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Young movie star may get TV gig

The 9-year-old actor from Home Alone 3 and One Fine Day, Alex D. Linz, may be on your TV screen sometime soon. ABC has a show lined up for him called Carson's Vertical Suburbia. The network plans to make the pilot shortly to see if things work on camera as well as they do on paper.

The proposed series is about a group of kids who live in a New York high-rise, and it comes from the director of the film Men in Black. ABC hopes it will be strong enough to find a spot in its Friday night "TGIF" lineup. So does the young actor, who in 1997 was named "Young Star of Tomorrow."

Ha ha, hee hee, ho ho

Pillsbury, home of the puffy white guy in the chef's hat, wants contestants for its first Doughboy Giggle-Off contest. Call the toll-free number, (888) We-Giggle (934-4445), now through May 30 to record your giggle over the phone (one entry per person).

The giggles should not be impersonations of the Doughboy's little laugh, but instead your own funny, fresh, contagious giggle. As we all know, kids make the best giggles.

In June, the giggles will be judged, and in September 10 finalists will be chosen to participate in a live giggle-off competition. One person will win a big-time $50,000 cash prize.

Boyz II Men hits the road

Boyz II Men started its 1998 U.S. tour Sunday in Nashville. The group says fans can expect an expanded version of its 1996 tour. The U.S. leg is slated to end July 25 in Miami, and plans for an international tour are in the works. K-Ci & JoJo will join the outing Thursday in Huntsville, Ala., with newer artists, such as Mya, Uncle Sam and Destiny's Child, also scheduled to perform on select dates.

Bean Bags with attitudes

Getting a little bored with those Beanie Babies? They do nothing but sit around looking cute, right? Dull. Dull. Dull.

Check out a new toy called Silly Slammers. They have wacky expressions and are made of the same kind of stuff as Beanie Babies, but unlike their silent counterparts they actually DO something. The hand-held toys say stuff when you slam them against a desk or floor or any hard surface.

Tiffany says, in no particular order, "Whatever," "I don't think so" and "Loser!" when thrown against the wall. Jammer utters "Later" and "Adios," B. Earp belches and Botch screams "Oh no!"

The Slammers cost about $5 each and are sold in stores including Toys "R" Us, 7-Eleven and Burdines (but watch out, at Burdines you'll have to pay $7 for one of them). Each Slammer is supposed to be good for up to 2,000 slams.

Disney's wild side

Walt Disney World has done it again. It added a new park called Animal Kingdom to its amusement complex.

You'll be seeing lots of photos of the new park's icon, the Tree of Life. The tree is 145 feet high and more than 50 wide at its base (but it's not a real tree). Inside the trunk is a theater featuring It's Tough to Be a Bug, a humorous 3-D film.

Other features of the park include DinoLand U.S.A., where kids can climb, crawl and slide among fake dinosaur skeletons. A ride, Countdown to Extinction, will take visitors on a twisting journey to save the last dinosaur from extinction when the crash of an asteroid threatens.

Animal Kingdom provides natural jungle and grassland habitats for more than 1,000 animals. African elephants, hippos, black rhinos, antelope, lions, cheetahs and gorillas roam free. But, don't freak out; there are natural safety barriers between you and the beasts.

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