- The Washington Times - Thursday, March 31, 2005

Rock’s rap release

Before Chris Rock became the king of stand-up comedy, he made a small film about a rap group that faked enough street cred to hit it big.

BET presents “CB4” at 8 tonight.

The film, co-starring Ice T, Allen Payne and Phil Hartman, finds Mr. Rock as a wannabe rap star who impersonates an incarcerated hoodlum to kick-start his rap career. The film would be far surpassed by “Fear of a Black Hat,” which followed on “CB4’s” heels and out-“Spinal Tapped” it, but it still packs a few naughty laughs and lands some satirical shots against the industry.

Castingpalooza

A flurry of casting decisions, including Jonathan Silverman’s return to TV, are shoring up the new fall season.

Mr. Silverman, last regularly seen on “The Single Guy,” will star in an untitled CBS project, Reuters News Agency reports.

He’ll play one of three adult siblings who rally to support their eccentric professor father.

The actor is perhaps best known for his work in “Weekend at Bernie’s” and its sequel.

In other casting news, Darren Ritchie has landed the male lead opposite Tiffani Thiessen in another untitled CBS comedy pilot, which centers on a young New York couple adjusting to life as new parents.

Over at ABC, Melinda McGraw has been cast in a leading role on the network’s “Neighbors,” which revolves around dueling neighbors (Lenny Clarke, Brian Benben) who have to contend with one another when their wives (Ann Cusack, Miss McGraw) and children become friends. Miss McGraw co-starred on CBS’ recently canceled “Center of the Universe” and can be seen as a recurring character on “Desperate Housewives.”

‘Battlestar’ finale

The battle between the humans and Cylons reaches a fever pitch on the season finale of “Battlestar Galactica” tonight.

The sci-fi series, spawned from the cheesy 1970s series, has drawn impressive ratings and some critical hoopla with its freshman season. The show stars Edward James Olmos as Adama and Mary McDonnell as President Roslin in a tale of beleaguered humans fending off a robot invasion force. This souped up “Galactica” may have taken liberties with the source material — like making the rogue Starbuck character a female (Katee Sackhoff) — but viewers don’t seem to mind.

The season finale airs at 10 tonight on the Sci Fi Channel.

‘Out’ goes Asner

Ed Asner plays a stubborn senior whose savings are being wrested away by his grandson in a new made-for-Hallmark movie this weekend.

“Out of the Woods,” premiering at 8 p.m. tomorrow, stars the “Mary Tyler Moore Show” co-star as a Luddite who eschews electricity, phone service and gas heat. His lawyer grandson (Jason London) tries to use the law to gain control of the man’s wealth but discovers a bit about himself when he gets stuck with Mr. Asner’s character for a spell.

Compiled by Christian Toto from staff and wire reports.

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