Sideshow | Lauer to do show from Cuba

After 18 months of negotiations, promises, tears, sweat, perhaps even vomit, Jim Bell, exec producer of NBC's Today show has arranged it so Matt Lauer and the gang can broadcast Tuesday's show live from Cuba.

"It's always timely to go to Cuba," Bell said. "Being there is news in itself."

Alas, Bell said he had not secured a sit-down with either Mr. Reclusive Sourpuss Fidel Castro or his bro, Raul, who's been covering the ailing Fidel's shifts as dictator.

Today will produce stories about the impact of the U.S. embargo on Cuba and examine the island nation's political future.

Rosie to follow Rosie?

Could it really happen? Will Roseanne Barr, who has a talent for creating animosity in her fellow human beings, replace former View cohost Rosie O'Donnell, who left because she animositied too many people?

TV writers at the Associated Press and In Touch Weekly say Barr - who says she wants the job - is creating a lot of buzz, as is that other beloved queen of the obnoxious, Kathy Griffin.

Princely numerology

Number-obsessed artist Prince has a sweet deal for 1,400 luckies: Pay $250 for The Ultimate Prince Xperience package at Macy's in Minneapolis tomorrow and receive:

(1) One bottle of 3121, Prince's new fragrance; (2) one ticket to Prince's private 1,400-seat show on 07/07/07 at Macy's, and (3) a ticket to Prince's concert later that night at the Target Center in Minneapolis.

3121 is the number by which the diminutive funk god refers to the L.A. mansion where he recorded his album, 3121. It is also the name of Prince's new Vegas nightclub.

The Rosie factor

Preeminent American landowner and self-promoting bloviator Donald Trump appeared on The O'Reilly Factor Tuesday night to help preeminent American moralist, author and mental heavyweight Bill O'Reilly analyze, well, not the war in Iraq, but Rosie O'Donnell's bitter exit from her job as a co-jawer on ABC's The View. Bill used the word "monster" a few times.

The ever-perspicacious Donald came up with: "She's a terrible human being."

Britney's heartfelt heartfelts

The 900-word online note by Britney Spears, in which the single mother explains where she's at in her life, has lit up CelebDom's chatter waves something wicked. But few have read it. You should: It's the most eloquent, heartfelt string of words ever uttered by Brit. Go to

Watch out, girls!

Speaking about moving words, recent divorcé Bobby Brown's all in People mag's face with, "I'm dating, so it's not like I'm single." (Read: Don't you dare report I'm lonely, alone, bereft, teary-eyed.)

The lucky, lucky - lucky - lady is Alicia Etheridge, the former prez of the M. Gray Music Academy.

Jessica tries being a grown-up

"Even though I'm not, like, such a huge feminist," Jessica Alba begins a winning statement of principle in Parade mag, "I do want to produce movies on my own that are female-driven and empowering to women." Jess says she is beyond the sex-symbol image of self foisted on her by the phallologocentric hegemony of lame dudes. Trouble is, Alba-the-neo-feminist is all the hotter for it.

Birkhead's bills

Attorney Debra Opri, who repped the eventually triumphant Larry Birkhead in his paternity dispute involving his and Anna Nicole Smith's baby is suing the photographer for not paying his legal bills. In her suit, which was filed in Superior Court in L.A. and seeks unspecified damages, Opri wants to force binding arbitration under the terms of her contract with Birkhead. She says the work she did for Birkhead was "extensive [and] entailed hundreds of hours of work" and travel all across America and abroad.

Reps for neither side have released releases or commentary.

The Wilmer factor

Whoa! The New York Daily News says word on the street is that the baddest hip-hop badboi studmeister around, that 40-ounce-slammin' rapperdude K-Fed, might feature his latest Rap Disciple Wilmer Valderrama on his next CD - no doubt another powerful exploration into the essence of hip-hop itself!

Mr. Kevin Federline decided to invite Wilmer aboard because he was so impressed by how well Mr. Wilmer partied with him over the weekend in Vegas.

Lohan's hard commute

Now that Lindsay Lohan's in rehab (well, if she's still there today), we wonder what'll become of her upcoming movies. LiLo was scheduled to begin shooting the Shirley MacLaine-starring The Poor Thing next week. But says the plan to shuttle Lindsay from the Promises rehab to the set in Santa Monica every day ain't going to happen. "A well-connected source" says the film will have to be put on ice at least until LiLo is out - probably in four weeks.

Will film even exist then?

Mischa checks out

At 10 p.m. Monday, Mischa Barton left an L.A.-area hospital clad only in a hospital gown and slippers. The former O.C. cutie had checked in a few hours earlier after she had an "adverse reaction to prescription medication." M.B. had two drinks, which didn't mix with antibiotics she's been taking for bronchitis. Her rep: "She is fine now."

The Donald, fully deranged?

Donald Trump came on CNN's Larry King Live Tuesday night to say that NBC is dying to make a seventh season of The Apprentice, even though its ratings have stunk and even though The Donald quit the show. Trump comes off a tad demented. We all know he quit a day after NBC hinted it was going to cancel the show. "I've had so much fun," The Donald said, before veering off into fantasy. "It became the number-one show on television. It's been terrific."

The Apprentice on top? Well, there was that time back in 2004 . . .

Contact "SideShow" at This column contains information from Inquirer wire services.

Contact "SideShow" at

This column contains information from Inquirer wire services.