- The Washington Times - Sunday, January 30, 2005

Bernard’s back

Carlos Bernard’s Tony Almeida, the former head of CTU on Fox’s “24,” returns to the acclaimed series tonight.

Mr. Bernard’s character left the terrorist-squelching squad last season after going behind his boss’s back to save his kidnapped wife.

It doesn’t pay to fall in love with anyone associated with CTU — that much we have learned from the riveting Fox drama.

“24” airs Monday evenings at 9.

Washington in ‘Boston’

George Washington University graduate Kerry Washington sure is busy these days. The pretty actress, currently co-starring in the Oscar-nominated “Ray,”soon will be seen with Brad Pitt in “Mr. and Mrs. Smith” as well as the would-be summer blockbuster “Fantastic Four.”

Meanwhile, TV viewers can check out the 1998 GWU grad later this month in a multiple-episode arc of ABC’s “Boston Legal.” Miss Washington will play Chelina Hall, an associate at the law firm of Crane, Poole & Schmidt. The first of her guest-starring episodes, titled “Tortured Souls,” will air Feb. 20 at 10 p.m.

“Boston Legal” stars James Spader and William Shatner as civil litigators working in an upscale Beantown law firm.

Remembering Johnny

David Letterman offers his own tribute to the late Johnny Carson on “The Late Show” tonight on CBS.

The program, which airs weeknights at 11:35, also will feature ex-“Tonight Show” bandleader Doc Severinsen providing a musical tribute and an interview with former “Tonight Show” executive producer Peter Lassally.

Just days before Mr. Carson’s death on Jan. 23, we learned that the retired late-night king occasionally fed monologue jokes to Mr. Letterman for use on his CBS broadcast.

Second try for MTV2

MTV is baring its soul once more this Super Bowl Sunday, but it’s not what you think.

The network that produced last year’s “wardrobe malfunction” is relaunching its sister network, MTV2, a channel that actually still plays music videos, during Sunday’s halftime break, Associated Press reports.

MTV and MTV2 will both air a preview special of MTV2, featuring a combination of music, shows and random content aimed at young males.

“Our audience is looking for an alternative to the Super Bowl halftime show, and we felt that the new MTV2 fit the bill perfectly,” Van Toffler, president of the MTV Networks Group, told AP.

The official halftime show on the Fox broadcast will star former Beatle Sir Paul McCartney. Last year’s show resulted in widespread criticism after superstar Janet Jackson bared a bosom midway through her performance with Justin Timberlake.

MTV2, a network that has showcased mostly videos since 1996, will preview a new format at midnight Feb. 7. The new MTV2 comprises music videos, new shows, graphics and random clips culled from the Internet, B-movies and what the network calls the “public service dustbin.”

New and improved

Janet Jackson’s aforementioned wardrobe malfunction wasn’t the only thing that had tongues wagging during last year’s Super Bowl telecast.

The much-talked about (and equally expensive) advertisements attracted their share of drubbing.

Case in point: spots for the impotence-fighting drugs Levitra and Cialis.

Things will be different this year, Reuters News Agency reports. The 60-second commercials will show flirtatious moments between middle-aged and elderly couples.

Cialis, which is marketed jointly by Eli Lilly and Co. and ICOS Corp., made its marketing debut during the championship football game last year by showing a couple relaxing in his-and-her bathtubs at sunset. However, the ad drew criticism not for its images but for citing an erection that lasts more than four hours as a possible side effect — a claim that provoked ire for being noted during a popular event watched by both children and adults.

The new commercial features a silver-haired couple exchanging kisses, as well as other couples of various ages in playful or romantic settings, to the tune of the ‘60s song “Be My Baby.” A disclaimer about the possible side effects will accompany the ad as it did last year, an ICOS official said.

“It is a very rare occurrence, but it’s important that people know about it,” spokeswoman Lacy Fitzpatrick said.

Both Levitra (marketed by Bayer AG and GlaxoSmithKline) and Cialis are trying to challenge category leader Pfizer Inc.’s Viagra.

Fox TV is charging as much as $2.4 million for a 30-second ad spot for Sunday’s game.

Compiled by Christian Toto from staff and wire reports.

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