What the country is talking about this week...

By Jim Mullen
Updated February 04, 2000 at 05:00 AM EST

1 DAVID LETTERMAN His ratings went through the roof the week of his heart surgery. When he gets back, CBS wants him to catch TB.

2 THE EYES OF TAMMY FAYE The mascara queen’s story made big waves at the Sundance Film Festival. And in this film, you actually get to see the witch.

3 ISN’T SHE GREAT Nathan Lane and Bette Midler in a movie about the Valley of the Dolls author. Which one plays Jacqueline Susann?

4 BACKSTREET BOYS The teen-throbs have signed a huge deal with Burger King. But from now on they have to wear hairnets and name tags.

5 DENNIS RODMAN In a new series, he’ll play a genius with a bullet lodged in his brain. Must have tried to pierce his ear with a gun.

6 CSNY TOUR It’s life on the road for the aging musicians. You know what that means — in vitro sex, cholesterol-lowering drugs, and rock & roll.

7 MARLA MAPLES Donald Trump’s ex may host Fox’s Who Wants to Marry a Millionaire. Look what it did for her.

8 TIME WARNER-EMI MERGER They’ll form an all-powerful recording company. It might even rival the FBI.

9 KNITTING It’s hot with young women. Nobody bothers you on the subway when you’re packing foot-long needles.

10 FOX The network has axed Beverly Hills, 90210. It’ll be replaced by David E. Kelley’s Smackdown.

11 BARBRA STREISAND She says she enjoys taking road trips and eating at truck stops. It’s hard to find good chicken-fried steak in Malibu.

12 FRIENDS They don’t know if they’re going to do another season. Would you want people fussing over your hair and makeup all day long for a lousy $100,000 a week?

13 WARREN BEATTY He’s getting a special award at the Oscars. For staying married, having kids — and letting other actors have a few starlets.

14 OXYGEN The cable channel for women launches this week. Men can just keep watching their soaps on the networks.

15 EYE OF THE BEHOLDER The investigator who’s supposed to catch serial killer Ashley Judd falls for her. Hey, if you’re hypercritical, you’ll never get a date.