- The Washington Times - Monday, June 14, 2004

Safer ‘Sex’?

HBO’s “Sex and the City” let four sassy Big Apple women talk about their private lives in language rarely heard on television.

Now we’ll see how much appeal the quartet has when some of that naughty talk gets trimmed.

TBS is rolling out a sanitized “Sex and the City” starting tonight at 10. The basic cable network has excised the salty language and trimmed the nudity from the HBO mainstay. Will diehard fans buy into the cleansed show or will even a cleaned-up version attract a new legion of admirers?

To kick off the show’s return, the network will present back-to-back episodes starting at 10 tonight through Saturday. The show begins airing in sequential order with two original episodes dating back to its 1998 debut starting next Tuesday at 10 p.m. TBS will rebroadcast those episodes at 10 the following evening for the TiVo or VCR-challenged.

Tonight’s TBS “SATC” premiere has Carrie (Sarah Jessica Parker) taking part in a charity fashion show mixing models with regular people, while the second installment finds Samantha (Kim Cattrall) looking for love in the arms of a 72-year-old millionaire.

Streep feted

Acclaimed actress Meryl Streep was called a shape-shifter, a perfectionist and a spirit channeler, among other names, during a fete of her career last week at the American Film Institute.

The two-time Oscar winner couldn’t have been more delighted.

Jim Carrey, Jack Nicholson, writer-director Nora Ephron and Shirley MacLaine all paid tribute to the Oscar winner, who received AFI’s lifetime achievement award, Associated Press reports.

USA Network will broadcast the event — taped June 10 at Hollywood’s Kodak Theatre — on Monday, the day before Miss Streep’s 55th birthday.

The program will air at 9 p.m. and will be repeated that night at 11.

“Meryl, you are a special effect,” gushed Goldie Hawn, her co-star in the 1992 dark comedy “Death Becomes Her.”

Last week’s tribute began with Mr. Carrey, who co-stars with Miss Streep in the upcoming “Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events.”

“Shape-shifter. Body snatcher,” the comic actor cried before belting out a comedic rendition of the Tina Turner song “Simply the Best.”

Miss MacLaine, as famous for her ideas about reincarnation as her acting these days, said she wondered if Miss Streep’s gifts were other-worldly.

“I have a theory,” Miss MacLaine joked. “I think she knows more about channeling than I do,” the Oscar-winning actress said.

Mr. Nicholson told the star of the night she was too good to be true.

“From the bottom of my heart… I pity you,” he said. “So perfect… Nobody’s that perfect, right?”

Miss Streep, has two Academy Awards: one supporting actress win for 1979’s “Kramer vs. Kramer” and a lead actress Oscar for 1982’s “Sophie’s Choice.” She holds the record for the most Oscar nominations with 13, overall.

The AFI ceremony also featured presentations by actors James Woods, Claire Danes, Diane Keaton and director Mike Nichols.

Previous AFI honorees include Mr. Nicholson, Barbra Streisand, Elizabeth Taylor, Tom Hanks, Steven Spielberg, Alfred Hitchcock, Sidney Poitier and Orson Welles.

Six Feet’ lighter

Actor Freddy Rodriguez knows “Six Feet Under” deals with morticians, but that doesn’t mean the show can’t lighten up every once in a while.

The actor told Associated Press his character, Frederico, started off as a “happy, jovial kinda character” in the first season of the HBO drama which returned Sunday. Then, in the second season, he said he became “more assertive” when he was promoted to partner at Fisher & Diaz Funeral Home in Los Angeles. Last season, his wife went ballistic on him and he got angry.

Now, Mr. Rodriguez hopes Federico goes back to being likable in the new season.

“He went through a family crisis with his wife and because of that I think his personality and likability maybe changed a little bit too much,” the actor told AP Radio.

“Six Feet Under,” which was nominated for 16 Emmys last season, introduces a new character for season four.

Michelle Trachtenberg will play a pop star, guarded by Mathew St. Patrick’s character Keith, in four episodes.

“The coolest part was in one of the episodes, my character goes on the ‘Ellen’ show,” Miss Trachtenberg told reporters. “So Ellen [DeGeneres] and I did this whole, like, improv routine where I’m talking about my character.”

Meanwhile, one old character, despite her death, is planning to return.

Lili Taylor, who plays Nate’s (Peter Krause) wife said she’ll be on the show even though Lisa died at the end of last season.

“Yeah, you will (see her),” Miss Taylor told AP. “I mean, I don’t have to keep it a secret. We know she’s dead. She’s gonna come back, you know, in the (Fisher’s) father-type of capacity,” the actress said referring to the spirit of Nathaniel Fisher Sr. (Richard Jenkins) who frequently appears to his funeral home kin.

Compiled by Christian Toto from staff and wire reports.

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