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July 31st


Will Ann Curry have the last laugh after all? An insider told the Daily News that NBC flew Hoda Kotb to London over the weekend to take part in the “Today” show's Olympic coverage because audiences weren’t digging Curry's replacement, Savannah Guthrie. The show source said that the beloved Kotb, who co-hosts the wine-filled, fourth hour of “Today” with Kathie Lee Gifford, received a call from the network on Thursday after a pre-Olympics broadcast fell short in the ratings department against the network's rival, ABC's “Good Morning America.” Executives wanted Kotb to join Guthrie, co-hosts Matt Lauer, Natalie Morales and Al Roker, who were already in London. Guthrie, the show's co-hosts, and special prime-time Olympic correspondents, Meredith Vieira and Ryan Seacrest have all had their beats established for months, the source said. But "they're just shoehorning her into the show to help bring it alive," the source added. “They called Hoda on Thursday begging her to go to London because they said it wasn’t working like they thought.” Kotb was set to start a two-week hiatus from the show for vacation, but she cheerfully joined the NBC gaggle in London. “Packing my bags and heading to London this weekend — thx for all the story suggestions. You know I will do them!” the 47-year-old cheerfully tweeted on Friday after completing her show. The Kathie Lee & Hoda blog currently says the show is “on Olympic hiatus for a little while.” Kotb was once rumored to be the forerunner for Curry's position around the time of the former “Today” show anchor's teary June 28 departure. When asked at the time if she was interested in Curry's role she reportedly said, “I'm actually joyful where I am.” The 40-year-old Guthrie was promoted from host of the 9 a.m. hour. Since Guthrie filled Curry's role on July 9, “Today” has not beaten “Good Morning America” in the ratings even once. NBC has the exclusive rights to televise the Olympics in the United States, so the source said the network was hoping to for a quick change. During the Olympics, on average, “Today’s” audience increases approximately 30 percent, reportedly. But when Thursday's pre-Olympics coverage didn't beat out “Good Morning America,” it was Hoda to the rescue - literally. “She didn't hesitate in saying yes,” said the insider. A spokeswoman for “Today”6 did not respond to a request for comment.


Bret Michaels has announced to Gossip Cop today that after almost 16 years (on and off), the mother of his two kids, Kristi Gibson and he have split”  “Bret Michaels and longtime girlfriend Kristi Gibson have called off their engagement at this time. Although the couple have separated, they remain great friends and are committed to jointly raising their two daughters, Raine and Jorja."


The Internet has spoken . . . and it's declared that the most attractive women at the Olympics are the members of the Netherlands' field hockey team. -The Dutch field hockey women actually have a reputation for being exceptionally attractive . . . apparently some people were saying that as far back as the 2004 Olympics in Athens . . . but now they're getting even more attention.


Yesterday morning, the "Today" show did a bit where they asked people on the streets of London about the Opening Ceremonies.  One of the people they talked to was EVANDER HOLYFIELD.  And they had no idea. It's clear they didn't recognize him . . . he just gets one very quick comment in a montage.  Holyfield won a bronze medal in boxing at the 1984 Olympics and won world titles as both a cruiserweight and a heavyweight.

"Us Weekly"has posted all the KRISTEN STEWART cheating pics on their website. There's really nothing more incriminating than what we've already seen.  Just more of the same kissing and snuggling.


KRISTEN STEWARTdoesn't have a lot of supporters right now.  But one of them spoke up yesterday.  His name is Giovanni Agnelli, and he produced one of Kristen's movies, "Welcome to the Rileys". He says Kristen's affair with her "Snow White and the Huntsman" director RUPERT SANDERS was never consummated. He says, quote, "I'll say right now what the manipulative media isn't saying . . . Kristen Stewart did not have any type of sex with Rupert Sanders."


A custody battle is brewing between KRISTEN STEWART and ROBERT PATTINSON . . . over a DOG.Early in 2011, they adopted a mutt named Bear from a high-kill shelter in New Orleans.  And neither of them wants to give him up.-A source says, quote, "Rob told Kristen he wanted Bear.  She was heartbroken . . . they adopted Bear together and she always felt that he was their little baby."But Rob was so hurt by Kristen's actions he decided that he wants the dog to help him get over what happened. "However, Kristen won't give up Bear in a hurry. She wants joint custody . . . and it could get a little messy." 


I can't remember the last time someone reported on the GOOD stuff PARIS HILTON does.  So this is a switch:A young man named Mike Oliveri who suffers from muscular dystrophy happened to meet Paris about two weeks ago.  She hung out with him and was really kind to him, but that's not where this story ends. Soon after that, Paris hit up his website . . . . . . and started chatting with him.  During that chat she gave him $5,000.  And the money was seriously needed, because Mikey's care costs thousands of dollars a month. Mike made a YouTube video explaining just how much Paris has done for him . . . and he even claims her unsolicited donation SAVED HIS LIFE. He says, quote, "There's a lot of really bad and horrible press about Paris, and I don't think anybody really knows her at all.  And until you know her . . . I hope the whole world can really understand what an amazing person you are."


