What the country is talking about this week ...

By Jim Mullen
Updated March 02, 2001 at 05:00 AM EST

1 Tom and Nicole They’ve figured out a simple way to split their nine-figure fortune: half to each of the lawyers.

2 Survivor 3 Maybe next time they’ll send them to England. No one would be able to choke down the strange food.

3 Russell Crowe He stopped seeing Meg Ryan because he wanted to spend more time on his Australian ranch. He can’t have a girlfriend and cows, too?

4 Miss USA 2001 pageant Live from the Glamour Capital of the World — Gary, Indiana.

5 Puffy-J. Lo split He treated her like a queen. She spent all her time in court.

6 Drew Barrymore Her Los Angeles home went up in flames. A tragedy? Just a Tom Green comedy bit.

7 Popstars Teens are tuning in to see if five real women chosen to be in a singing group can make it. Based on the Chinese show Rocket Scientists.

8 SATs The University of California may no longer consider them on applications. Points, however, will be given for hairstyles and body art.

9 The swimsuit issue What suit? All some of these girls are wearing is sunblock.

10 Her Majesty’s mice Exterminators have been called to Buckingham Palace to deal with a royal rodent problem. But they keep catching Prince Philip.

11 Mardi Gras A gorging festival to prepare people for the deprivations of Lent. Mainly celebrated by people who don’t deprive themselves for Lent.

12 Survivor 2 Animal rights groups are protesting the boar butchering. Where were they during the grub massacre?

13 Regis Philbin He gave $2.75 million to his alma mater, Notre Dame University, to build a theater. Where students will be able to watch Rudy, on demand, 24/7.

14 The Judy Garland biopic The drink- and drug-addled singer was a pioneer. She was into self-destructive behavior decades before it was fashionable.

15 Nora Roberts’ Sanctuary Melissa Gilbert receives disturbing e-mails, so she moves to an isolated island. Yes, alone, far from help — that’s the ticket.

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