THE OTHER STUFF . . .

Taye Diggs to Host the 2019 Critics' Choice Awards. The CW really digs Taye Diggs. The actor, who stars in the network's upcoming drama All American, has also been tapped to host the 2019 Critics' Choice Awards. "I am truly honored and ridiculously excited to be hosting the 24th Annual Critics' Choice Awards, especially since, as an actor, I recognize what a vital role the critics play in the entertainment industry today," he told E! News in a statement. "We are all looking forward to a big night celebrating the best of the best in TV and film! "We are thrilled to have Taye hosting this year's ceremony. Taye is a star of both film and television, plus his illustrious stage career makes him especially qualified to lead our show," Joey Berlin, president of the Broadcast Film Critics Association (BFCA), said of Diggs, who was last seen in Netflix's rom-com Set It Up. "He promises to infuse the Critics' Choice Awards with his infectious charm and humor and enrich what already promises to be a memorable night!" As previously announced, Best Supporting Actress nominee Claire Foy (First Man) will accept the #SeeHer Award, while Chuck Lorre, creator of TV comedies including The Big Bang Theory, The Kominsky Method, Mom and Young Sheldon will receive the Creative Achievement Award. Nominations for the 2019 Critics' Choice Awards were announced Dec. 10, 2018. Fox Searchlight Pictures' The Favourite leads in the film categories with 14 nominations. The show will once again take place at the Barker Hangar in Santa Monica, Calif., and will be broadcast live on The CW Network on Sunday, January 13th, from 7 - 10 p.m. ET (delayed PT). (Eonline)

A manhunt is now underway in Texas -- the suspect has been described as a white man with a beard who appears to be in his 40s. Officials say it doesn't appear the family did anything to provoke the driver. Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez said, "There was nothing to indicate that the family did anything wrong in any way ... They were simply just driving along the service road when this happened to them." Clearly, the story has resonated with Hopkins -- who said, "When I see Jazmine Barnes' face, I see my own daughter." "I'm pledging my playoff check this week to help her family with funeral costs and to support @shaunking @SherriffED_HCSO @SylvesterTurner in bringing this man to justice. On Saturday, I will be playing in your honor, Jazmine." Social activist Shaun King has announced a $100,000 reward is being offered for info that leads to the arrest of the killer. Hopkins and the Texans take on the Indianapolis Colts on Saturday. (TMZ)

Sandra Bullock's latest hit movie is racking up record-setting Netflix views, sparking tons of memes ... and also turning a small California suburb into a tourist attraction. Small spoiler alert ... there's a house in "Bird Box" where the film's stars take refuge from an evil force. The exterior shots of the property -- including the stone stairway entrance -- were not shot on a studio back lot, but at a real home in Monrovia ... about 20 miles Northeast of L.A. The owner tells TMZ ... a handful of visitors have been showing up to take photos at the house every day -- including Christmas Day -- since the movie was released on December 13. We're told everyone who's stopped by to snap a pic of the "Bird Box" house has been very polite, and some have even knocked on the door to ask for permission. The owner says she got $12k for the exterior shots -- and despite her house's central role in the movie ... she has no plans to watch "Bird Box." She doesn't have Netflix. The Hollywood thing's kinda old hat for her because she says her home's been featured in at least 3 other films in the past 20 years, although she couldn't remember specific titles. We're trying to research which ones but, honestly, some of us still have on blindfolds after watching the movie. We scare easy. (TMZ)

Kim Kardashian and Kanye West have gone with a different surrogate to deliver their new baby -- but it ain't because they didn't like the last one ... she was simply unavailable. Sources close to the couple tell TMZ ... Kim and Kanye hired a new woman to carry their fourth child, a boy ... not the 20-something-year-old they used last year for baby Chicago. The reason is simple ... that lady was already pregnant with a kid of her own. We're told KK and KW's previous surrogate -- a young, healthy, fit woman in her 20s -- just gave birth to a daughter on Christmas Eve. Considering she'd just popped Chicago out less than 12 months prior, it's clear she and her husband of 5 years got busy quick. BTW ... Kim and Kanye's first surrogate already has two boys of her own, so this is her third child. No word on the profile of the Kardashian-Wests' new surrogate just yet, but ya gotta think she'll be comparable to the last one ... and Kim and Kanye will likely be just as involved during the pregnancy. As we reported ... Kim and Kanye's new baby boy is due in early May. He'll be their fourth child in addition to North, Saint and Chi. (TMZ)

