Originally created 09/04/01

In the know



SURVIVOR SURPRISE: Knock, knock, NBC. Four contestants from CBS's Survivor and Survivor: The Australian Outback will make a surprise visit to the network's Big Brother 2 in a special episode to air against the premiere of NBC's reality series, Lost, at 8 p.m. Wednesday.

Gervase Peterson and Sue Hawk of Survivor and Outback's Alicia Calloway and Jeff Varner will participate in a competition with the four remaining "houseguests" before spending the night.

The Big Brother stunt - it normally airs Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays - comes after NBC aggressively scheduled an episode of its summer reality smash, Fear Factor, for 9 p.m. Wednesday, opposite the debut of CBS's highly hyped reality show, Amazing Race.

Since its July 5 debut, Big Brother 2's viewership has increased every week. The show concludes Sept. 20.

TRY AGAIN: After the disastrous Who Wants to Marry a Millionaire, Fox is taking another shot at the matrimonial reality game.

I Want a Wife: Alaska, now in development, features Alaskan bachelors being introduced to potential brides. (Hmmmm, Northern Exposure meets Designing Women.) Here's the deal: Four eligible women head north to our 49th state and date several local bachelors over seven weeks. In the finale, the men get to propose to one of the lucky gals.

DIALING OPRAH: Media congolmerate Oprah Winfrey will visit Larry King tonight on his live CNN talk show. Ms. Winfrey, whose monster syndicated show is entering its 16th season, will take viewer calls during the hourlong 9 p.m. show.

TOP VIDEO: Here are last week's Top 5 VHS rentals, according to a national sample of rental reports compiled by Billboard magazine.

1. The Mexican. A violence-prone, screwball farce about a pair of misfit lovers (Brad Pitt and Julia Roberts) who run afoul of the mob. As a sensitive hit man, James Gandolfini of HBO's Sopranos steals every scene (R).

2. Enemy at the Gates, a World War II drama about two snipers, a Russian (Jude Law), and a German (Ed Harris), locked in a battle of wills and marksmanship at the battle of Stalingrad. Also starring Joseph Fiennes (R).

3. 15 Minutes, an action crime thriller starring Robert DeNiro as a famous homicide detective who teams up with a less-experienced fire inspector (Ed Burns) to investigate a case (R).

4. The Family Man. A comedy starring Nicolas Cage as a rich man who gets a chance to see what his life would have been like had he married his college sweetheart (Tea Leoni) and sold tires for his father-in-law (PG-13).

5. Chocolat. A romantic comedy starring Juliette Binoche as a mysterious woman who opens a chocolate shop in an uptight French village. It co-stars Judi Dench and Johnny Depp as a suitably romantic rebel. (PG-13)