- The Washington Times - Monday, April 4, 2005

Too long a wait?

Hollywood routinely depicts major moments in history through film and television projects.

So why did it take until 1978 for the first full-blown account of the Holocaust horrors to hit either large or small screens?

Documentary filmmaker Daniel Anker asks that tough question in AMC’s “Imaginary Witness: Hollywood and the Holocaust,” debuting at 9 tonight.

The 90-minute documentary, narrated by Gene Hackman, looks at why the industry shied away from directly addressing the nightmare that led to the murder of more than 6 million Jews in the 1940s. The special revisits the films that did directly tackle the material, from NBC’s 1978 miniseries “Holocaust” to Steven Spielberg’s celebrated 1993 film “Schindler’s List.”

“Witness” also features interviews with Mr. Spielberg, director Sidney Lumet and others who approach the complex topic.

Green’s green light

Seth Green of “Austin Powers” fame is turning his attention to TV once more.

The actor — whose big-screen credits include “The Italian Job” and “Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed” as well as recurring TV roles on “That ‘70s Show” and “The Wonder Years” — will star in the new NBC comedy pilot “Four Kings,” Reuters News Agency reports.

Written and executive-produced by “Will & Grace” creators David Kohan and Max Mutchnick, “Kings” revolves around a quartet of friends living in New York who have known each other since childhood. Mr. Green, a Philadelphia native, will play Barry, the malcontent of the group.

Mr. Green’s past TV credits also include the starring role in the short-lived “Greg the Bunny” and voice-over duties for Fox’s “The Family Guy.” He also serves as executive producer for Cartoon Network’s “Robot Chicken,” a project he co-created with Matthew Senreich.

Mr. Green’s most recent big-screen feature was last year’s sleeper hit “Without a Paddle.” He’ll next be seen in the indie romantic comedy “The Better Man” and also will appear in a cameo on the long-running “Will & Grace.”

Raw’ to rumble on USA

Less than a month after parting ways with Spike TV, World Wrestling Entertainment has reached a new agreement with NBC Universal that will bring “Raw,” its signature wrestling program, back to cable’s USA Network.

World Wrestling Entertainment Inc. yesterday announced a three-year deal to broadcast its wrestling events featuring sports entertainers on NBC Universal’s television networks (which includes USA), Reuters News Agency reports.

“Raw” debuted on USA in early 1993 and was one of the cable network’s most popular shows before it left for Spike TV in September 2000. In March, Spike TV said it had ended talks with WWE and that it would invest in original programs and new acquisitions. The current agreement runs through September.

Easily Spike TV’s most popular show, “Raw” has regularly averaged between 4.5 million and 5 million viewers per week in recent seasons, though its audience has declined since its USA peak in the late 1990s, the Web site Zap2It.com notes.

Under the new agreement, the Connecticut-based WWE will receive rights fees, while the USA Network will sell all advertising for the programs and keep all ad revenues. That differs from WWE’s deal with Spike, in which WWE sold the majority of the advertising. WWE estimated its advertising revenues at $37 million, resulting in about $13 million in net income in its fiscal year ending this month.

Using the entire NBC Universal platform, WWE will continue to produce regular Monday night episodes of “Raw.” NBCU’s Telemundo will offer Spanish-language versions of “Raw,” and NBC annually broadcast two 90-minute “Raw” specials on designated Saturdays, Zap2It reported.

The original ‘Hood’

Kevin Costner lamely tried to fill Errol Flynn’s pointy shoes with his 1991 take on the classic Robin Hood saga. Cable viewers can catch the genuine article tonight with 1938’s “The Adventures of Robin Hood,” airing at 9:30 on TCM.

The film may be nearly 70 years old, but its action, pacing and cinematography can stack up to most features made today. Mr. Flynn deftly portrays the benevolent hero, out to save Maid Marian (Olivia de Havilland) from Prince John (Claude Rains) and Sir Guy of Gisbourne (Basil Rathbone).

Compiled by Christian Toto from staff and wire reports.

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