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Plus: Carnie Wilson expecting, Bobby Brown show a go, and more

By Stephen M. Silverman
Updated September 16, 2004 08:00 AM
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SET: Ben Affleck will host the Oct. 2 season opener for the 30th season of NBC’s Saturday Night Live, with rap star Nelly as the musical guest, the network has announced. Show producers had asked Bill Clinton to kick off the new season, but the former president declined even before he had to undergo bypass surgery. Meanwhile, Affleck, 32, proved a good sport – even joking about Gigli – when he hosted SNL in March. Later this month, Affleck will play in the UltimateBet.com 2004 World Poker Tour event in Aruba, beginning Sept. 26 and carrying a guaranteed minimum prize pool of $4 million and a first-place prize of $1 million.

EXPECTED: Carnie Wilson, 36, and her husband of four years, Rob Bonfiglio, are going to be parents. “I am expecting my first child. I can’t believe it. It’s such a miracle, such a beautiful miracle,” the former member of pop group Wilson Phillips tells “Entertainment Tonight.” Wilson, who lost 150 lbs. after undergoing gastric bypass surgery five years ago, added: “It won’t be a problem eating for two – that’s the good part!” No due date was announced.

SCHEDULED: It’s official: The Bravo cable network has ordered 10 one-hour episodes of “Being Bobby Brown,” a reality series about Whitney Houston’s troubled husband, says the Hollywood Reporter. The series is set to debut in spring of next year and will detail the R&B singer’s efforts to clean up his act after his several brushes with the law. Houston will appear on the show, as will Brown’s brother (and personal manager) Tommy.

SUED: Former Friends star David Schwimmer is suing former fund-raiser Aaron Tonken for slander, reports PEOPLE. The lawsuit alleges that Tonken accused the actor of demanding a pair of Rolex watches for participating in a charity event. Schwimmer, 37, calls the accusations “outrageous lies.” Last month, Tonken, 39, was sentenced to more than five years in prison on unrelated fraud charges. He could not be reached for comment.

AIMED: American Idol winner Ruben Studdard, 26, currently weighing in at 360 lbs., hopes to shed some of the weight with the help of “Idol” judge Randy Jackson (who has seen his own dramatic weight loss), as well as so-called “trainer-to-the-stars” Gunnar Peterson and TV’s Extra, which intends to chart the progress of the “Velvet Teddy Bear.” Meanwhile, Studdard’s latest CD, a gospel album, is set for release in November.

CLAIMED: A business associate of former Creed frontman Scott Stapp is suing the rocker, claiming Stapp stiffed him on reimbursement for $60,000 paid to a controversial Beverly Hills doctor known for his unorthodox drug detox treatments, reports the Smoking Gun Web site. The lawsuit was filed this month in Florida’s Orange County Circuit Court by Jeffrey Cameron, who works for Stapp’s management company and claims he paid Dr. David Kipper “for certain medical treatments received” by Stapp. Last year, the Medical Board of California charged Kipper (about whom Ozzy Osbourne also has complained) with gross negligence and unprofessional conduct for over-prescribing habit-forming drugs and running an illegal detox program.

RESPECTED: Jim Carrey, Jay Leno, Roseanne Barr, Andrew Dice Clay, Louie Anderson and Bob Saget have paid visits to ailing comedian Rodney Dangerfield, 82, at the UCLA Medical Center, reports Reuters. Dangerfield is conscious and in stable condition but has remained hooked to a respirator in the intensive care unit since undergoing a heart valve replacement operation on Aug. 25, according to Dangerfield’s publicist, who added that the comic’s wife, Joan, has remained by his side since his operation.

NAMED: Elton John, Warren Beatty, the husband-and-wife team of Ossie Davis and Ruby Dee, soprano Joan Sutherland, and composer and conductor John Williams will receive the annual Kennedy Center honors this year. The Dec. 5 gala performance in Washington is expected to be attended by President and Laura Bush. In other honors, Hugh Hefner became the first inductee into the Erotic Museum of Hollywood’s hall of fame for being “one of the most democratizing forces in sexuality in the last century,” according to the museum. Bill Maher hosted the Playboy founder’s induction on Tuesday.