- The Washington Times - Wednesday, December 22, 2004

‘Miracles’ never cease

If you miss AMC’s broadcast of the holiday chestnut “Miracle on 34th Street” today, don’t worry — another is mere minutes away.

The network is putting a 24-hour “Miracle” marathon in our stocking this season, starting at 6 a.m. this morning.

The feature film stars Edmund Gwenn as a department store Santa who insists he’s the genuine article. The 1947 movie also stars John Payne, Maureen O’Hara and a young Natalie Wood.

A more recent addition to the holiday movie canon, 1983’s “A Christmas Story,” begins a marathon of its own at 8 tonight on TBS. The film, based on a series of stories by humorist Jean Shepherd, follows a young boy’s machinations to get a Red Ryder BB gun for Christmas.

Sit, ‘Skip,’ sit

Sometimes the best gift a child can get is a furry friend to call his own.

So goes “My Dog Skip,” the 2000 movie starring Kevin Bacon, Diane Lane and “Malcolm in the Middle’s” Frankie Muniz.

The film airs at 8 tomorrow night on CBS.

The young actor stars as Willie, a boy who receives a terrier named Skip for his birthday. The pet doesn’t just become Willie’s best pal, he helps Willie win the heart of the prettiest girl at school and win over the town’s bullies.

‘Being’ is coming

The 2001 documentary “Being Mick” has convinced the Rolling Stones icon to turn the tables on some of his fellow celebrities.

Mick Jagger’s production company is developing a new series titled “Being” with cable channel A&E Network, Reuters News Agency reports.

Each hourlong episode of “Being” will be in the vein of “Being Mick,” in which Oscar-winning director Kevin Macdonald (“One Day in September”) followed the singer around the world as he recorded a solo album, produced a movie, played with his children and hung out with celebrities.

“Being” will profile a single celebrity — including musicians, actors, athletes and newsmakers — in an up-close, all-access look at what it’s like to be a star. The cameras will follow the subjects to such locations as movie and TV-show sets, recording studios or star-studded parties, as well as more intimate moments in their lives with friends and family.

Mr. Jagger is executive producer, while Victoria Pearman — who runs his Jagged Films banner — is producer.

“The viewer will really feel the intimacy (of being with the celebrity) and have access with them in their home, recording studio — wherever they might be,” A&E SeniorVice President for Programming Bob DeBitetto told Reuters. “It does require the talent allowing a level of access they are not used to.”

Mr. DeBitetto added that “Being,” which will likely debut sometime in 2006, will not feature the “traditional” style of storytelling that most shows in the biography genre employ.

“One of the things we’re working hard on is trying to explore new ways of telling biography stories that feel fresh and hopefully will be more attractive to young adults,” Mr. DeBitetto said.

For example, each episode will focus on the celebrity’s current life rather than the expected birth-to-present storytelling of most biography-style shows. It also will have more of a cinema verite feel than traditional biography programs, he said.

The series is part of the network’s strategy to skew younger and bring in more viewers in its target demographic areas of adults 25 to 54 and 18 to 49. A&E already has made headway with such hit series as “Airline,” “Growing Up Gotti” and “Dog the Bounty Hunter,” resulting in increased prime-time ratings in those demographic areas, along with a five-year drop in its median viewer age, to 51, compared with a year ago.

Compiled by Christian Toto from staff and wire reports.

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