Melissa Joan Hart is getting candid about her Christian faith. The former Sabrina The Teenage Witch actress, who has been vocal about her religious beliefs for years, opened up about how her faith plays a role in her life during an appearance on the "Journeys of Faith with Paula Faris" podcast. "I feel like every time something bad has happened, I've come out of it because of my faith," she told the ABC News host during Wednesday's episode. "It's for a purpose He has. It's His will be done." Hart, 42, explained that even with some of the challenging moments in her life -- her grandmother died when she was a young teen and her friend died by suicide at 32 -- believing in God has helped her find her way and stay grounded. "I feel like right now I might be just as anxiety-ridden over certain things as I was as an angsty teenager, but now I have this understanding of it's gonna be okay and this calm and peace that people don't have if they don't have faith," she said. "Especially as I've gotten older and studied more of the Bible, I don't take everything so seriously as I used to; it's not life or death. God has a reason for everything," she continued. "Without my grandmother passing away when I was 12-years-old, and without my friend dying at 32, and without some of the struggles that I've gone through in my life, I wouldn't be the person I am today." "I wouldn't have learned the lessons that I learned," she said. "I feel like those things would've been so much more difficult to handle." Hart, who starred in God's Not Dead 2, also explained that raising her children as Presbyterian Christians has brought on some questions in parenting after her son got into a heated disagreement with a Jewish friend. Although the actress explained that having a debate was healthy and said she valued respecting other's beliefs, her decision to tell her son about the importance of Jesus left her reflecting on her decisions. "When the mom [of the child] called me with a problem in sixth grade I was like well, 'Do I regret telling my son that we don't know if people believe in Jesus, so we don't know their character?'" she asked. "'Is that a wrong thing to say? Did I set my son on the wrong path or was that the right thing to say and I should defend that?'" While she stays busy raising her three sons Mason, 12, Braydon, 10, and Tucker, 6, with her husband, musician Mark Wilkerson, the mom-of-three also enjoys taking on parts she's passionate about, including acting, producing, and directing. But don't expect the actress to revive the role that made her a household name anytime soon as a teenage witch. "I think it's smart that they're doing a completely different version because it kind of was the perfect sendoff," Hart told PEOPLE of her sitcom's 2003 finale and the Netflix adaptation The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina. "There's no way to improve on that. You're only going to be disappointed." Because of that, Hart said, "I'm glad they're not doing a reboot of Sabrina. I don't think there's a better way to end that show than the way we did with her riding off with Harvey on a motorcycle to the No Doubt song. I think it's so perfect that I wouldn't want to touch it with anything." Hart is, however, game for revisiting one of her other early roles. "A Clarissa reboot, that's the right one to do, because that's the one that maybe there's some questions about," she said of Clarissa Explains It All. "Maybe we can pick up where we left off and see what happened to them." Despite the possibility of a reboot, Hart previously said she was content with her current situation. "I like that I'm in a place now where I can pick up a series here and there, direct, produce, and still live a suburban life being a soccer mom," she said. "I want to be Betty White. I want to be Glenn Close. I want to keep working through the decades, but I also really just want to be a mom. I have that duality, which is all I ever really wanted." (People)

Dr. Oz has the key to weight loss in 2019. "Don't eat food until you see the sun in the morning [and] stop eating when the sun goes down," Oz told Page Six in December. "It's sort of intermittent fasting but it gives you more freedom," he said of the popular diet trend where eating is allowed for just eight hours a day. While chatting at the Page Six Style launch party at Barney's New York, the health guru, 58, said the eating plan is "the biggest idea I've heard on dieting in a long time" and explained the "circadian rhythm" or "the 24-hour clock governs a lot of what happens in our body, including how we process food." But while the sun is up, Oz says you can eat what you want, except simple carbs. And even though the struggle may be real as the sun sets earlier during the first months of the year, he says "the non-diet diet" works. "The animal data [and] the human data shows you lose weight!" he said. "It's the non-diet diet that will make you better this year." (Page Six)

Gay porn star Michael Lucas to retire, threatens to expose celeb clients. Gay porn magnate Michael Lucas has announced he plans to retire in 2020 -- and threatens to expose celeb clients from his former escorting days. "Porn stars come and go, but the best ones stay in our memories [and] on our hard drives for a long time until they fade away," Lucas' rep told Page Six in a statement. "Successfully dominating the gay adult-film industry for 25 plus years and starring in over 300 films, Michael is planning to retire in 2020 but still continue to direct and produce films." Lucas founded his New York City-based company, Lucas Entertainment, in 1998. He has contributed to the Advocate and HuffPost as a columnist, and his rep says he's writing a tell-all. "Michael is also in search of a co-author to publish a juicy autobiography that will include a steamy chapter about a few top Hollywood celebs who paid him to have sex with them when he was an escort in the late '90s," he said. The porn star is waiting for its release to dish names. (PageSix)

Jon Jones is one step closer to his next fight ... because Anthony Smith tells TMZ Sports his manager is already talking with the UFC to get a deal done. 30-year-old Smith has clawed his way to becoming the #3 ranked light heavyweight after taking out Rashad Evans, Shogun Rua and Volkan Oezdemir in his last 3 fights. After Jones beat up Alexander Gustafsson at UFC 232 on Saturday, he and Smith talked trash to each other during the post-fight show on FS1. Now, Smith says he ain't just blowing smoke -- he wants smoke -- and his manager, Jim Walter, is already speaking with the UFC honchos to hammer out a deal. No word on when the fight would go down but Smith says he'll brawl with Jones "any time, any place anywhere ... I'll fight Jon this weekend if he wants to." Smith says he respects Jones as a fighter but wasn't super impressed with his 3rd-round victory over Gustafsson -- saying, "I've seen him look better." Of course, there are other fighters angling for a shot at JJ -- including #6 ranked contender Corey Anderson ... but Smith says no one wants to see that fight because Jones will beat his ass. We asked Smith if he had a message for Jones -- "I'm ready. I'm ready and you know it. And I know it. I'm the only one that's gonna push you." Stay tuned ... (TMZ)

