- The Washington Times - Thursday, December 9, 2004

‘Survivor’ of the fittest

Not all reality shows insult our intelligence or fade after a season or two. CBS’ enduring “Survivor” wraps its ninth season this weekend with a two-hour finale, proving it’s still the king of the reality-show world.

“Survivor” ushered in much of what we now call “reality television,” influencing the competition’s pacing, style and game format. How many reality shows can you think of in which players are essentially “voted off” a la “Survivor”?

“Survivor: Vanuatu,” winnowed down to four contestants, will pick the winner of the $1 million prize starting at 8 p.m. Sunday.

‘Dreams’ revisited

In 1993, the documentary “Hardwood Dreams” followed the lives of five promising high school basketball stars on the cusp of greatness.

Not all of them made it, a lesson the video chronicle detailed.

In “Hardwood Dreams: Ten Years Later” (airing tonight at 10 ), Spike TV brings together the members of the 1993 Morningside High School basketball team to find out where their lives are a decade after their basketball careers peaked.

The special is narrated by actor Wesley Snipes.

‘Curse’ reversed

Yankees fans might want to read a book tonight.

HBO revisits the Boston Red Sox’s historic run to the World Series with “Reverse of the Curse of the Bambino,” an updated take on the network’s Emmy Award-winning documentary. The documentary’s creative team headed back to New England after the team’s victory to record the love affair between fans and the team.

It’s also a chance to enjoy some baseball memories without thinking about steroids or other scandals.

Bergen ‘Boston’ bound

“Murphy Brown” star Candice Bergen is headed back to episodic TV.

The film and television star is joining the cast of ABC’s “Boston Legal” as a founding partner of the show’s main law firm, Associated Press reports.

In the early ‘90s, the actress won five Emmys and two Golden Globes for her performance on “Murphy Brown,” a sitcom about a single woman in the television news business.

“Boston Legal,” a David E. Kelley-created spinoff of “The Practice,” focuses on the lives of high-priced civil litigators at an upscale Boston law firm and stars James Spader and William Shatner.

Miss Bergen can soon be seen in another television show, the forthcoming “Law & Order” spinoff “Trial by Jury.” She’ll play a judge in a three-episode arc of that series, which debuts in the spring. She will be a full-timer on “Boston Legal.”

The ageless actress has worked sporadically since leaving episodic television in 1998. She co-starred in last year’s unsuccessful remake of the 1970s comedy “The In-Laws.”

The ABC drama airs at 10 Sunday nights.

Compiled by Christian Toto from staff and wire reports.

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