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Stewart and Colbert Won't Stay Out in the Cold

"The Daily Show With Jon Stewart," above, and "The Colbert Report" will return to Comedy Central on Jan. 7 despite the ongoing writers' strike. (By Peter Kramer -- Getty Images)

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The Screen Actors Guild Awards -- suddenly the hottest trophy-show ticket in town -- actually showered more nominations on a broadcast network than on HBO, which these days counts for big news.

That broadcast network is ABC, which snagged two of the five nominations for outstanding performance by an ensemble in a drama series (that's SAG-speak for "best drama series") -- "Boston Legal" and "Grey's Anatomy" -- to HBO's one ("The Sopranos"), and two of the five noms for outstanding performance by an ensemble in a comedy series (best comedy) -- "Ugly Betty" and "Desperate Housewives" -- to HBO's one ("Entourage").

All told, ABC got 12 nominations to HBO's 11. Other broadcasters weren't much competition: NBC had six noms, Fox just two. And CBS, as usual in trophy season, got no respect, with just one nomination that it would not have received had not SAG decided this year to create a new category, outstanding performance by a stunt ensemble in a television series, of which CBS's "The Unit" is among the nominees.

How embarrassing is it for the actors on "The Unit" that their guild nominated their stunt doubles for their performances but not them? We would have dug tenaciously to get to the bottom of this story, except we decided we didn't care -- we are, after all, talking about "The Unit" here.

Just so you know, "The Unit" faces stiff competition from ABC's "Lost," Fox's "24," HBO's "Rome" and NBC's "Heroes."

At press time, the SAG Awards ceremony is the only trophy show to get a waiver to use WGA writers. Without a waiver a trophy show is, in effect, a "struck" show, which, presumably, means members of other guilds, like the Screen Actors Guild, will avoid them.

The Writers Guild denied a waiver to the Golden Globe Awards, scheduled to be broadcast by NBC on Jan. 13. And, before the request was even made, the WGA said it would deny a writers' waiver to the Academy Awards, scheduled to be aired on ABC on Feb. 24. Even CBS's People's Choice Awards broadcast, set for Jan. 8, has been smitten by the WGA and is trying to rise like the phoenix from the ashes as a sort of melange of taped acceptance speeches and stars answering questions posed by fans.

Practically speaking, that means the SAG Awards, simulcast on TNT and TBS on Jan. 27, may be the only trophy show during the all-important-to-our-state-of-amusement Trophy Season at which A-list stars actually show up to present and receive statuettes.

SAG has been a big supporter of the writers' strike, actors have joined the picket lines, and SAG President Alan Rosenberg has said this and that in support of the writers.

But yesterday, Rosenberg said, "This is going to be a personal decision made by the nominees" on whether SAG members would show up at the other "struck" trophy shows, adding, "I certainly wouldn't go if I were nominated and there were a job action going on."

This was odd -- we were expecting something stronger.

* * *

Now that the 16-year-old star of "Zoey 101" (target audience: 9-to-14-year-old girls) has announced she's preggers, Nickelodeon yesterday confirmed it may air a special about, um, sex, which would be hosted by -- I know you see this coming -- Linda Ellerbee, TV queen of talking to moppets about any subject that makes advertisers cringe!

Nickelodeon has not said what its plans are for the series, which stars Britney Spears's younger sister, Jamie Lynn. The third season wraps on Jan. 4; the fourth and final season is already in the can and had been scheduled to debut in February.

Ellerbee has already done explainer shows for tots on AIDS, the mass shootings at Columbine High School, President Bill Clinton's impeachment and same-sex parents. How hard can jailbait pregnancy be for someone with that resume?

"I think it's important that something be done," Ellerbee told the Associated Press on Thursday. "But I think it's important that it be done in a measured way, and not just to feed the beast of news stories."

Jamie Lynn Spears told OK! magazine this week the father of her unborn child is her 19-year-old boyfriend.


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