The Uncertain Future of Craig Ferguson; Patron X Speaks

Also: CBS and David Letterman are close to a new contract, Dan Abrams pelted Katie Couric with edamame, and Sinead O'Connor's says her marriage is over again

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Welcome to the Smart Set. Every morning we bring you the gossip coverage, filtered. Today: CBS and David Letterman are close to a new contract, Dan Abrams pelted Katie Couric with edamame, and Sinead O'Connor's says her marriage is over again.

CBS and David Letterman are thisclose to finalizing a new two-year contract that will keep him on the air through 2014. What's unclear is the future of his late night compatriot Craig Ferguson: his contract expires this year as well, and an unnamed CBS executive is fretting to The New York Times' Bill Carter that Ferguson -- who CBS really likes, and wants to keep in the 12:35 a.m. timeslot -- may leave the network if they don't boost his salary and production budget. According to Carter, Ferguson already has a clause in his contract guaranteeing him the 11:35 p.m. timeslot if Letterman leaves, but he's apparently more interested in securing a big, fat contract than hosting a TV show that starts in the 11 o'clock hour, which is reasonable, but also robs CBS off a prime negotiating chip. [Media Decoder]

The owner of the rogue iPhone that interrupted the New York Philharmonic's performance of Mahler's Symphony No. 9 apologized was able to apologize to conductor Alan Gilbert yesterday. The mystery man -- who the Philharmonic has now hilariously taken to calling Patron X -- made it clear in an interview with The New York Times that he's not an obstreperous cell phone type. According to Patron X, his company replaced his Blackberry with an iPhone the day before the concert, and he made a special point to silence it before the concert, but at some point unknowingly set the phone's alarm clock, which helps explain why the ringing didn't stop. "I didn't even know phones had alarms," he explains.  [The New York Times]

Larry King and richest-man-in-the-world Carlos Slim are said to be hatching some kind of "online venture." Nobody seems to have any idea what said venture consists of, though one source close to King confirms it will be "huge." Huge! [The Wrap]

Katie Couric just wanted to have a nice quiet first date with an all-purpose "mystery man" at Lure Fishbar in SoHo on Tuesday night, but had the misfortune of being seated next to Mediaite founder Dan Abrams, who began “throwing edamame at her in a friendly fashion" according to a source. Couric, who is obviously more tolerant of being pelted with legumes on a first date than we would, responded by "laughing and enjoying herself." [Page Six]

Director Paul Haggis  -- who dished to The New Yorker last year about his 34 years as a member of the Scientology -- claims private investigators on the Church's payroll are going through his garbage. "But only the paper is missing," he explains. "Well, only the paper I write on." A Scientology rep says that's "ridiculous" -- which it is, but also somehow believable. [Page Six]

Sinead O'Connor's on-again/off-again new marriage to Barry Herridge is now set to off-again. The singer made the announcement in a long, confusing statement posted on her Web site. which comes on the heels of a tweet she sent on Wednesday, in which she said she was "really un-well" and asked for the name of a psychiatrist in the Dublin area who could see her immediately.  Last week, O'Connor said that she and Herridge -- who she initially announced she was splitting from after just 18 days of marriage back in December -- decided to "be boyfriend and girlfriend again" by staying married,  [The Sun]

Heather Locklear was hospitalized in Los Angeles yesterday after ingesting what TMZ is calling "a dangerous mix of prescription drugs and alcohol alcohol." As of last night, she was said to be awake and responsive. Back in 2008, somebody claiming to be Locklear's doctor placed a 911 in which he described the former Melrose Place star as "suicidal" and later checked herself in to a clinic in Arizona to receive "an in-depth evaluation of her medication," according to her representative. [TMZ]

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