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Ann Curry could ‘bring a breath of fresh air’ to CNN, says source there

TODAY -- Season: 2012 -- Pictured: Ann Curry -- (Phoby: Andrew Eccles/NBC)

TODAY -- Season: 2012 -- Pictured: Ann Curry -- (Photo by: Andrew Eccles/NBC)

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Updated: January 14, 2013 7:21AM



Though NBC spokesfolks insist Ann Curry is still under contract to the peacock network, we all know how contracts suddenly can be canceled — adding instant interest in the New York Post report the ex-“Today” co-anchor might be headed to CNN.

It’s all about former “Today” czar Jeff Zucker’s new role as head of the worldwide cable news network and a desire to boost CNN’s flagging ratings. According to the Post, Curry would replace Anderson Cooper’s “360” evening slot, with Cooper becoming a globe-hopping correspondent a la Christiane Amanpour.

Ever since Curry was unceremoniously ousted from her “Today” gig this past summer, rumors have circulated about her leaving the network where she has worked most of her professional career. The Guam native’s broadcasting career actually began as an intern at an Oregon NBC station in 1978, and she has remained with the network continuously since joining NBC News as a Chicago-based correspondent in 1990.

In checking with knowledgeable sources — both at NBC and CNN — it’s clear Curry maintains a strong reserve of popularity with many viewers. “Ann has an uncanny ability to communicate her humanity to everyone, but it especially resonates with people watching her on television,” said a longtime NBC producer who has worked with Curry.

Added a source at the cable network, “I think she would bring a breath of fresh air — tempered with a strong history with viewers — if she does come to CNN.”

ANOTHER ‘GAME’: We barely just got through the seemingly endless 2012 presidential race, but already there are plans for a sequel to Mark Halperin and John Heilemann’s bestselling “Game Change” book about President Barack Obama’s historic 2008 campaign and election — and the award-winning TV film it inspired.

Penguin has announced “Double Down: Game Change 2012” will be published next fall, and HBO will produce a film based on that new Halperin-Heilemann book — expected to air sometime near or during the 2016 campaign.

The original “Game Change” won four Emmys for HBO this year, including one for

Julianne Moore, for her uncanny portrayal of former Alaska governor and ’08 GOP vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin.

PARKER CLARIFIES: Sarah Jessica Parker likely never dreamed her hosting the prestigious Nobel Peace Prize concert this past week would ultimately lead to an embarrassing international incident. The actress’ representative has quashed a story that was widely circulated Wednesday — that Parker’s “assistant” had been accused of shoplifting a pair of expensive sunglasses from an Oslo, Norway, airport terminal shop, as Parker’s entourage was about to board a return flight. That led to the entire group being delayed, until the woman paid a $1,400 fine to the Norwegian authorities.

It turns out the woman who was nabbed at the airport was a free-lance makeup artist who was traveling with Parker’s group but was not on her payroll. While the Parker people claimed the woman was working for the Nobel organization, that was denied by the people running the famed peace prize group.

BACK TOGETHER? Don’t know if Barbra Streisand was merely coyly joking — or hinting at something more concrete — but during an interview with “Extra” at the Hollywood premiere of her flick “The Guilt Trip” with Seth Rogan, the diva danced around a question reqarding a possible sequel to her famous “The Way We Were” with Robert Redford.

Asked if she would ever consider revisiting those characters, Streisand said, “It’s an interesting thing you should mention it. … Perhaps.”When Rogan quipped the film could be called, “The Way We

Are, ” La Barbra said “It is called ‘The Way We Are,’ ” seeming to indicate some level of discussion may already be in the works. That prompted “Extra” correspondent

Jerry Penacoli to ask, “Seriously?”

That led Streisand to say teasingly, “It could be.”

REALITY RUMBLINGS: Kim McCulloch — a Jazz­er­cise instructor from Romeoville — was tapped from a national search for candidates to star in a new reality TV show on A&E Network called “Be the Boss.”

This particular episode of the show, from the creators of “Undercover Boss,” features two Jazzercise instructors going head-to-head for an opportunity to win the keys to their own Jazzercise Fitness Center.

As part of the taping, a crew visited McCulloch’s gym in Romeoville and her Minooka home. The series premiered two weeks ago, and the Jazzercise episode is slated to run on A&E Dec. 30.

LEFT ALONE: While a number of stories have claimed Tiger Woods’ ex-wife Elin Nordegren is unhappy about no longer being treated like a celebrity — and given access to VIP events and parties — I have learned that’s simply not true.

A source close to Nordegren laughingly said, “Elin is

thrilled to have regained her privacy and a lot of anonymity. After what she went through with that horrendous time during the collapse of her marriage to Tiger, Elin never again wants to have to deal with any of that! … For so many months she was practically a prisoner in her own home, with the paparazzi being ever-present 24-7.”

Asked about reports Nordegren was irked at being “snubbed” at various Art Basel Miami parties she attempted to attend, the source said, “That simply is not true.”

SEEN ON THE SCENE: Vrroom! Vrroom! Race car queen Danica Patrick caught a quick lunch of chicken tacos from the Taqueria at Foodlife at Water Tower Place on Wednesday. … Gov. Pat Quinn, joined by his longtime main lady Monica Walker, was spied happily greeting other diners (a.k.a. voters!) Tuesay night at La Scarola. … One­Republic drummer Eddie Fisher stopped by Hub 51 in River North for dinner Tuesday night.



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