KIDS The latest vogue among celebrities are those bundles of wailing id once spurned as all around linguistically impaired social bores: babies. David Bowie and his supermodel wife, Iman, ecstatically announced the arrival of their first yesterday. (Both already have adult kids from earlier marriages.) Their new daughter, Alexandria Zahra Jones, was born a healthy 7 pounds, 4.6 ounces in a hospital in a fashionably ”undisclosed location”…. We all know that Madonna, the ultimate trendsetter, had to have hers first — under mysterious circumstances no less. Her publicist continues to deny a BBC report that Rocco’s first appearance in the world was ”traumatic” (Freud would no doubt beg to differ)…. And now Dixie Chick Natalie Maines, 25, has announced that she’ll be getting one, too. The multiplatinum crooner, who married 35 year old Adrian Pasdar (”Mysterious Ways”) in June, is expecting the arrival of her prunish bauble in April. Moreover, the couple’s appetite for the new trend appears to be insatiable: ”This is merely the first of 10,” Pasdar said. Next thing you know, we’re all going to want one.
SURVIVOR This morning’s USA Today offers a few hints about the Australian outback ”Survivor 2.” First, producers have a much larger pool of contestant wannabes to choose from. CBS says 49,124 people have applied for the 39 day trip that begins in October — eight times the 6,100 who applied for the Borneo round. Jeff Probst will be back as host, the paper reports, but producers say the tribal council will ”have a completely different look” and the meeting will take place at sunset instead of nighttime. Moreover, they have promised to edit the sequel more carefully to ensure that hints about ejected castaways will not be broadcast before the show’s ending. (Note to CBS: Maybe someone should keep an eye on your website, too.) Altogether, though, execs say the masterpiece will change very little, for which CBS prez, Les Moonves, offers this paragon of reasoning: ”It ain’t broke.”
POTTER ”Harry Potter” is going to court — or, at least, the muggles are. A judge ruled yesterday that a dispute over the copyright to J.K. Rowling‘s creations is to be tried in Manhattan. The decision was a victory for Rowling, Time Warner (EW.com’s parent company, TW owns film and merchandising rights to the ”Potter” books), and publishers Scholastic Inc., who seek declaration that they have not infringed on author Nancy Stouffer’s copyright. Stouffer claims that ”muggles” are her intellectual property because of her mid ’80s book ”The Legend of Rah and the Muggles.” Rowling contends that her characters bear no resemblance to Stouffer’s, which are hairless creatures that dwell on the island of Aura in an era of postnuclear holocaust. Stouffer’s lawyer says that he is happy with the ruling and eager to prove the similarities between the muggles.
RESURRECTION The Beatles will have a new release, sort of. Paul McCartney has announced that his next disc will include previously unheard recordings by the original band. The singer describes the dance track, ”Free Now,” as a ”manic Beatles single,” which mixes tracks from studio sessions between 1965 and 1969. Talk about living in the past.
LEGALESE He’s back. That once ubiquitous name we thought we’d cleansed from the news reports forever — O.J. Simpson — has returned to the headlines. The ex defendant is suing one of his former lawyers as part of an attempt to block the broadcast of CBS’ miniseries ”American Tragedy,” based on a book about the trial by Lawrence Schiller. Simpson alleges that Schiller and his former attorney Robert Kardashian used privileged information in their story. Schiller has thus far declined to comment.
AUCTION All the other kids may have X-Men lunch boxes — here’s a way to make sure your little one stands out in the back to school crowd: Starting today, Web surfers can bid on garb worn by the X-Men characters in a charity auction on iQVC. Among the offerings: Wolverine’s jeans, Sabretooth’s jacket, and Storm’s ”casual leather pants.” That’s sure to make a splash on the first day of class.