The 15 hottest topics of the week of October 16, 1998

By Jim Mullen
October 16, 1998 at 04:00 AM EDT

1 LIAM NEESON The Irish star and his wife, Natasha Richardson, won $85,370 in a libel suit. Suddenly, I can’t think of anything nasty to say about them.

2 HOLY MAN Guru Eddie Murphy becomes the star salesman on a home-shopping channel. At last you can buy inner peace without having to go to the mall.

3 LOCKOUT NBA now stands for No Basketball Allowed.

4 ONE Pepsi’s new one-calorie diet soda. It would have come out last year, but it took them forever to come up with a name.

5 FELICITY The WB’s doe-eyed collegiate protagonist is suspiciously similar to Ally McBeal. She’s even taking Skirt Shortening 101.

6 BASEBALL PLAY-OFFS The ratings show the fans are coming back. Until the owners think of a new way to tick them off.

7 ROSEANNE She wanted to pay Monica Lewinsky $2 million to talk about what she did for free. It used to be the other way around.

8 LARRY FLYNT He’s offering up to $1 million to anyone who proves they had improper sex with a member of Congress or high-ranking politicians. Not counting lobbyists, of course.

9 MARTHA STEWART The daytime doyenne is expanding her show to an hour a day. At this rate, by 2010 we’ll end up with a show called Martha Stewart Sleeping.

10 ISAAC MIZRAHI Chanel pulled the plug on the Unzipped star designer. It’s hard to believe — he was its biggest cachet cow.

11 MARCEL PROUST His Remembrance of Things Past is now a comic book. One step above reading it as a Pop-Up Video.

12 FERGIE The ex-duchess now has her own talk show in the U.K. It’s the only job that’s easier than being royalty.

13 THE SECRET DIARY OF DESMOND PFEIFFER An unfunny comedy about Abe Lincoln’s fictional black butler. The only good news is that the title Just Shoot Me was taken.

14 THE IMUS A literary prize named after an aging shock jock. It’s like getting the Ed Wood award for Best Picture.

15 CHARLIE ROSE The soft-spoken PBS host may join 60 Minutes II. If he backs out they’ll go for Mister Rogers.