J. Lo bling-blings in holidays

Monday, December 15, 2003

Do your holiday tastes run more to bling-bling than Kris Kringle? Then "Jingle Ball Rock" (7 p.m., Fox) may be your hot cup of eggnog. Jennifer Lopez is host of the special, featuring performances by Beyonce Knowles, Jessica Simpson, Kelly Clarkson and Disney actress turned singer Hilary Duff. Simpson and Clarkson recently performed on NBC's Rockefeller Center tree-lighting ceremony special. In the Christmas spirit of charity, I won't comment on their performances.

After the debacle of "Gigli," it's a safe bet that Jennifer Lopez won't be named "Entertainer of the Year" (9 p.m., E!). This hourlong special looks back at 2003's most notable actors, performers and celebrities. In addition to the big award, there are any number of consolation prizes, including: Ellen DeGeneres (Killer Comeback of the Year), Colin Farrell (Box-Office Rebel of the Year), Queen Latifah (Royal Rise of the Year), Will Ferrell (Merry Man of the Year), Justin Timberlake (Platinum Player of the Year), Beyonce Knowles (Breakout Babe of the Year), Trista Rehn and Ryan Sutter (Reality Romance of the Year), Jerry Bruckheimer (Mastermind of the Year) and Arnold Schwarzenegger (Career Coup of the Year).

Remember Tareq Kabir? He's the 21-year-old Ph.D. candidate and artificial-intelligence expert who briefly impressed Melana on the recently completed "Average Joe." As you may recall, he was given to such pretentious utterances as "The simplicity of your complexity is the catalyst to my infatuation."

Tonight, Kabir makes his acting debut on "Miss Match" (9 p.m., NBC), which is airing in a special time. This marks a second chance for both Kabir and "Miss Match." The critically touted romantic comedy failed to find viewers at 7 p.m. Friday nights, so NBC moved it to 8 p.m., where it has continued to flounder. Many feel, and I agree, that the target audience for a show produced by Darren Star ("Sex in the City") is not in front of the television on Friday nights. Lots of young adult viewers turned to the contrived dating shenanigans on "Joe," and NBC is clearly hoping they will find their way to "Match."

Tonight's other highlights