Today, however, a surprise is something you know about in advance.
E! News, for instance, is reporting that the four lost members of 'NSync - JC Chasez, Lance Bass, Joey Fatone and Chris Kirkpatrick - are going to join Justin Timberlake "for a surprise performance" at the MTV Video Music Awards in New York.
Sheesh, it won't be much of a surprise now.
Timberlake is already scheduled to perform after receiving the Michael Jackson Vanguard Award (can Tattle invest 401(k) money in that Vanguard fund?), but his boy-band mates are then expected to join him onstage for some old-fashioned late-'90s harmonizing.
Us Weekly says that MTV producers are "trying to make it happen."
If it does, it will be the quintet's first TV performance in a decade, since they sang Bee Gees songs at the 2003 Grammy Awards.
The MTV VMAs will air live from Brooklyn's Barclays Center at 9 p.m. Sunday.
We'll see what surprise they decide to ruin tomorrow.
* NBC's "Today" show announced yesterday that it is starting a new book club. Its first club pick is "The Bone Season," the debut novel of 21-year-old Samantha Shannon.
Published by Bloomsbury, it's the first in a planned seven-part series set in a dystopian futuristic London.
How many tweens watch the "Today" show?
* Oops, we did it again.
Tattle erred yesterday in saying that Kim Kardashian missed half sister Kylie Jenner's massive Sweet 16 extravaganza because she was at home overseeing her platoon of nannies who care for baby North.
The New York Post says that she was at the funeral of Kanye West's grandfather.
* Aretha Franklin won't say what caused her latest health problems, but says that she's had a "miraculous" recovery and is looking forward to performing soon.
"My treatments are going very well. My last CAT scan, my doctor at the CAT scan and everyone who sees this says that this is miraculous, absolutely miraculous," Franklin said in a phone interview with the Associated Press yesterday.
"I was talking to Smokey Robinson, my oldest, best friend Smokey, talking about the fact that some doctors are not very well-acquainted with faith healing. And Smokey said, 'Well, they just don't know who your healer is.' "
* A person familiar with negotiations to bring Jennifer Lopez back as an "American Idol" judge says that her return will be announced this week.
Wow, there's the ratings boost the show needed.
The unidentified person says that Lopez decided to rejoin the show because its production schedule will allow her to spend more time with her children, 5-year-old twins Emme and Max.
* TV legend Dick Van Dyke was uninjured after his Jaguar caught fire while he was driving on a Los Angeles freeway.
California Highway Patrol Officer Saul Gomez said Monday that Van Dyke, 87, was not treated or cited at the scene.
The officer said witnesses reported the fire just before 2 p.m. Monday and said that an elderly man was slumped over behind the wheel of the flaming car. Passers-by stopped to help the man, whom police and fire officials identified as Van Dyke.
He later tweeted that he had a Jaguar for sale - cheap.
* Al-Jazeera America has entered the cable-news fray.
The Qatar-based news organization launched its U.S. network at 3 p.m. Eastern time yesterday with a one-hour preview before settling into a regular schedule. It replaces Al Gore's Current TV in more than 45 million TV homes.
At the same time, the Al-Jazeera English network was suspended. It had been available since 2006 online and in a smattering of cable systems.
Al-Jazeera America is headquartered in New York and vows to provide unbiased, in-depth domestic and global news - the same thing CNN, Fox News, CBS, NBC and ABC also promise.
Perhaps their new slogan will be "Fez and balanced."
- Daily News wire services
contributed to this report
On Twitter: @DNTattle