- The Washington Times - Monday, January 10, 2005

Amber’s saga

We’ve seen Amber Frey, the disillusioned ex-girlfriend and Amber Frey, the quickie author. Now it’s time for Amber Frey: the Movie.

CBS has purchased the rights to make a TV movie based on Miss Frey’s new book, “Witness: For the Prosecution of Scott Peterson,” Associated Press reports.

The book, released last week, chronicles her relationship with Peterson, who was convicted in November of murdering his wife, Laci, and her unborn child. The same jury also sentenced him to death.

“Having the rights to her life story, as well as her book, provides an opportunity to tell new dimensions of the story and give viewers a personal look into one of the most notorious crimes of the past decade,” Bela Bajaria, a CBS senior vice president, told AP.

The book was No. 2 Friday on the best-seller lists of both Amazon.com and Barnesandnoble.com. Miss Frey, meanwhile, has been making the rounds on the talk-show and newsmagazine circuit, with appearances on “Oprah,” “Today” and “Dateline NBC.”

The Los Angeles-based Braun Entertainment Group will produce the made-for-TV film.

Ozzy’s swan song

Ozzy Osbourne, the bizarro patriarch of the Osbourne clan, is gearing up for the fourth and final season of his MTV reality series, Reuters News Agency reports.

“The Osbournes,” starring the rock star and his brood, returns Monday with 10 new episodes chronicling Mr. Osbourne’s bout with insomnia, daughter Kelly’s drug rehabilitation and her stab at a commercial TV career, plus a family vacation to Hawaii.

The final episode of the Emmy-winning series will air March 21.

The show — routinely peppered with “bleeps” to filter out the profanity — premiered in March of 2002 and instantly became the cable network’s biggest hit, turning Osbourne family members into overnight pop-culture icons.

The first season followed the daily exploits of the heavy-metal star in his off-stage role as a befuddled father puttering around his Beverly Hills mansion, forever cleaning up after his incontinent dogs; taking orders from his wife, Sharon; and sparring with their teenage children, Jack and Kelly.

The program took a more serious turn in its second season as the family coped with Sharon Osbourne’s cancer treatments and Jack’s drug rehabilitation.

The household also was joined by 18-year-old Robert Marcato, a family friend adopted by the Osbournes after his mother died of cancer. The third season saw Ozzy Osbourne recover from a near-fatal all-terrain-vehicle accident.

While the program has faded in the ratings since its heyday, it has remained one of MTV’s most-watched shows, averaging more than 3 million viewers per episode.

ER’s‘ new patients

NBC’s “ER” doesn’t have the cache it once had, nor such key players as Anthony Edwards, George Clooney and Eriq La Salle. Nevertheless, the medical drama can still lure a big name guest star or two.

Oscar-winner Sissy Spacek and Emmy-winner Cynthia Nixon of “Sex and the City” have signed up for guest-starring roles on the long-running drama. Miss Spacek’s episode bows first, on Feb. 10, with Miss Nixon’s performance to air the following week. Miss Spacek will play a woman from Dr. Weaver’s past; Miss Nixon will portray a soccer mom who suffers a stroke.

“ER” airs Thursday nights at 10.

Bravo online

Cable’s Bravo network is partnering with America Online for what both describe as the first “on-air/simulcast” of a full television program.

Bravo is using the platform to promote “Queer Eye for the Straight Girl,” its spinoff of its fading makeover hit “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy.”

The simulcast happens overnight tonight at 2 a.m., and the episode subsequently will be viewable online at AOL for an entire week — at AOL Keyword: Television or via Tv.channel.aol.com.

The sneak-peek episode features “Hurry Dates” (a speed-dating service for busy singles) hostess Rebekah Devoran, who’s having a bit of trouble finding love for herself. She hasn’t had a date in two years, but the show’s “Gal Pals” — Honey Labrador, Robbie Laughlin, Damon Pease and Danny Teeson — hope to change that.

The series officially debuts in its regular 10 p.m. slot tomorrow on Bravo.

Compiled by Christian Toto from staff and wire reports.

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