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Original Issue

The Beat

IT MAY BE a shortage of better ideas, rather than popular demand, that is driving the comeback of NBC's The Apprentice in a turbocharged celebrity form. But the show now has a decidedly sportsy feel. Lennox Lewis, Nadia Comaneci, UFC fighter Tito Ortiz and Olympic softball gold medalist Jennie Finch (below) will compete against reality TV supervillain Omarosa when Celebrity Apprentice debuts on Jan. 3. The prize this time isn't a job but rather a $250,000 charity donation—though that doesn't mean the participants aren't eager for employment. Says producer Donald Trump, "They were all begging to be on the show." ... Perhaps Hulk Hogan doesn't know best, as his popular MTV reality show's title suggests. Hogan was informed by a St. Petersburg Times reporter last week that his wife, Linda, had filed for divorce after 23 years of marriage. The wrestler seemed floored. "I'm kind of shocked," he told the Times reporter. "Holy smokes. You just knocked the bottom out of me." ... College football, cold war existentialism and extraterrestrial life—is this the formula for a blockbuster sports movie? Josh Hartnett hopes so. He'll play a running back in a screen adaptation of Don DeLillo's 1972 novel End Zone, which takes on all those subjects.

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