Manilow goes live with carols

New York -- Barry Manilow grew up Jewish in Brooklyn, but he has long had a love of Christmas music. He has recorded two albums of holiday songs, which he'll perform from tonight on A&E;'s "Live by Request."

"It's holiday music, really. It's not religious music," Manilow said. "What I love about the holidays is families getting together, people giving to each other, stopping, smiling, hollering at each other."

But Manilow said the show, airing live from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., will mark the first time he and his band will perform these songs live.

"We're going to cross our fingers," the 57-year-old said Wednesday, laughing. "I'm going to rehearse right now. We're rehearsing 40 songs. We'll be ready for anything they throw at us."

The singer also will make a cameo Dec. 11 on NBC's "Will & Grace," which he called "the funniest show on television." In the episode, ultimate Manilow fan Will (Eric McCormack) waits in line for tickets to his concert.

"I said yes immediately," Manilow said. "I said, 'Tell me what to do.'"

'King Kong' could claim Watts

Wellington, New Zealand -- Naomi Watts is the prime candidate to play King Kong's female friend in Peter Jackson's remake of the 1933 classic movie, New Zealand media reported Wednesday.

"It's looking OK" for Watts to sign a contract to play Ann Darrow, Fay Wray's role in the original film, Jackson told Wellington's Dominion Post newspaper.

Shooting on "King Kong" is planned to start next August, mainly in his Wellington studios, Jackson said. The director's "The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King," the final film in the trilogy, will open Dec. 17 in U.S. theaters.

'Queer Eye' may trigger shopping

New York -- A new survey of shoppers suggests that there may be a Fab Five Effect in the nation's spending habits.

The survey of more than 2,600 shoppers at malls in seven major cities found that men were five times more likely than women to go shopping on Wednesdays after a new episode of Bravo's "Queer Eye for the Straight Guy." (The show airs Tuesday nights.)

Nearly half of the men surveyed said they shopped with another guy on post-"Queer Eye" Wednesdays, as opposed to just 12 percent who did so on other days.

Was Limbaugh 'doctor shopping'?

West Palm Beach, Fla. -- Investigators who raided the offices of Rush Limbaugh's doctors said in search warrants filed Thursday that the conservative radio commentator engaged in illegal drug use and "doctor shopping" for prescription painkillers.

The warrants -- which name four doctors and several prescription drugs -- show investigators were looking for records including prescription disbursements, appointment schedules, receipts and a medical questionnaire when they raided the offices Nov. 25.

Doctor shopping refers to looking for a doctor willing to prescribe drugs illegally.

Limbaugh denied any wrongdoing to listeners on his radio show earlier Thursday and accused prosecutors in Palm Beach County of going on a "fishing expedition."


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