WEEK IN REVIEW: Russell Still Crowing
'ELLIE' WATCHED: Tuesday night's premiere of NBC's "Watching Ellie," starring Julia Louis-Dreyfus, the third "Seinfeld" costar to try a new sitcom, did just fine as far as attracting viewers was concerned, according to early ratings. Sandwiched between two fresh episodes of "Frasier," the new show, in which Louis-Dreyfus stars as a put-upon club singer, drew some 16.7 million viewers, reports The New York Post. The Daily News says the number was closer to 16.99 million. Either way, the number is respectable. Neither Michael Richards nor Jason Alexander, her former "Seinfeld" cohorts, came anywhere near that kind of rating with their short-lived earlier sitcoms, prompting what has been called "the Seinfeld curse."
TOP GUMS: Tom Cruise is about to become straighter than ever. The star, 39, has gone in for a bit of adult orthodontia, his publicist has confirmed to Reuters. "Yes, Tom Cruise has braces -- I don't know what else to say," said Pat Kingsley, adding that the wires sprang up on his famous grin about a week ago and are likely to remain in place for a "year or so . . . He'll take them off for movies. To him, it's no big deal." The decision was made, said Kingsley, when Cruise took one of his children to the orthodontist -- who noticed that the star's teeth were out of alignment.
RAUNCHY ROSIE: Rosie O'Donnell -- who is reportedly set to out herself in her memoir to be published in April -- proclaimed, "I'm a dyke!" at an Ovarian Cancer Research benefit, reported USA Today. At Caroline's Comedy Club in Times Square on Monday, the entertainer, once dubbed the "Queen of Nice" on the cover of Newsweek, kicked off her routine by saying, "I'm sick of being (expletive) nice." Then she said, "Fasten your seat belts -- here we go." Her first target: Barbara Walters's interview last September with Anne Heche, the ex-lover of Ellen DeGeneres. Heche is now married to cameraman Coley Laffoon and pregnant with his child. "What the hell kind of train wreck was that?" chided Rosie, 39, who then mimicked Walters's speech impediment.
GRAMMY QUEEN: Alicia Keys tied Lauryn Hill's 1999 record-breaking five wins for a female artist at Wednesday night's long, long 44th annual Grammy ceremony, broadcast live from L.A.'s Staples Center. "Whoa," Keys, 21, told the crowd when she picked up her fifth Grammy, for song of the year ("Fallin' "). "You don't know how this humbles me." Her other Grammys were for best new artist, R&B album ("Songs in A Minor"), female R&B vocal performance ("Fallin' ") and R&B song ("Fallin' "). The night's other big winners were U2, who took four awards, and the soundtrack album to the movie "O Brother, Where Art Thou?"