If Brown wins award, maybe he'll get slimed

Nickelodeon says it has no plans to remove Chris Brown as a nominee for its annual Kids' Choice Awards, despite the singer's felony charges for allegedly beating up his girlfriend, Rihanna.


Brown is nominated for favorite male singer and favorite song. An online petition asking Nickelodeon to remove Brown and Rihanna as nominees had 2,166 signatures yesterday. Nickelodeon says Brown was nominated for his work as a performer, and kids will decide who wins at the March 28 show.

Hargitay on the mend


Ailing Law & Order: SVU star Mariska Hargitay "is recovering well and is expected to return to SVU in the next couple of weeks," spokesman Gary Mantoosh said yesterday. She is expected to miss filming just one episode, he said.

Hargitay was hospitalized last week after feeling discomfort from a partially collapsed lung, a condition she has had since January.

But can she act?

Singer Ashlee Simpson-Wentz, 24, will join the cast of the CW's Melrose Place remake, expected in the fall. Simpson-Wentz will be playing a small-town girl who has a "shrewd sex kitten" within, Entertainment Weekly first reported on its Web site.

Unlucky No. 13

If you want a good time, vote for American Idol. The Fox TV show - which has 13 finalists this season instead of the usual dozen - had to choose another voting line last night besides 1-866-IDOLS-13 because that number is owned by a phone sex operation, promising to connect listeners to a "nasty girl" for up to $3.99 a minute.

Ryan Seacrest dialed the number on his radio show yesterday morning. Seacrest then got producer Megan Michaels on the line, and she explained that the show got a special G-rated number for the 13th performer. The show owns 1-866-IDOLS-01 to 1-866-IDOLS-12.

TV's top 10


Fox's American Idol continued to dominate the ratings last week, taking the top three spots. About 24.3 million viewers tuned in to American Idol's Tuesday show, making it the most-watched primetime show for the week of March 2-8, according to Nielsen Media Research. Wednesday's Idol had 22.8 million viewers; Thursday's had 21.5 million.

The rest of the top 10, in millions: CSI, CBS, 20.9; The Bachelor: After the Final Rose, ABC, 17.5; The Bachelor, ABC, 15.5; Two and a Half Men, CBS, 15.5; NCIS, CBS, 13.7; Desperate Housewives, ABC, 13.7; CSI: Miami, CBS, 13.4. TODAY'S BIRTHDAYS

Journalist Sam Donaldson, 75.

Actress Alex Kingston, 46.

Actor Johnny Knoxville, 38.

Rock singer-musicians Joel and Benji Madden (Good Charlotte), 30.