- Survivor II survives a “Super-Sized” assault from Friends. Survivor II earns a 17.1 rating (each rating point represents 1,000,800 households using television), and the 40–minute Friends tallies a 16.6 rating.
- Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman shock the world when they announce their separation. They say in a statement that their conflicting schedules attributed to the breakup. “Citing the difficulties inherent in divergent careers which constantly keep them apart, they concluded that an amicable separation seems best,” the statement said. The couple renewed their wedding vows on Dec. 24, 2000, on their tenth wedding anniversary. They have two adopted children.
- Former Survivor Stacy Stillman files a lawsuit against CBS Corp. and show creator Mark Burnett, claiming Burnett rigged the show so that 72–year-old Navy Seal Rudy Boesch would survive through the final episodes. Stillman claims it was an attempt to make the series appealing to an older audience. CBS calls the suit “frivolous and groundless.”
- Halle Berry reveals that has been married to jazz musician Eric Benét for a few weeks. Although she doesn't spill the beans as to where the nuptials took place, she does say it was at an exotic locale. She makes the announcement at the debut of her “Hallewood” Web sight.
- This time the shock is on Nicole Kidman. Tom Cruise files for divorce, citing irreconcilable differences.
- Dale Evans, actress, songwriter, and writer who starred with her husband, Roy Rogers, in several Westerns and on television's The Roy Rogers Show, dies at age 88. Her big break came in 1944, when she was cast opposite John Wayne in In Old Oklahoma. She and Roy Rogers first appeared together in 1944's The Cowboy and the Señorita. They starred together in The Roy Rogers Show from 1950 to 1957. Evans wrote the popular theme song to the show, “Happy Trails to You.”
- Say it isn't so. The producers of syndicated sensation Baywatch announce that the show will end in May. The series, which is now more than 10 years old, launched the careers of several surgically enhanced actors, including Pamela Anderson, Yasmine Bleeth, and Carmen Electra.
- Mikhail Markhasev, who in 1998 was convicted of murdering Ennis Cosby, the son of Bill Cosby, admits he is indeed guilty and drops the appeal he began after the conviction.
- Almost Famous, Cameron Crowe's semi-autobiographical gem of a film widely ignored by Oscar, takes top honors at the 13th annual Chicago Film Critics Awards. The film also wins Best Supporting Actress (Frances McDormand), Best Original Screenplay, and the new actor award for Patrick Fugit. Tom Hanks wins Best Actor for Cast Away and Ellen Burstyn Best Actress for Requiem for a Dream.
- Hannibal, the sequel to 1991's blockbuster The Silence of the Lambs, opens like a lion, taking in $58 million.
- Liv Tyler and her rock star boyfriend, Royston Langdon, become engaged. Langdon is the lead singer and bass player in the band Spacehog.
- Esteemed filmmaker Stanley Kramer dies at age 87. Known for his socially conscious films, Kramer tackled sensitive, often taboo subjects, including Nazism, nuclear war, and racism. His films include The Defiant Ones, Judgment at Nuremberg, Inherit the Wind, and Guess Who's Coming to Dinner. He was nominated for nine Oscars, but never won.
- Proof of Life director Taylor Hackford blames the film's less than stellar take at the box office on the very public affair of Russell Crowe and Meg Ryan, the movie's stars. He said their relationship, which has ended, “had an indelible and very destructive effect on the release of the film in the U.S. because the real-life story overpowered the film.”
- Cindy Crawford and husband Rande Gerber announce that Crawford is pregnant with their second child, which is due in September. They have a son, Presley Walker Gerber.
- Gladiator picks up another best picture award. This time, however, the ceremony is across the Atlantic, at the British Academy of Film and Television Awards, the Oscars of the U.K. Ang Lee wins directing honors for Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. Billy Elliot takes the Best British Film award, and its star, Jamie Bell, wins the Best Actor award. For a full list of winners, see BAFTA.
- Friends star Matthew Perry confirms that he has entered a rehabilitation facility. No reason is given. He spent time at another center in 1997 for an addiction to prescription pills.
- CBS announces that it has sealed a deal to keep Everybody Loves Raymond on the air for two more seasons, through 2003. The network will pay about $3 million per episode.