Why February is TV's Hottest Month
February 3, 2005

A "Desperate" baby, deadly plot twists and big-name guest stars -- we've got your inside look at the big Sweeps secrets the networks have up their sleeves as they battle for ratings in February.

"It's a big month coming up," Media Week's Marc Berman told us, saying we can expect some heavyweight competition in TV's hottest winter month.

Desperate Diapers

Berman said we'll see more of Nicolette Sheridan in the naughty neighborhood, and possibly even a new mom on "Desperate Housewives."

"If anyone gets pregnant on Wisteria Lane, it could be Eva Longoria's character," Berman speculated.

Island Fever

You can also look for island lovin' to erupt this month on "Lost." According to Berman, "There's a lot sexual energy on that island."

And although main star Matthew Fox isn't 'fessing up -- insisting "Oh, boy. I can't give away too much" -- "Extra's" learned you'll see at least one more character killed off. But who?

"They have 48 characters to play with so it could be anybody," Berman noted.

The O.C. Secret

We did manage to coax "The O.C.'s" Mischa Barton to spill a steamy secret about the same-sex relationship on the hit show. "We know Alex and Marissa are going to kiss, but..." she teased. "We'll see how it goes, and when it comes -- that's a surprise."

Guess the Guests

And there are some must-see guest star surprises in February, starting with Jay Leno on "Joey." Jay will play himself when Joey gets a shot on "The Tonight Show."

Meanwhile, Edward Burns, Chita Rivera, Michele Lee and Jeff Goldblum will grace the set of NBC's "Will and Grace."

And only "Extra" knows that "Sex" girl Cynthia Nixon will be checking into the "ER." "I'm in prosthetics makeup," Cynthia told us.

Golden Globe winner Jason Bateman's thrilled Julia Louis Dreyfus will be back among the big names stopping by "Arrested Development," but told us these guest shots (including Liza Minnelli in a recurring role) are a bit different than most: "We don't have these typical, what Hollywood calls stunt-casting, people. These are people that are geniuses at what they do."

So from scandalous hookups to character castoffs, the networks are obviously pulling out all the stops to win the ratings race -- but we the viewers will be the real winners.

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