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Jim Mullen's Hot Sheet

The 15 hottest topics the week of May 22, 1998

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1 THE HORSE WHISPERER
A mom takes her troubled daughter and her horse to an animal trainer for help. If that doesn’t work, she’s going to Siegfried and Roy.

2 LARRY KING
He signed a deal with CNN, reportedly for around $7 million a year. We’re waiting to find out if that’s to keep him or get rid of him.

3 JERRY SPRINGER
He was allegedly caught having sex with two guests. They got naked and threw chairs at each other.

4 BULWORTH
A U.S. senator suddenly starts speaking nonsense and acting crazy. It can mean only one thing — there must be a TV camera nearby.

5 PASHMINA
The new status fabric that’s softer than cashmere and nearly as pricey as fur. ”It’s better than Charmin,” says Bill Gates.

6 GARDENBURGER
The company spent a chunk of its ad budget on the final Seinfeld. It worked — Miracle-Gro is in the condiment section now.

7 BOB DOLE
He helped test Viagra and discovered a side effect: It makes people queasy when he talks about how well it worked.

8 LEO DICAPRIO
He got a reported $4 million to appear in Japanese commercials. What he likes to call ”minimum wage.”

9 GARGANTUA
The made-for-TV version of Godzilla. It’s twice as big as this sentence.

10 SONNY & ME: CHER REMEMBERS
As a swell guy, a wonderful father, and the man who helped start her career. So naturally, she divorced him.

11 PETER BENCHLEY’S CREATURE
Or, as it was originally called, Peter Benchley’s I Need Some Quick Money.

12 THE CHRYSLER AND DAIMLER-BENZ MERGER
Just what this country needs — a $60,000 minivan.

13 A REALLY BIG SHOW: ED SULLIVAN’S 50TH ANNIVERSARY
And you thought The X-Files was the weirdest thing on TV.

14 LOLITA Showtime and the Sundance Channel plan to air the controversial film about a professor obsessed with a 14-year-old. Teens shouldn’t let their young children watch this.

15 INDIA’S NUCLEAR TESTING
It’s causing Pakistan to spend a fortune on a state-of-the-art defense system. Six hundred cows.