December 17, 2006 06:00 AM

The R&B diva hits the big screen with an all-star cast (Eddie Murphy! Jamie Foxx! Jennifer Hudson!) in the movie musical, opening wide on Friday. PEOPLE gives you a preview of the buzz film, plus other events to watch for in the coming week:

SUNDAY, DEC. 17: The Tribal Council will convene one last time to pick a winner from not just two – but three! – of the remaining castaways on the two-hour Survivor: Cook Islands finale (CBS, 8 p.m. ET). First, though, the five remaining players – Adam, Becky, Ozzy, Sundra and Yul – will have to be narrowed down. Expect controversy and drama (after all, this season, which initially divided teams along ethnic lines, was swathed in it) as the jury makes it selection. And tune in for a post-show live reunion, followed by the announcement of the next Survivor installment, which takes a new set of castaways to Fiji.

TUESDAY, DEC. 19: The gang will all be there – at least most of ’em – when Dancing with the Stars heads to your local concert venue on Dec. 19 in San Diego. Drew Lachey, Harry Hamlin Joey Lawrence, Joey McIntyre, Lisa Rinna and Jerry Springer and their professional dancer partners will strap on their dancing shoes once again as the tour heads across the U.S. And Sara Evans (who quit the show when she filed for divorce from her husband) will be joining them – at least for their Nashville date on Jan. 21.

FRIDAY, DEC. 22: Get ready to sing in your seats when the holiday buzz film hits theaters everywhere. With powerhouse performances from Golden Globe nominees Beyoncé, Jennifer Hudson, Eddie Murphy and the rest of the cast (including Jamie Foxx), it’s the biggest movie musical since Chicago. And don’t forget your tissues – besides boasting an unforgettable soundtrack, there are plenty of tear-jerking moments to go around.

Rod Stewart welcomes you Home for the Holidays with his TV musical special (CBS, 8 p.m.). The standards-crooning singer (who’s recently gone back to his rock roots), has assembled an eclectic group of artists – including John Legend, Five for Fighting and Katharine McPhee – to join him. Plus, the event has social value: Its aim is to raise awareness about the more than a half-million children in foster care in the United States.

NEW THIS WEEK:
Movies (now in theaters): The Pursuit of Happyness, starring Will Smith, Thandie Newton and Jaden Smith; Charlotte’s Web, starring Dakota Fanning and the voices of Julia Roberts and Oprah Winfrey; Eragon, starring Jeremy Irons, John Malkovich and Robert Carlyle
Music (in stores Tuesday): Bow Wow, The Price of Fame; Nas, Hip Hop Is Dead; Trick Daddy, Back By Thug Demand
DVDs (in stores Tuesday): Little Miss Sunshine; The Simpsons – The Complete Ninth Season; Step Up; Lady in the Water; A Scanner Darkly; Hogan’s Heroes – The Complete Fifth Season; Invincible

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