- The Washington Times - Sunday, April 3, 2005

‘24’ three-peat

OK, we’re normally numb to networks pandering their product through purple prose — as in “brace yourself for an hour of said show that simply cannot be missed …”

However, we believe the hype surrounding tonight’s “24.”

Fox is so goosed about the twist in the episode (airing at 9 p.m.) that it’s planning a re-broadcast Friday and Sunday at the same time in case your TiVo breaks down during tonight’s telecast.

“24’s” delirious pace has slowed a bit over the past few weeks but could be returning to form. While keeping a lid on tonight’s happenings, Fox has upped the curiosity factor by describing the episode as “terrifying,” “momentous” and “potentially devastating,” reports TVGuide.com.

Now in its fourth year, the Emmy-winning drama stars Kiefer Sutherland as Jack Bauer, an antiterrorism agent who battles an endless array of evildoers.

Film fans wanted

The Independent Film Channel is looking for a few good local “Fanatics.”

The channel’s “Film Fanatic Challenge,” a traveling movie trivia game, will be in the District during April to give area movie buffs a chance to test their chops against their fellow film lovers.

Each participant — 21 years and older, please — has a chance to win an Apple mini iPod.

The tour’s first stop is at 9 tonight (and continuing at the same time tomorrow and Wednesday) at Garrett’s Restaurant and Railroad Tavern, 3003 M. St. NW in Georgetown. The contest returns to Garrett’s for three more nights (also at 9 p.m.) on April 11.

The “Challenge” moves to My Brother’s Place, 237 2nd St. NW at 8 p.m. April 21 through 23 and April 28 through 30.

Contestants will vie for an IFC Home Theater System and the chance to win a trip for two to the 2005 Cannes Film Festival, May 11 through 22 in Cannes, France.

Further details on the “Film Fanatic Challenge” are available online at www.ifctv.com.

A healthier ‘Street’

“Sesame Street’s” loveable characters will tackle the increasing problem of childhood obesity — and put a much needed focus on healthier living habits — when the show kicks off its 36th season this morning at 10:30 on WETA-TV (Channel 26).

Along with proper nutrition, the show’s stories will also concentrate on other key elements that help ensure a youngster’s good health — from physical activity to the proper amount of rest a child needs each night

“We’re not preachy. We put comedy and entertainment at the forefront,” says Rosemarie Truglio, vice president of research and education for “Sesame Street,” of the low-key, non-pushy approach.

“They represent the child and it comes from the child’s perspective,” she says of the show’s message. “The children are learning but they don’t realize they’re learning.”

Each episode will have its own celebrity-driven “Health Moment” meant to engage both parent and child. This season’s guest star roster includes appearances by recording artists Alicia Keys, Wyclef Jean and Andrea Bocelli. Among the other program highlights: “Desperate Houseplants,” a satirical take on a certain popular show on ABC-TV.

Miss Truglio often gets feedback from viewers who tell her how much “Sesame Street” touches their lives.

One parent recalled seeing a young actor on the show in a wheelchair, a fact that wasn’t even addressed by his fellow cast mates.

“‘Sesame Street’ just portrayed these children as normal children doing normal activities,’” says Miss Truglio, recalling her conversation with the woman.

Great ‘Late Late’

Kilborn who?

CBS’ “The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson” drew its largest first quarter audience in the show’s history last week — including the days when Mr. Ferguson’s predecessor, Craig Kilborn ruled the roost.

CBS, citing recent Nielsen ratings, says the late night talk show drew an average of 1.89 million viewers from Dec. 26 to March 25 with Mr. Ferguson at the helm. The former “Drew Carey” star took over for Mr. Kilborn late last year.

Mr. Ferguson beat out a slew of competitors, including D.L. Hughley and Adam Carolla, to replace Mr. Kilborn for the 12:35 a.m. time slot.

Still, NBC’s “Late Night with Conan O’Brien” continues its reign at the top in the same time slot — at least for now.

Compiled by Christian Toto from staff and wire reports.

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