By EW Staff
Updated January 09, 2004 at 05:00 AM EST

News + Notes

12 | COURT OF APPEAL Audiences warm again to The Practice and Frasier… Musicians and posthumous fame…P. Diddy in A Raisin in the Sun…A first look at ABC’s Natalie Wood biopic…The Manhattan Lord of the Rings-athon…Hot Sheet…The Shaw Report…Monitor…The 5-Year Plan: Jeffrey Tambor.


26 | THE OSCAR RACE Begins We stick our necks out to predict who will be nominated in the major categories.

46 | THE MUSIC MAN American Idol host Ryan Seacrest’s blond ambition has earned him a new talk show and makes him hair — we mean heir — apparent to Dick Clark. BY NICHOLAS FONSECA

50 | CRY HARD 2 All right, stop with the waterworks. Our readers cleared their teary orbs long enough to flood us with letters about what we’d left off our 50 Greatest Tearjerkers list. Here are the 10 you missed the most.


55 | THE MUST LIST Ten great things to see/hear/read.

56 | MOVIES Cold Mountain; also Paycheck, Peter Pan, The Young Black Stallion, Cheaper by the Dozen, Calendar Girls, and Monster. Plus: Ask the Critic; Spotlight on Bernard Hill.

65 | DVD & VIDEO Cheers and Frasier, season 2; also Wiseguy, Uptown Girls, Bonjour Tristesse, Out of Time, and Sex and the City, season 5.

69 | TELEVISION Curb Your Enthusiasm; also Tru Calling. Plus: The fall season’s Winners and Losers; What to Watch.

78 | MUSIC Phantom Planet’s self-titled album; also the Cold Mountain soundtrack, Wicked’s cast recording, John Lennon, Ryan Adams, the Buff Medways, Raekwon, Juvenile, and Virginia Rodrigues. Plus: Follow the wicker chair through the music ages.

82 | BOOKS Tracy Chevalier’s The Lady and the Unicorn; also Colin Harrison, Chuck Pfarrer, Joyce Carol Oates, David Sinclair, Thomas Mallon, Ken Auletta, Elmore Leonard, Ed McBain, Walter Mosley, Anita Brookner, and Miles Corwin.

10 | MAIL Sean Penn; 50 Greatest Tearjerkers.

89 | STUPID QUESTIONS This week with…Donald Trump.

ON THE COVER Naomi Watts, Jennifer Connelly, and Charlize Theron photographed for EW by Martin Schoeller in Los Angeles on Dec. 1, 2003

30 second bio


30 second bio Three Things You Should Know About Ryan Seacrest

— At last May’s Idol finale, Seacrest was suffering from what he calls ”one of the worst flus I’d ever had.” (Maybe that explains his slipup when he announced the voting results.)

— After two years at the University of Georgia, Seacrest transferred to Santa Monica College as a business major. He left a year before graduating to pursue his radio career.

— Larry King picked Seacrest, the voice of L.A.’s No. 1 afternoon radio show, to fill in as host (and choose the guest) for his CNN show last October. Seacrest interviewed Jessica Simpson and Nick Lachey.