The roll call of the 2008 Kennedy Center Honors ranges across pop culture: singer/actress Barbra Streisand, The Who's Pete Townshend and Roger Daltrey, country great George Jones, actor Morgan Freeman and choreographer Twyla Tharp.
On Dec. 7, after a reception at the White House given by President and first lady Laura Bush, the honorees will be saluted at the Kennedy Center Opera House during a star-filled program that will be later televised nationally on CBS.
Up for a Booker
Two first-time novelists were among six finalists for the prestigious Man Booker prize for fiction.
Indian novelist Aravind Adiga was nominated yesterday for The White Tiger, and Australia's Steve Toltz for A Fraction of the Whole.
The other finalists include Amitav Ghosh of India for Sea of Poppies; Linda Grant for The Clothes on Their Backs and Philip Hensher for The Northern Clemency, both of England; and Ireland's Sebastian Barry for The Secret Scripture; he was also nominated in 2005 for A Long Long Way.
The winner, who receives $88,700 and a likely boost in sales, will be announced Oct. 14. Eligible novels must be written in English by writers from Britain, Ireland or the Commonwealth of former British colonies.
* Actress Minnie Driver has given birth to a not-so-little one. Henry Story Driver was born in Los Angeles on Friday and weighed in at 9 pounds, 12 ounces, her publicist Jessica Kolstad told People magazine. Driver, 38, has not revealed the name of the father.
* Dancing with the Stars pro Tony Dovolani and his wife, Lina, have two new tiny dancers in their family. Adrian Driton Dovolani and Adriana Dovolani were born minutes apart Monday in a Connecticut hospital, reports People. They join sister Luana, 3.
A mom's memoir
The mother of Britney Spears says that the singer has overcome the tabloid nightmares of the past few years.
Lynne Spears writes of her celebrity daughters, including Jamie Lynn, in Through the Storm, to be published Tuesday by Thomas Nelson, a leading Christian publisher.
The 211-page book tracks Britney Spears' life through her precocious early years to her pill-addicted fall.
In the book, Lynne Spears recalls feeling "shock and dismay" at seeing her daughter shave her head, at her brief marriages to childhood friend Jason Alexander and dancer-rapper Kevin Federline, and her highly publicized custody battles over her two children. She also recalls feeling she had been "punched in the stomach" when she learned that Jamie Lynn Spears was pregnant at age 16.
She calls Federline a "caring daddy" and says Britney Spears is "an amazing mother," but only when at her best. Lynne Spears also writes warmly of her daughter's former boyfriend, Justin Timberlake.
Ready for football, indeed
Football season opened with a bang on NBC taking the top spots in TV ratings for the week of Sept. 1-7. Sunday Night Football drew 18.4 million viewers while the Pre-Kick Show pulled in 13.3 million. NFL Thursday Special drew another 13.6 million.
Fox's Post-Game Show was fourth with 12.9 million. The other top 10 (in millions): Deal or No Dea l, NBC, 10.9; America's Got Talent, NBC, 10.8; America's Got Talent (Wednesday), NBC, 10.2; 60 Minutes, CBS, 10.1; Football Night in America, NBC, 10.0; Bones, Fox, 9.7.
From Baltimore Sun news services
Golfer Arnold Palmer, 79.
Country singer Rosie Flores, 52.
Actress Kate Burton, 51.
Movie director Chris Columbus, 50.
Actor Colin Firth, 48.
Movie director Guy Ritchie, 40.