- A strike by the Writers Guild of America looks imminent. Talks between the Writers Guild of America and the television and film industry break down. The sticking point is residuals writers receive when movies and television shows go into secondary markets, such as video, reruns for television. The writers' contracts expire May 1.
- Survivor Michael Skupin falls into a fire after passing out from smoke inhalation and severely burns his hands. His Kucha tribe members watch as he is airlifted from the Australian Outback. Skupin, a 38-year-old software publisher, will not return to the show.
- NBC agrees to pay $5.5 million per episode for Frasier for three more years, making it television's second-most-expensive comedy behind Friends.
- Peter and Bobby Farrelly, the team behind There's Something about Mary, are set to bring Three Stooges to the big screen. The film should premiere in 2003.
- The F.B.I. confirms that it is investigating a kidnapping plot against Russell Crowe. The threats haven't seem to have affected Crowe's social calendar. He attended January's Golden Globe Awards and has been out and about at Gladiator Oscar screenings and other award ceremonies.
- CBS cancels Bette, Bette Midler's eponymous sitcom. The show debuted to decent ratings in the fall, but has lost viewers at a steady rate ever since. It's not likely that the diva will be disappointed, however. She has often complained about the show's rigorous shooting schedule.
- The Practice's Camryn Manheim delivers a baby boy named Milo Jacob. He weighs 9 pounds, 2 ounces and is born one day shy of his mother's 40th birthday.
- Taiwanese director Ang Lee wins top honors from the Directors Guild of America for “outstanding directorial achievement in feature film” for his martial-arts epic Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.
- The Screen Actors Guild honors Traffic's Benicio Del Toro and Erin Brockovich's Julia Roberts with Best Actor trophies. Traffic also wins the Best Ensemble award.
- Lauren Holly marries investment banker Francis Greco in Toronto. Greco is Holly's second husband from Toronto; Jim Carrey also hailed from the capital of Ontario.
- Never one to shun controversy, Madonna is once again in the news for an envelope-pushing video. MTV and VH1 are both refusing to put her video for the song “What It Feels Like for a Girl” in its regular rotation, citing the high level of violence. Both networks will run the video once, as part of a news segment. Madonna's husband, Guy Ritchie, directed the video.
- Leaving Las Vegas star Elisabeth Shue gives birth to a daughter, Stella. She is the second child for the actress and her director husband, Davis Guggenheim.
- Tommy Lee Jones marries longtime girlfriend, Dawn Maria Laurel, a photographer.
- Judging Amy's Amy Brenneman also welcomes a daughter, Charlotte. Brenneman is married to TV director Brad Silberling.
- William Hanna, pioneering animator who, with his partner, Joseph Barbera, masterminded the cartoon characters Yogi Bear, Scooby-Doo, Fred Flintstone, and Tom and Jerry, dies at age 90. Their Tom and Jerry cartoons won seven Oscars, and in 1945's Anchors Aweigh they combined animation with live action for the first time. The Hanna-Barbera team won seven Emmy Awards. Their Huckleberry Hound Show won the first Emmy for an animated series.
- Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon takes Best Feature and Best Director honors for Ang Lee at the Independent Spirit Awards, a laid-back alternative to the buttoned-up Oscars. Also honored at the ceremony held under a tent at a Santa Monica, Calif., beach are Javier Bardem (Before Night Falls) and Ellen Burstyn (Requiem for a Dream) in the best actor categories. Kenneth Lonergan won Best Screenplay and Best First Feature for You Can Count on Me.
- Gladiator takes five Oscars, including those for Best Picture and Best Actor (Russell Crowe). Julia Roberts finally wins her gold statue for her performance in Erin Brockovich. She also earns the dubious distinction of giving the longest speech. Double nominee Steven Soderbergh defies expectations with his Best Director win for Traffic. Many expected his nominations for Traffic and Erin Brockovich to cancel each other out. For a full list of winners see Academy Awards.
- Nicole Kidman's publicist confirms that she had a miscarriage shortly after her husband, Tom Cruise, filed for divorce.
- ER's Alex Kingston gives birth to a girl. It's the first child for the actress and her husband, Florian Haertel, a German freelance reporter.
- Paramount Domestic Television announces that it's canceling Dr. Laura Schlessinger's controversial TV talk show because of dismal ratings. Schlessinger and her show have been under fire for making homophobic statements.