- The Washington Times - Friday, July 13, 2007

Bachelor Baio reflects

Scott Baio feared the worst whenever someone suggested he consider reality television.

Scott Baio gets his chest waxed … or a colonoscopy,” Mr. Baio says. “I’ve been dodging these things forever.”

It’s easy to see why, given the depths many former celebrities plumb just for another crack at stardom.

To his credit, VH1’s new reality series “Scott Baio is 45 … and Single,” premiering at 10:30 p.m. Sunday, doesn’t traffic in obvious humiliations.

The program puts Mr. Baio in the hands of a stern life coach who examines why the actor has never settled down.

The obvious question could be: “Why should he?”

Mr. Baio has dated some of Hollywood’s most stunning actresses, from Pamela Anderson to Denise Richards.

As the show opens, Mr. Baio finally seems ready to take the plunge with Renee, his girlfriend of more than a year. However, a romantic past teeming with infidelity continues to haunt him, leading him to take stock of his life — all while being trailed by a coterie of cameramen, of course.

“It’s a guy looking to figure out what his problem in life is in a way that’s comedic and serious, things that make good television,” Mr. Baio says.

The series follows the actor as he revisits past loves in face-to-face meetings, analyzing why each relationship fell apart and applying the lessons to his current romance.

First up: Erin Moran, who played Joanie to his Chachi on ABC’s long-running “Happy Days.” The actress, now 46 and on her second marriage, still sounds a tad bitter about their long-ago split.

The women didn’t mince words about the relationships.

“They were coming after me, one almost physically, and I don’t blame them,” Mr. Baio says.

In addition to the soul-searching, we also get scenes with Mr. Baio’s “band of brothers,” three longtime pals who rib each other like a Little League version of “Entourage.”

Mr. Baio’s early career — the teen idol role of Chachi and, later, “Charles in Charge” — stereotyped him as a hunky but approachable young man. Now the actor’s youthful innocence has retreated, and so have his acting gigs. Viewers may walk away with a different impression of the middle-aged actor, and that’s precisely the point.

Yet the Scott Baio presented by VH1 is smart, funny and a bit short-fused, even while admitting he toned down his language and opinions for the cameras.

He’d also love it if the show helped people get beyond his past performances.

“Everything you do in this business involves repackaging or remaking your image,” Mr. Baio says.

That said, he isn’t counting on “Scott Baio is 45 … and Single” to vault him back on top.

“I don’t put that much weight into it. Then it will affect what I’m doing in that moment,” he says.

Christian Toto

Fox puts ‘Drive’ in park

For the second consecutive week, Fox has opted to leave fans of the quickly canceled “Drive” hanging, Zap2it.com reports.

The last remaining episodes of the car-racing drama have been pulled from tonight’s schedule, only a week after the previously scheduled July 4 burnoff was also truncated.

Last week’s two “Drive” episodes were replaced by the feature “Anger Management” on Fox’s schedule, and tonight Fox plans to keep with its regularly scheduled airings of “Bones” repeats plus new episodes of “Standoff.” That combination drew just over 3.2 million viewers last Friday night.

As of now, Fox hasn’t made plans to reschedule those final two produced episodes of “Drive,” with the ever-present possibility that the episodes may just be put on the Internet. After only three airings and four programming hours, Fox removed “Drive” from its schedule on April 25. The series, which featured an ensemble cast including Nathan Fillion and Kristin Lehman, averaged only 5.6 million viewers overall.

Ho-ho-ho

It’s the middle of July and Shannen Doherty already is feeling the yuletide spirit along with a healthy dose of espionage.

According to Zap2it.com, the former “Beverly Hills, 90210” star will appear in ABC Family’s cable film “Christmas Caper” as well as the feature-length spy thriller “Kiss Me Deadly: A Jacob Keane Assignment” for Here! TV, which bills itself as “America’s premium gay network.”

“Caper” revolves around a Grinch-like thief who attempts to steal Christmas when she returns to her sleepy suburban hometown. Directed by David Winkler, the movie is expected to be part of ABC Family’s annual “25 Days of Christmas” programming, Zap2it.com said.

“Deadly” is the first of what Here! says will become its first homosexual spy series.

“Queer as Folk” alum Robert Gant stars as the titular Jacob, a photographer who lives with his boyfriend in Milan with his daughter Julia. He gets sucked into the world of international espionage, however, when Marta (Miss Doherty), a woman from his past, reappears in his life. John Rhys-Davies also stars.

Miss Doherty is best known for playing the troubled Brenda Walsh on “Beverly Hills, 90210” and later as a witch on the WB’s “Charmed.” She also appeared in the CBS thriller “Category 7: The End of the World” and starred on the Oxygen series “Breaking Up With Shannen Doherty.”

Coming home

Grammy-winning singer and D.C. native Maya will take the stage for a halftime show during Sunday’s WNBA All-Star game at the Verizon Center. The live telecast begins at 3:30 p.m. on ABC.

Compiled by Christian Toto and Robyn-Denise Yourse from Web and wire reports

Copyright © 2016 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

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