- The Washington Times - Tuesday, January 11, 2005

‘Poker’ battle

The Game Show Network is turning to a couple of radio voices to help fight the war between the sexes, poker style.

Former MTV VJ and radio personality Kennedy and syndicated talker Tom Leykis will host the new GSN show “Poker Royale: Battle of the Sexes,” Associated Press reports.

The latest twist in the trend of televised card-playing is to match some of the world’s best male and female poker players against each other in a tournament. Paul Wolfe and Greg “Fossilman” Raymer are on the men’s team, and Kathy Liebert and Evelyn Ng are among the female players.

Poker player Robert Williamson III will be the color commentator. The series debuts Jan. 21.

“There’s a real ongoing debate in the poker world as to whether the women are as good as the men,” Ian Valentine, GSN programming executive, told AP. “We sit our viewers right at the table to watch the play and hear the banter.”

Green Day on Daly

Punk rockers Green Day are set to crank out their nine-minute concept song “Jesus of Suburbia” tonight on “Last Call With Carson Daly.”

The song’s network debut will air at 1:35 a.m. on NBC.

The cut comes from the band’s Grammy-nominated album “American Idiot,” a celebrated swipe against the current administration.

The Jesus figure in the song runs throughout “Idiot,” allowing the trio to comment on our political climate.

“Last Call With Carson Daly” is in its fourth season.

New ‘Crank’ calls

The rowdy, raucous puppets behind Comedy Central’s crank phone call series are back for a third season of new episodes beginning tonight.

“Crank Yankers,” airing Wednesday evenings at 9, lines up some of the funnier comics working today to produce the “crank” phone calls to real-life victims. The puppets, in turn, provide visual support to what’s happening in the phone calls.

Tonight’s episode features comedian Drew Carey, as himself, calling a party store with some provocative requests — plus a visit from recurring character Special Ed, who annoys a video-store clerk.

Sedgwick gets ‘Closer’

TNT may be getting back into the original-drama game with Kyra Sedgwick of “The Woodsman.”

The actress, who in real life is married to the film’s star, Kevin Bacon, is in talks to headline the upcoming show “The Closer,” Reuters News Agency reports. Sources told Reuters the network is close to ordering 13 episodes of the crime drama — marking the cable channel’s first original series order in years.

“The Closer” delves into the world of the female deputy chief (Miss Sedgwick) of a special unit of the Los Angeles Police Department devoted to high-profile murder investigations. TNT is said to be eyeing the project, from writer James Duffy, for a summer run, Reuters reports.

TNT declined comment.

Weapons hunt

HBO’s penchant for irreverent broadcasting will be tested with an upcoming comedy about Iraqi weapons inspectors.

The network told Reuters it’s developing an untitled comedy set in Iraq that’s based on the true story of 300 U.S. Army engineers who were sent to Iraq to dispose of Saddam Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction. The engineers subsequently were transferred to a remote military base with no orders and nothing to do. The script begins at that point and shows how they filled their days.

The untitled comedy is being written by Dave Thomas, a former writer and co-star of ABC’s “Grace Under Fire,” and Tim Hedrick, whose writing and producing credits include the syndicated game show “The Weakest Link” and MTV’s “Head Trip.”

Compiled by Christian Toto from staff and wire reports.

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