* Frumpy phenom Susan Boyle, of "Britain's Got Talent," is making her big-screen acting debut in a Christmas-themed British period drama.
The Scottish singer, who became a YouTube sensation with her talent-show audition of "I Dreamed a Dream," from "Les Miz," before it was a glint in Anne Hathaway's eye, appears in "The Christmas Candle," a story of angels and wishes set in an English village in the 1890s.
Boyle's role has not been disclosed, but it's safe to say she's not the ingenue.
All you need to know about 'Downton Abbey'
Those of you unfamiliar with the British public-TV phenomenon may skip ahead to the next item. But here's what's coming next season:
Shirley MacLaine is returning.
Opera star Kiri Te Kanawa is joining. She'll play a house guest (who sings).
Tom Cullen will play Lord Gillingham, an old family friend of the Crawleys who may mend Lady Mary Crawley's broken heart.
Nigel Harman will play a valet.
Harriet Walter will be Lady Shackleton, an old friend of the dowager countess.
Joanna David will guest as the duchess of Yeovil.
Julian Ovenden will portray aristocrat Charles Blake.
Siobhan Finneran, who played villainous housemaid Sarah O'Brien, won't be back.
* In what is bound to become a
future episode, three stars from "Modern Family" got stuck in a Kansas City elevator for about an hour Friday night, delaying their appearance at a charity benefit.
Julie Bowen, Jesse Tyler Ferguson and Eric Stonestreet were in town for a fundraiser for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Kansas City. Stonestreet grew up in Kansas City, Kan.
The Kansas City Star reports that the trio got stuck with about a dozen other folks at the Sheraton Crown Center, where they were headlining the fundraiser.
Crews from the K.C. Fire Department freed the group at about 10 p.m., an hour after they were scheduled to appear.
* Gay-advocacy group GLAAD
says that Madonna will present CNN's Anderson Cooper with an award for openly gay media professionals.
GLAAD told the Associated Press on Saturday that the singer has been chosen to give Cooper the Vito Russo Award at the 24th annual GLAAD Media Awards in New York City on March 16.
GLAAD President Herndon Graddick says Madonna and Cooper are longtime friends who have used their careers to support lesbian, gay and transgender people.
Cooper declined to speak publicly about his sexuality for years. But last July he gave blogger Andrew Sullivan permission to publish an email in which Cooper said he was gay and "couldn't be more happy."
Russo helped found GLAAD and wrote a book about gays in the movies called The Celluloid Closet.
* Terrell Owens can't catch a
football or a break.
According to TMZ.com, the former Eagles wideout owes everyone's Uncle Sam income tax for 2005 ($294,661.71), 2007 ($46,504.00), and 2009 ($97,747.81). That's almost $439K.
Wonder what prompted him to
pay in even years?
So here's a good financial lesson: When you're making millions you should pay your taxes, because when you're retired and not making millions you're still going to owe them, and the IRS doesn't care that you've lost a step.
* You know who else owes a
bundle? "Real Housewives of New Jersey" star Jacqueline Laurita, who TMZ.com says has a lien from the Garden State for close to $340K.
If Laurita doesn't pay up soon, the state may come after her assets - but what New Jersey is going to do with fake breasts we have no idea.
* The Hollywood Reporter says
that sources at NBC are readying a retirement plan for Jay Leno to depart "The Tonight Show."
Unfortunately, they want Conan O'Brien to tell him.
- Daily News wire services
contributed to this report.
On Twitter: @DNTattle