Marc Peyser

Why We'll Miss Kathie Lee

In the history of talk-show hosts, has a host ever talked more than Kathie Lee Gifford? Her dogs, her husband, her kids, her stretch marks--and that was all before the first commercial.

This Extremely Old House

What's the surest sign that the reality-TV craze is out of control? Not last week's "Survivor" ratings triumph over "Millionaire." How about a delicious voyeur program from PBS? "The 1900 House" is set in an English town house meticulously restored to turn-of-the-20th-century conditions.

I Will Survive

Sit right back and you'll hear a tale, a tale of a fateful trip. This week CBS debuts "Survivor," a 13-part reality show set on a desolate island off Borneo.

Art Stranger Than Life

Charlie Sheen isn't a drug-addicted, porn-loving loser, but he plays one on TV. You call this acting? Sheen is starring in the May 13 Showtime movie "Rated X," a raunchy, dark film about the Mitchell brothers, the hell-raising creators of the 1972 pornographic classic "Behind the Green Door." The film itself is less interesting than the fact that Sheen made it despite all its eerie echoes of his own tangles with substance abuse and naughty women. "I did it to face my demons, to see if I had the...

Tune In, Log On, Go Play

They may be the two most ubiquitous entertainment forces on the planet: the Internet and Regis Philbin. And now they've joined electronic hands to create a new television experience.

Another Mob Squad

A year ago, "Falcone" might have become one of the hottest shows on television. A taut, sharp drama about an FBI agent (Jason Gedrick) who infiltrates the New York mob while struggling to balance the demands of his family, "Falcone" is a compelling look at a good man buffeted by the winds of evil.

Breakfast At Jennifer's

Let's get one thing clear right at the top: Jennifer Love Hewitt is no Audrey Hepburn. Don't take our word for it. Listen to Hewitt, the star of this week's ABC biopic, "The Audrey Hepburn Story." "It's the most intimidating thing to go to work every single day and have to be the most beautiful woman in the world," she says. "Especially days that you don't feel good or have PMS or whatever.

Cops And Docs Forever

Peter Berg is not happy about the time slot ABC has assigned his new show, "Wonderland," and who can blame him? It's bad enough that "Wonderland" will debut next Thursday opposite "ER," the highest-rated non-Regis show in the country.

High School Controversial

It was only first period at McKinley High School in Baton Rouge when 17-year-old Leslie-Claire Spillman sensed that something was wrong. The door to her classroom burst open, a girl jumped in and yelled, "It's time!" Spillman soon heard students murmuring and slamming lockers in the halls.

Wedded Blitz

Not since Elizabeth Taylor went out of the wedding business has a doomed marriage been as fun to watch as "Who Wants to Marry a Multi-Millionaire?" The celibate honeymoon cruise, complete with chaperon...

Prime Time 'I Do's'

While Hollywood is busy studying the success of "Who Wants to Marry a Multi-Millionaire?" in order to concoct a gazillion imitations, let's pause to examine the deeper lessons of America's newest game-show phenomenon.

Malcolm Lands On Top

Eileen Boomer would like to set the record straight about the sitcom based on her family, "Malcolm in the Middle." For one thing, she says she did not shave her husband's hairy body in the kitchen. "Can you imagine!

'Malcolm' To The Rescue

When Malcolm's mother finds her red dress badly burned and stashed in a toilet, she does what any sitcom parent would do. She punishes her children. Only because the family on Fox's "Malcolm in the Middle" is prone to inspired exaggeration, punishment looks a lot like hilarious torture.

Hey, Wrestling Fans. We've Got Brains, Too!

Elect one wrestler to public office and they all want to be loved for their minds. Four WCW grapplers--Sting, Bobby (The Brain) Heenan, Madusa and "Rowdy" Roddy Piper--teamed up on ABC's current-affairs show "Politically Incorrect" last week to debate with Bill Maher.

Living On $12,825 A Month

Caleigh Perelman, the country's reigning poor Little Rich Girl, just got a little poorer. Last week a New York state Supreme Court judge ruled that Caleigh's father, Revlon billionaire Ron Perelman, would have to fork over only $12,825 a month in child support.

Back To Paradise With Audra

Hockey has the hat trick. Horse racing has the Triple Crown. And the theater has Audra McDonald. McDonald is the only performer in history to win three Tony Awards for her first three shows: "Carousel," "Master Class" and "Ragtime." It's an amazing streak, especially for a woman who's only 29.

Back To Broadway, Finally

Carol Burnett may be Hollywood's nicest superstar, so you can imagine how hard it is to get her to dish a little. Not that it should be a tough job. After all, she's survived a drunken mother, two husbands, a 1981 libel suit against the National Enquirer, a drug-addicted daughter and her share of creative disappointments since the divinely silly "The Carol Burnett Show" ended in 1979.

Prime Porter

Cole Porter's "Kiss Me, Kate" took 51 years to get its first Broadway revival, and it's almost been worth the wait. Based on both Shakespeare's "The Taming of the Shrew" and the real-life bickering of theater legends Alfred Lunt and Lynn Fontanne, "Kate" is the wonderfully wacky tale of a divorced husband-and-wife acting team who despise performing together--until they realize they're in love after all.

Pucker Up, It's Sweeps

Ally McBeal kissed another woman on TV last week, and you know what they call someone like that--a sweeps whore. Every time the networks hit a ratings sweep--November, February and May--TV characters start acting like Hugh Hefner on too much Viagra, running around pawing even more people than usual.

Those Rowdy Rodmans

America's weirdest couple (are they divorced or dating or both? Do they share makeup?) just got weirder. Last week Miami Beach police arrested Dennis Rodman and Carmen Electra after a noisy domestic dispute in a trendy South Beach hotel.

Mcconaughey's Bongos

Austin, Texas, bills itself as the world's live-music capital. But even Austin has never seen a gig like the one Matthew McConaughey played last week. Cops responding to a noise complaint at his home found the actor naked in his living room, banging on bongo drums.

The Monroe Doctrine: $$

Diamonds may have been Marilyn Monroe's best friend, but it was 6,000 rhinestones that lit up her memorabilia auction last week. Of course, the rhinestones in question came attached to a certain sheer dress she wore to bewitch JFK at his 1962 birthday.

Newsmakers

Jenny Craig won't say what the company is paying for the privilege of making Monica Lewinsky skinny, but she sure looks like a million bucks. When Lewinsky arrived at the Hollywood premiere for "Three to Tango," she was almost unrecognizably svelte in a black pantsuit and fuchsia pashmina shawl.

Broadway's Tepid 'Fever'

In the long, sad list of movies turned into mediocre Broadway musicals--"Footloose," "Victor/ Victoria," "Sunset Blvd.," etc.--"Saturday Night Fever" may be the weirdest crossover yet.

Increasing The Peace

And the winner of the most security-obsessed awards show is: the Source Hip-Hop Music Awards. In fact, there were more law-enforcement officers in the house last week than winners.

A Tennis Power Calls It Quits

Known for consistency, not for surprises, German tennis star Steffi Graf shocked everyone last week when she abruptly announced her retirement from the sport.

A Casual Carolyn On Camera

Unlike her husband, Carolyn Bessette Kennedy never seemed comfortable around cameras. But in 1997 she sat for Bruce Weber and a photographic journal called Joe's.

A Summer Baby Boom

What a lamaze class this could have been. Cindy Crawford, Marie Osmond and Al Gore's daughter Karenna Schiff have all given birth to baby boys. Crawford, who actually attended maternity yoga with Reese Witherspoon, named her son Presley Walker Gerber, though husband Rande Gerber says there's no Elvis worship involved.

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