The average person really doesn't understand how much good celebrities do, because it's often not reported.  That's why you can really put your foot in your mouth criticizing them for not doing more.That's exactly what happened to one of OPRAH WINFREY'S Twitter followers who Tweeted, quote, "When are u going 2 give back 2 the ghettos in america?"Here was Oprah's BRUTAL YET BRILLIANT response . . . quote, "When are u? I've put 500 African American men thru college.  And u sir?" -What this FOOL didn't realize is that Oprah is the largest individual donor to Morehouse College, a historically black, all-male university.  She's given them more than $12 million since 1989.


PITBULLmade good on his promise and traveled to Kodiak, Alaska yesterday to make a promotional appearance at their Wal-Mart.It started as an Internet campaign in which Pitbull would visit the Wal-Mart that got the most likes on Facebook. But some wise-ass journalist started his own campaign to make the Kodiak store, which is the most remote Wal-Mart in the country, the winner.  He succeeded.  And instead of being upset, Pitbull brought the guy along with him.-His day included meeting with residents and performing at a local Coast Guard base.


There's been some talk that "The Hobbit" will be a TRILOGY just like "The Lord of the Rings".  Yesterday, director PETER JACKSON confirmed it.In a Facebook post, he said, quote, "We were really pleased with the way the story was coming together, in particular, the strength of the characters and the cast who have brought them to life."All of which gave rise to a simple question:  Do we take this chance to tell more of the tale?  And the answer from our perspective as the filmmakers, and as fans, was an unreserved 'yes.'" He added that a third movie . . . with some additional filming next year . . . was needed to fulfill his vision for "The Hobbit" and the history of Middle Earth.-Peter said he's bringing in some stuff "from the related material in the appendices of 'The Lord of the Rings' . . . to tell the full story of the adventures of Bilbo Baggins." There's no title or release date for the third movie yet, although there's speculation that it could come out two years from now, in the summer of 2014. -The first movie "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" hits theaters on December 14th.  The second one "The Hobbit: There and Back Again" comes out a year later, on December 13th, 2013.


"Us"magazine claims Nick Jonas and Pharrell Williams are the "frontrunners" to take over the two empty judges' seats on "American Idol". Sources tell them that Nick and Pharrell would sit next to Mariah Carey the only confirmed judge while Randy Jackson would move into a "mentoring role." 


Safe to say Steven Tyler won’t be on the guestlist for any future American Idol reunion specials?Turns out the Aerosmith rocker has parted ways with the series producers after calling his time on the talent show a bit of a bore.The singer quit the show after two seasons earlier this month — a day before fellow judge Jennifer Lopez followed him out the door. Tyler now admits he only agreed to sit alongside J.Lo and Randy Jackson for the cash — and to give his bandmates the chance to calm down after he announced plans for a hiatus from the ban he has fronted since the late ’70s.He tells Rolling Stone magazine:

“It was something to do while the storm blew by, to be honest…Not my cup of tea. I loved it and hated it. It was a great job, I sat next to J.Lo and I made a ton of money. It was a moment in life and it became larger than life. It was just hard work – seven-hour days and then I went and did the (Aerosmith) album for eight hours after that. The show’s about kids and what you do to nurture their talent. They wanted me to take the piss out of the kids and I don’t have that in me. That’s not what I’m about. That’s more about that other guy (Cowell). Not me.”



ABC has decided to pull the two remaining episodes of FRED WILLARD'S improv comedy show, "Trust Us with Your Life".  It's a response to Fred's arrest earlier this month, after he was caught pleasuring himself in a porno theater. Reruns of "Wipeout" will air in place of "Trust Us with Your Life". Fred previously lost his gig as the narrator of the PBS show "Market Warriors" . . . even though he has insisted that he didn't do anything wrong, and that his side of the story is "much more PG" than what we've heard.


A fire broke out on the stage during the WWE's rehearsals for last night's "Monday Night Raw" . . . and it wasn't scripted.  (--Although, you can never be sure.) A rep for the WWE says the fire began due to "a minor incident involving the show's pyrotechnics."  No one was injured, and there was no major damage to the arena. -"Monday Night Raw" went on as planned . . . and footage of the fire aired at the beginning of the show.


Katy Perry’s  new single "Wide Awake" has moved into the Number One position on Billboard's Pop Songs chart, and that has set a new record. It's Katy's ninth Number One on the Pop Songs chart, which is more than anyone else since Billboard debuted the chart nearly 20 years ago. Interestingly enough, the top seven acts with the most Number Ones on the Pop Songs chart are all women. Rihanna has eight followed by Lady Gaga, Pink and Britney Spears with seven and Beyoncé and Mariah Carey have six apiece.



--"2012 Summer Olympics" . . . all day on NBC and its sister networks.  Events include . . . U.S. beach volleyball, women's synchronized diving, women's gymnastics, men's basketball, men's volleyball, swimming finals and tennis.

-"White Collar" . . . 9:00 to 10:00 P.M. on USA.  "Smallville's" Laura Vandervoort guest stars as a young rich widow.

--"Jane by Design" [1st Season Finale] . . . 9:00 to 10:00 P.M. on ABC Family.

--"The Glee Project" . . . 10:00 to 11:00 P.M. on Oxygen.  "Glee's" Darren Criss (Blaine) guest mentors and the contestants perform Rihanna's "We Found Love".