Originally created 01/11/00

In the know



CALL NOW:

ABC has reopened the official contestant hotline for Regis Philbin's Who Wants to Be a Millionaire. The new number: 1-800-433-8321. (Good luck.)

Lines will be open daily from 6 p.m. to 2 a.m. until Sunday. Only one call per person per day.

You know the drill. Would-be contestants answer a series of questions. A computer then ranks the speed of the responses, with the quickest players being brought to New York to qualify.

Millionaire began its eight-day run Sunday. Today it settles into its 8 p.m. Tuesday slot. Thursday and Sunday it airs at 9 p.m.

CAST YOUR VOTE:

TV Guide magazine is passing out ballots for its March 5 awards show on Fox.

The Jan. 8 issue (which should be on the stands) contains details of how to select favorites in 15 categories: drama and comedy, actor and actress in comedy and drama, soap opera, sportscaster and others.

Ballots must be received by Jan. 28. Last year, the magazine, which has close to 30 million readers, received 1.2 million responses.

This year, there is a favorite-new-series category.

IT'S NEWS TO US:

To paraphrase Sally Field's Oscar acceptance speech: "You like us, you really like us!" In a Yankelovich Partners survey, newspapers topped the list of items Americans would like to see continued into the next century (93 percent). As for what to leave behind -- a three-way tie for first, with 73 percent wanting to leave cloning, telemarketing and Jerry Springer in the 20th century.

BUG OFF:

Lady bugs have long been considered a symbol of good luck and fortune. But they may not be good luck if you have asthma. According to a study presented at the annual meeting of the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, lady bugs, joining the ranks of dust mites, pollution, pollen and smoke, were shown to trigger severe asthma attacks in a man whose house became infested.