Five Things You Need to Know Now [Pop Culture Bites]

1. Proof that all things Hollywood — even the Bernie Madoff scandal — can be connected to Kevin Bacon. This is because he is magical. [DB]

2. You can thank a bunch of exercise-happy tourists and 250 hours of feverish pedaling for the blazing 2009 sign in Times Square tonight. You can also thank them for how congested the streets of New York are this week. [Wired]

3. Diablo Cody will be live Twittering her new TV show, United States of Tara here starting on January 18th. Can you imagine David E. Kelley doing that?

4. Relax Muggles: In spite of what you might have read elsewhere, the Harry Potter franchise is not going the way of Narnia. Now put away that fake wand. [/film]

5. MTV’s new Hills spinoffs Bromance and The City both turned out to be ratings bombs, so there’s no need to DVR them. If you haven’t watched the latter yet, save yourself an hour and read Richard’s self-proclaimed puff piece on Gawker. [THR]