Stewart ready for prime time

New York - Jon Stewart is going from late night to prime time.

The host of "The Daily Show" on Comedy Central has signed a development deal with NBC for a sitcom that will begin in fall 2003.

Stewart will be the executive producer and co-writer of the series, which will star Stephen Colbert, a writer and correspondent on "The Daily Show."

Stewart joked that the show will incorporate everything that's been successful for the network in the past.

"We were just thinking about what would happen if a gay man and a straight woman lived together in a bar in Boston and ate spiders for $50,000 every episode," the 40-year-old comedian told Daily Variety. "Before it's over, Stephen could end up helming a genial black family. He could be the next Cosby."

Stewart will continue to host "The Daily Show," the satirical news program that won a Peabody Award and an Emmy last year.

Furniture gets best of Hogan

Sydney, Australia - "Crocodile Dundee" star Paul Hogan, known for his roles wrestling crocs, was recovering in a hospital Monday after suffering a slipped disc while wrestling with furniture.

The 63-year-old Australian actor was admitted recently to St. Vincents Private Hospital in Sydney for treatment of the back injury he suffered while moving furniture.

The hospital issued a brief statement saying the actor would be back on his feet within a few weeks and asking that his privacy be respected.

Zsa Zsa continues to recover

Los Angeles - Zsa Zsa Gabor remained hospitalized in fair condition as she continued to recover from injuries she suffered in a car crash, hospital officials said.

Gabor, 85, suffered broken bones in the Nov. 27 crash and received stitches to close wounds to her head, hands, arms and legs, according to her husband, Frederic von Anhalt.

Although von Anhalt had hoped his wife would be released from Cedars-Sinai Medical Center within a week, hospital officials said Sunday her condition was unchanged from when it was upgraded to fair on Dec. 2.

The film and television actress was a passenger in the front seat of a car that struck a light pole in West Hollywood. The car was driven by her hairdresser, who suffered minor injuries, police said.

Celebrities send letter to Bush

Los Angeles - Mike Farrell and Anjelica Huston will release a letter today signed by a hundred celebrities who want President Bush to stop his war rhetoric toward Iraq.

The letter reportedly is signed by stars including Kim Basinger, Matt Damon, Laurence Fishburne, Ethan Hawke, Uma Thurman, Samuel L. Jackson, Jessica Lange and Martin Sheen, publicists for the event said Monday.

Details of the letter weren't released.

Bush has threatened military force against Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein, saying the dictator has amassed weapons of mass destruction that pose a danger to the United States.

United Nations weapons inspectors are searching Iraq for such devices but have turned up little so far.


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