop queen defends her decision on Oprah, saying, ''By turning this into such a negative thing, I feel like the media is doing a great disservice not just to Suri but to all children forced to appear on the cover of Vanity Fair before they can locate their own noses.'' Unfortunately the public is distracted by Angelina Jolie's decision to adopt Alec Baldwin (''I dunno, he just seems kinda awesome,'' says Jolie), and can barely be bothered to mention Madge on their blogs. In a fit of scorned pique, she signs with newly launched publishing imprint Judith Regan Books to write a tell-all memoir entitled If I Adopted It.
Jack Bauer will save the world again. But viewers find themselves disenfranchised midway through this season of 24 after it becomes clear that Jack is not even having to try that hard anymore, and is in fact just sort of strolling through the day like Pepe Le Pew, but with a gun. Meanwhile, American Idol's ratings continue to soar, inspiring an unheard-of network crossover special in which ABC pays AI judges and finalists to appear as a new tribe of Others on Lost. The kids perform a rousing medley of ''Let the Sun Shine In'' and ''Against All Odds,'' which lifts the spirits of the survivors, but all the unnecessary melisma wakes up one very angry polar bear, who drawn by the scent of lip gloss, Diet Coke, and Nyquil mauls Paula Abdul. Fox network heads, considering this a direct affront, rush So You Think You Can Survive on a Desert Island While Singing Popular Hits? onto the air, scheduling it for Wednesdays at 10.
The highest-grossing film of the year will involve the number 3. In contention: Spider-Man 3, Shrek 3, Pirates of the Caribbean 3, Ocean's Eleven 3, Rush Hour 3, Resident Evil 3, 3:10 to Yuma, 300, The Number 23, and The Bourne Something-or-Another 3. In response to the trend, Michael Bay begins insisting that his robot movie be referred to as Triple Transform3rs III: The Legend Returns for the Third Time, and press materials for Live Free or Die Hard claim that the franchise is a trilogy, conveniently omitting Die Hard With a Vengeance. This really pisses off Samuel L. Jackson, who retaliates by securing independent financing for two Snakes on a Plane sequels (to be filmed simultaneously in New Zealand). Bruce Willis apologizes, promising to reacknowledge the third Die Hard movie if Jackson will please just stop with the motherf---ing snakes already.
The trend of jukebox musicals on Broadway will finally end, thanks to the colossal (and clearly foreseeable) failure of U Got What I Need: The Biz Markie Story. And fulfilling the hopes and dreams of women everywhere, George Clooney will make his Broadway debut in Tennessee Williams' little-known 1981 one-act George Clooney Sits on Stage for an Hour and a Half and Reads the Phone Book. Tickets on eBay will run as high as $5,000, but drop to $7.50 at the end of Clooney's six-week run when producers replace him with Wayne Brady.
Axl Rose will finally release Chinese Democracy, the Guns N' Roses album that's been 12 years in the making. Sadly, it turns out to consist of nothing but Axl mumbling snide remarks about Tommy Hilfiger's hair while a tape of Appetite for Destruction plays in the background; the CD sells 45 copies, and Pitchfork declares it Album of the Year. (Side note: We will make this prediction every year until the record actually comes out.) Elsewhere in music, the trend of chanting nonsense over random musical-theater samples continues, as Britney Spears attempts to revive her career by releasing ''Britneycalifragilisticexpialidocious.'' The single in which the singer rapidly spells the song title over a loop of ''um-diddle-iddle-iddle, um-diddle-y''s sparks a controversy when Spears performs on SNL and is revealed to be lip-spelling.
On May 16, 2007, a plumber named Sal Perkins will forget to tighten a valve while servicing the restrooms at YouTube's San Bruno, Calif., headquarters. The resulting flood causes a server to crash, starting a chain reaction that shuts down the entire site shortly after lunch. Without the ability to forward videos of kittens falling asleep, teenagers dancing in their bedrooms, and ''D--k in a Box'' to their friends, America's workers get up from their chairs, wander out of their offices, and spend the remainder of the week staring at the largest body of water they can find. (Nebraska residents find swimming pools.) Once their brains have been reset, they return to work and discover it doesn't actually take as long to do their jobs as they originally thought. Everyone soon rallies together and forces employers to authorize a mandatory four weeks of vacation time, like Europeans get. By the fall, the entertainment business is once again a thriving, vibrant, and creative cultural force both on- and offline. Also, there is world peace. And free cookies for everyone.
What are the top 20 entertainment events ahead in 2007? Click here for EW's 2007 forecast.