When Streisand meets W, Hamm to guest on '30 Rock,' new Rowling book due


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Monica Haynes is off. Compiled from Web and wire reports.

Kennedy Center staff and others are bracing for fireworks Sunday night when Barbra Streisand comes to town for the 31st annual Honors gala.

Why? Because W will be seated with the honorees during the gala. Streisand, who has been especially critical of President Bush, has called for his impeachment and even canceled a performance in Jerusalem to celebrate the 60th anniversary of Israel after learning that Bush would attend.

She'll be honored along with Morgan Freeman, country star George Jones, The Who's Pete Townshend and Roger Daltrey and choreographer Twyla Tharp.

A Kennedy Center rep told the New York Post: "Typically, the honorees go to the White House and see the president, and that's something that's been happening for years regardless of personal politics. It's all pretty standard."


Jon Hamm is temporarily trading the offices of Sterling Cooper for "30 Rock."

The actor, who plays advertising executive Don Draper on AMC's "Mad Men," will portray the love interest of Tina Fey character Liz Lemon -- a doctor who lives in the apartment.

Could it last?

"I just finished a couple of episodes, and I'll go back in the new year and do another one of those, and then we'll see what happens," Hamm said.


Neither Stephen Colbert nor Kanye West took first place in the album-sales duel, which West instigated on Colbert's show this week.

The biggest man of all, as measured by iTunes album sales, was Britney Spears.

At 5 p.m. Wednesday, the time Colbert had called on his fans to go to iTunes and purchase "A Colbert Christmas: The Greatest Gift of All," Spears' album was on top. And, during what iTunes has labeled "Britney Spears Week," it stayed that way.


Mark Ruffalo's brother is fighting for his life after being shot in the head Monday night in Beverly Hills.

Jessica Kolstad, publicist for the "Zodiac" actor, confirmed that 39-year-old Scott Ruffalo, a hairstylist, was found early Monday with a gunshot wound to the head.

Beverly Hills police spokesman Lt. Tony Lee would say only that "suspicious activity" had taken place at the location and time of the shooting.


Barack Obama's campaign manager, David Plouffe, is writing a book about the historic election victory and has retained Washington attorney Robert Barnett, Obama's literary representative, to shop the proposal to publishers.

The book has been tentatively titled, "The Audacity to Win," a reference to Obama's million-selling "The Audacity of Hope." Plouffe plans not only an inside look at the Obama run but also advice for how to manage a large organization.


Beach volleyball Olympic gold medalist Kerri Walsh won't be wearing that skimpy bikini for long. She and hubby, fellow beach volleyball player Casey Jennings, are expecting their first child. She's 16 weeks along.


Recession-hit booksellers are hoping for a magical boost from a new book by Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling.

"The Tales of Beedle the Bard," a collection of five fables mentioned in Rowling's saga about the boy wizard, was being published around the world yesterday.

Expectations are high for the new book, which has a global print run of 8 million copies.

"We expect it will crash straight in at No. 1 in our book charts," Jon Howells, of Britain's Waterstone's bookstore chain, said. "It would take a battle of magical proportions to dislodge it before Christmas."



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