CAST: In two high-profile casting announcements, Emmy-winner Kim Delaney is heading to FOX’s The O.C. and Teri Polo is checking into NBC’s The West Wing, says the Hollywood Reporter. For at least five episodes, NYPD Blue vet Delaney, 42, will play an ex-flame who reappears in the life of character Sandy Cohen (Peter Gallagher). The O.C. returns on Thursday. On Wing, for four episodes this season (and possibly as many as a dozen more in the future) Polo, 35, will play the potential first lady as the wife of Matthew Santos (Jimmy Smits), a three-term Democratic congressman from Texas with strong presidential aspirations.
EXPECTING: Former Clinton presidential adviser and current ABC political analyst George Stephanopoulos and his wife, talk-show host Alexandra Wentworth, are expecting their second child in late spring, ABC News reps confirm to PEOPLE. The couple s first child, daughter Elliott, is 2. The pair married on Nov. 20, 2001.
SPOTLIGHTED: Lil’ Kim, 30, is going back to school on Wednesday – to talk about herself, at the accredited Syracuse University course, “Hip-Hop Eshu: The Life and Times of Lil’ Kim,” reports the Associated Press. Kim accepted an invitation to speak to the class, being taught by English professor Greg Thomas. She’ll also meet with faculty and about 100 other invited students during her visit to discuss her role in the hip-hop culture and her experiences as one of its leading female stars.
CANCELED: Hip-hop star LL Cool J has pulled out of the remaining 12 dates of his concert tour, due to an abdominal ailment, AP reports. The 36-year-old rapper-actor said he is “extremely disappointed to have to cancel the rest of this fun and successful tour.” A statement released by his publicist said LL Cool J is under a doctor’s care and requires medication and rest. No additional information was available about his condition. Ticket-holders will be given a refund.
RESIGNED: After more than a decade running Paramount Pictures, Sherry Lansing surprised Hollywood Tuesday by announcing that she plans to step down when her contract expires at the end of next year. “I’ve always had this plan that I would leave at the end of my current contract,” said Lansing, a onetime starlet who celebrated her 60th birthday this summer. “I’d always said I would leave at 60 because I want to have a third chapter in my life.” No replacement has been named.
DIAGNOSED: Oscar-winning actress Patty Duke, 57, will undergo single heart bypass surgery Wednesday at an Idaho hospital, reports AP. She is expected to make a successful recovery at the North Idaho Heart Center, says a rep. Duke won a Best Supporting Actress Oscar in 1963 for her portrayal of Helen Keller in The Miracle Worker, then went on to star in her own teen sitcom in the late ’60s. She is also the mother of The Lord of the Rings actor Sean Astin, whose father, actor John Astin, played Gomez on TV’s The Addams Family.
NARROWED: CBS has whittled down its list of possible hosts to replace Craig Kilborn on The Late, Late Show. The four possible candidates are former ABC sitcom stars D.L. Hughley and Craig Ferguson, comedian Michael Ian Black and MTV Total Request Live VJ Damien Fahey, according to the Hollywood Reporter. All four men have acted as guest host since Kilborn left the talk show in August. A spokesman for CBS declined comment.
DIED: Self-taught animal nutritionist Paul F. Iams, 89, who developed a line of pet foods bearing his name, died from complications of a broken hip Oct. 26 at his Chappaqua, N.Y., home, The New York Times reports. Iams, an Ohio native, first cooked up his dog food in 1946, after having learned as a dog food salesman during the Depression that pet owners will pay any price to keep their beloved companions happy and healthy.
RETIRED: Brash columnist Jimmy Breslin, 75, a New York journalism fixture for four decades, ended his Newsday column on Tuesday by surprisingly announcing it was his last. “Thanks for the use of the hall,” he wrote, while the paper added in italics that from time to time he’ll write some more. Breslin won a Pulitzer in 1986 for columns that “consistently champion ordinary citizens,” the judges said. Among those who know him, Breslin is lovable – even when what he says makes them want to strangle him.