- The Washington Times - Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Focus on Darfur

NBC’s “ER” is no longer the ratings powerhouse it once was, but the show’s creators know it still attracts enough viewers to make an impact.

Witness tonight’s installment, part of a four-episode arc focusing on the humanitarian crisis in Darfur.

The shows were shot over a six-week period in Cape Town, South Africa, and the Kalahari Desert and deal with the medical issues arising from the Janjaweed’s assaults on the Sudanese.

The arc wraps next week with an episode illustrating how the Sudanese government tries to silence those who take political stances against them.

The show’s Dr. Pratt (Mekhi Phifer) is reunited with Dr. Carter (former star Noah Wyle) during the episodes.

“ER,” which stars Goran Visnjic, Maura Tierney and Laura Innes, airs Thursdays at 10 p.m. on NBC.

Lewis still blazes

Jerry Lee Lewis isn’t at the top of the charts anymore, but he’s hot enough to work the late-night TV circuit.

The “Killer” visits CBS’ “The Late Show With David Letterman” tomorrow night to play his signature songs alongside the show’s musical director, Paul Shaffer. Mr. Lewis also will be joined by guitaristJimmy Rip, who produced Mr. Lewis’ forthcoming CD, “Redemption,” and guitarist Kenny Lovelace, a band mate with Mr. Lewis for 39 years.

Mr. Lewis’ new CD is set for a September release and will feature guest appearances by Merle Haggard, Don Henley, Mick Jagger and Ringo Starr, among others.

Hatcher hurt on set

“Desperate Housewives” star Teri Hatcher is sporting an eye patch after an on-set accident, Associated Press reports.

The 41-year-old star suffered an eye injury when a light bulb exploded on the set of her hit ABC show, AP reports, citing a story in People magazine.

“Glass lodged in my right eye and proceeded to scratch my cornea,” Miss Hatcher was quoted as telling the magazine following Tuesday’s accident. “I was taken to a wonderful eye doctor and am now wearing a most glamorous eye patch over the right half of my face.”

Miss Hatcher said she should be back to work in two days and was trying to see the humor “in the oddity of it all.”

The injury forced the actress to cancel her appearance at a Tuesday night party for the AmberWatch Foundation, which is dedicated to preventing child abduction and molestation. Miss Hatcher is the group’s new spokeswoman.

Rodriguez to do time

“Lost” star Michelle Rodriguez chose jail time over community service for driving under the influence, AP reports.

The actress, who plays police officer Ana Lucia on the hit ABC show, has surrendered to begin a five-day jail sentence for drunken driving.

She opted for jail time and a $500 fine rather than 240 hours of community service.

“I kind of have to get back to my life, go back to making some money,” Miss Rodriguez said outside the courtroom after pleading guilty to driving under the influence. “It kind of gave me a hard hit. … I’m human.”

Miss Rodriguez, 27, and cast member Cynthia Watros were both charged with drunken driving after they were pulled over Dec. 1 in separate cars within 15 minutes of each other.

Miss Watros, who plays Libby on the ABC castaway drama, pleaded guilty to drunken driving in January and was fined $312 and ordered to undergo an alcohol assessment and 14 hours of counseling. She also had her license suspended for 90 days.

ABC spokesman Jeff Fordis said there would be no disruptions for “Lost.” The season finale is being filmed this week, and production is scheduled to be completed by May 5.

Compiled by Christian Toto from staff and wire reports.

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