- The Washington Times - Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Kent gets a ‘Life’

Clark Kent goes to his senior prom and cuts a rug to the sounds of Lifehouse on tonight’s new episode of “Smallville.”

Clark, played by Tom Welling, doesn’t know if he even has a date for prom night because Lana Lange prefers to sit out the overhyped dance. Yet go he does, as do all the key players in Smallville, including Lex Luthor (Michael Rodenbaum). It’s Lex who hires Lifehouse to perform at the prom as his gift to the senior class. The band responds by playing “You and Me” from its self-titled third album.

“Smallville” airs Wednesdays at 8 p.m. on the WB.

NBC’s faith affirmed

The Peacock network has found religion, and just in time for the approaching May sweeps.

“Revelations,” NBC’s six-part miniseries, reached 15.6 million viewers for its debut last week, a bit of positive news for the ratings-challenged network.

The show, airing opposite Fox’s Wednesday-night blockbuster, “American Idol,” was the network’s most-watched show since an NBA Finals game in 2002, according to Nielsen Media Research.

By contrast, Fox’s Emmy-winning “Arrested Development” ended its second season Sunday with a ratings whimper, drawing just 6 million viewers.

The news was equally glum for ABC, which slipped to fourth place overall last week despite its powerhouse hit “Desperate Housewives.” The decline can be blamed partially on lackluster showings by three new shows — “Eyes,” “Blind Justice” and “Jake in Progress” — all of which underperformed for the network, Associated Press reports.

CBS captured the week’s top spot, averaging 12.2 million viewers. Fox was second with 9.7 million and easily won among the 18-to-49-year-old age group that advertisers like. NBC had 8.7 million viewers, ABC had 8 million, UPN 3.2 million, the WB 2.9 million and Pax TV 550,000.

For the week of April 11 through 17, the top five shows, their networks and viewerships were: “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation,” CBS, 27.5 million; “American Idol” (Tuesday), Fox, 25.6 million; “Desperate Housewives,” ABC, 25.3 million; “American Idol” (Wednesday), Fox, 25 million; “CSI: Miami,” CBS, 20.7 million.

Ring’s‘ deadly blows

Filmmaker Dan Klores remembers watching Emile Griffith and Benny “Kid” Paret waiting for the bell to start their championship fight back in 1962.

The young Mr. Klores, then 12, sat with his father in front of their television to witness the third in a series of bitter grudge bouts between the welterweights. With the Klores clan and a national TV audience looking on, Griffith knocked out Paret in the 12th round with a barrage of blows to the head.

Paret never regained consciousness, and he died after 10 days. Four months later, Griffith was back in the ring, but he was never the same fighter — or person.

The episode lingered with Mr. Klores, co-director and producer of the documentary “Ring of Fire: The Emile Griffith Story,” airing without commercial interruption at 9 tonight on USA, the first ad-free telecast for the cable network.

“It had all the elements I’m attracted to: politics, media, sports and sex,” said Mr. Klores, a longtime public-relations master.

“Fire” also reveals another factor of the fatal bout.

Before the fight, Paret disparaged Griffith with an epithet for homosexuals. Rumors about Griffith’s sexuality had long been rampant in boxing circles, a world where homophobia was as much a rule as anything written down by the Marquess of Queensberry.

“Griffith was not insulted; he was humiliated — and therefore angry. One will never know if that anger carried over into the ring,” Mr. Klores told Associated Press.

Mr. Klores spent 16 hours over three days with Griffith, now 67. The director shot 100 hours of film, but the three minutes of ring footage anchor the piece.

“Fire” features the same images Mr. Klores saw as a boy, the infamous 12th round of the scheduled 15-round bout, when Mr. Griffith delivered the fateful blows.

“It was shocking when I saw it again,” Mr. Klores says of the moment when Griffith threw about 20 punches at his dazed opponent. “To look at it from an adult’s perspective, it was so brutal. I can’t compare to how I viewed it when I was 12, but I was absolutely stunned and shocked.”

Taylor-made makeover

Taylor Dayne, dance-pop diva of the 1980s, would look pretty silly if she attempted to re-enter today’s music scene wearing the big hair, shoulder pads and leg warmers that were in vogue during that decade.

That’s where VH1’s “Remaking” reality series comes in.

The show, airing tomorrow at 10 p.m., tracks the 43-year-old singer’s transformation. She gets a helping hand from a team of experts that includes two personal trainers, a choreographer and superstar music producer Rodney Jerkins — who has created hits for Destiny’s Child and Jennifer Lopez, among others.

Known for her 1987 hit “Tell It to My Heart,” Miss Dayne says she hopes the show will reconnect her with the public.

“I know my voice touches people. It has for years. I can’t give that up,” Miss Dayne told the New York Daily News in Monday’s editions.

The singer eschews plastic surgery, although the episode shows her getting Botox injections in her forehead as part of her comeback attempt. Meanwhile, the single mom already has made an appearance on “The View,” where she performed the new song “Right Now.”

Previous “Remaking” subjects have included Motley Crue lead singer Vince Neil, and future shows will target former chart-toppers Jody Watley and Vanilla Ice.

Compiled by Christian Toto from staff and wire reports.

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