Ellie Monahan, 3½, can now watch both of her parents on TV in New York City. From 7 to 9 a.m., she can see mom Katie Couric on the Today show, then later tune to Fox 5 and see dad Jay Monahan on O.J. Today. Monahan, a criminal defense attorney, took a leave from his Manhattan law firm to write a book on the Civil War but found himself so intrigued by the O.J. Simpson case that he accepted the unpaid TV job to dissect the daily saga. "I really wanted to work on this case," says Monahan, 39. "This is the next best thing." So far, Couric hasn't caught too much flak for her husband's new gig. "She hasn't come home wearing a bag over her head," he says. "Mostly she tells me to keep down the legalese, be conversational, keep it simple." As for Ellie's interest in watching either parent, he says, "generally, we lose out to Nickelodeon. I think Ellie wants her own show now."
DIAMOND IS A GIRLS BEST FRIEND
Country balladeer Trisha Yearwood, nominated for two Grammy Awards (airing March 1), has gotten big quickly—big enough for both a TV special and a forthcoming biography. "This writer followed me around for a year and wrote down everything I said," says Yearwood, 30, who just released her fifth album, Thinkin' About You. "There were times when I thought, 'Why am I doing this?' But in country music, people want to know. We're curious people." A fringe benefit of fame includes meeting some lifelong idols. "I did a Christmas special in Nashville," says Yearwood, "and as I rehearsed, I saw someone out of the corner of my eye and thought, 'That's Neil Diamond! Don't panic!' I didn't think he knew who I was. The minute I finished rehearsing, he ran up on stage and said, 'You can either marry me or sing with me!' I said, 'Well, I'm already married, but I'd love to sing with you.' "
MESSAGE TO MATTHEW
For Sarah Jessica Parker, who made a splash in L.A. Story and Honeymoon in Vegas, show business is a greasy pole you slide down even as you pull yourself up. "I've worked a long time, and playing the lead in a movie is something that's eluded me until now," says Parker, 29, who calls the wisecracking copywriter she plays in the romantic comedy Miami Rhapsody her most "responsible" role. "My character is pessimistic about monogamy and doesn't know if she's willing to be in a permanent relationship," says Parker, whose leading man offstage remains Matthew Broderick. Parker is in no immediate danger of becoming Mrs. Anybody, she says. "Nobody has asked me to marry him." Well, has she asked anybody to marry her? "No! Maybe I'm an old-fashioned girl. Maybe I'm afraid of being too aggressive. Maybe the time hasn't been right."
DRIVEN TO DISTRACTION
Long known as Meg's big sister, Jennifer Tilly surprised a few people by nabbing a Best Supporting Actress nomination—for playing the utterly unsupportable actress in Woody Allen's Bullets over Broadway. "I knew I was a long shot," says Tilly, 36, who is filming a thriller in Vancouver, B.C. "But I was channel-surfing at 5:38 a.m. I thought if I was actually watching the nominations, I could somehow influence them." Apparently the karma worked but did not extend to the telephone when she tried to call her boyfriend, graphic artist Peter Young, in L.A. "He's house-sitting for me," she says, "but I was so excited I couldn't remember the phone number. I had to dial my own number four times." Sighs Tilly, who has already received Oscar-night clothing offers from designers: "It's my chance to get dressed up and go to the ball."