Les Moonves wasn't only one escaping scandal on St. Barts. Ousted CBS chief Les Moonves wasn't the only disgraced mogul soaking up the rays on a St. Barts megayacht over New Year's. He was joined by two fellow execs shaded by accusations of sexual misconduct: Hollywood filmmaker Brett Ratner and Silicon Valley investor Shervin Pishevar. Page Six exclusively revealed on Wednesday that Moonves had secretly jetted to the tony Caribbean island with wife Julie Chen to join fellow entertainment mogul David Geffen on his $590 million, 454-foot yacht, Rising Sun. Moonves decided to ring in 2019 mogul style, even after he allegedly tried to mislead CBS by hiding evidence of his sexual misconduct, which led the company to deny him his $120 million payout. He flew out of Los Angeles on a private jet with his longtime friend Ron Meyer, vice chairman of NBCUniversal, who is not involved in any scandal. The swanky trip also served as a convenient way for Chen to stay out of sight as her replacement on "The Talk," Carrie Ann Inaba, was confirmed. Also cruising with the megarich and partying on the island was disgraced director-producer Ratner, who has been accused by several women, including actress Olivia Munn, of sexual misbehavior, including performing sexual acts in front of them and forcing one to perform oral sex on him. He has denied all of the accusations. Those allegations did lead Warner Bros. to cut ties with Ratner and end its $450 million co-financing deal with his company, RatPac-Dune Entertainment. However, Ratner has maintained his relationship with powerful pals such as his RatPac cronies, Australian businessman James Packer and billionaire Len Blavatnik -- both of whom parked their yachts off St. Barts for the New Year's festivities. Early Uber investor Pishevar also chartered a gleaming yacht to the island and parked it next to Geffen's Rising Sun. Billionaire Pishevar was ousted from his venture capital firm Sherpa over sexual harassment allegations, which he denied. (PageSix)

These New Girl Scout Cookies Will Make Your New Year Even Sweeter. Scream it over the loudspeaker, the radio, the airwaves: Girl Scout Cookie season is officially upon us! It's time to start lining up for those Thin Mints, Caramel deLites (also known as Samoas), Peanut Butter Patties (Tagalongs), Trefoils and more. Girl Scouts of the USA announced on Wednesday that there's a new cookie in town and it's a total return to a classic. Plus, it's great for those with some food sensitivities. World: meet the gluten-free Caramel Chocolate Chip cookie. This new addition joins Toffee-tastic as another gluten-free option. According Girl Scout's website, the caramel cookie has "rich caramel, semi-sweet chocolate chips, and a hint of sea salt in a chewy, gluten-free cookie." The organization does more than merely sell tasty treats that people look forward to year-round. The program "fuels girls' development of entrepreneurial and essential life skills, and the cookie earnings power amazing experiences for girl members." "Girl entrepreneurs learn valuable interpersonal and business skills via the cookie program that help them become successful in their future careers, no matter what path they choose," Girl Scouts of the USA CEO Sylvia Acevedo said in a statement. "When you buy Girl Scout Cookies you are not only helping girls become business trailblazers, you're also helping them power their Girl Scout adventures and ensuring they have access to the cutting-edge leadership experiences and opportunities that only Girl Scouts can offer." Acevedo added, "Through the Girl Scout Cookie Program, cookie customers help fund life-changing Girl Scout experiences while building the next generation of female entrepreneurs." These cookies don't just provide nostalgia and a perfect dessert for the hoi polloi all while empowering young women and girls to develop business skills. Rather, they've proven to be fan favorites of quite an elite clientele -- guests at The Oscars. In 2016, Oscars host Chris Rock brought his daughters out and urged his fellow celebrities to "reach into your millionaire pockets" and buy some cookies. He told that night's Oscar winner Leonardo DiCaprio, "Leo! You made 30 million, come on." Well, it worked quite well. Kate Winslet held onto her box of Tagalongs while Morgan Freeman tried to be sneaky while grabbing a Thin Mint next to Michael Keaton. Vice star Christian Bale seemed to enjoy his box of the mint chocolate cookies as well. Talk about a perfect mid-show snack. In March, Donald Glover met a cookie-selling fan named Charity Joy Harrison who parodied his song "Redbone" to help her sell more cookies. It got Childish Gambino's attention (even better, she's apparently from Atlanta) and she surprised the rapper on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert. Glover helped Charity reach her cookie selling goal and bought 113 boxes of cookies. Instead of buying a variety of boxes, he stuck with his favorite. "Obviously Thin Mints. Those are the best," he told Stephen Colbert and the Girl Scout. "You can put them in the refrigerator. I'll take them all." Happy cookie season! (Eonline)

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