- The Washington Times - Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Back for one more

Mandy Patinkin will return for a single episode of CBS‘ Criminal Minds “to wrap up his story,” TV Guide Online reports. No further details were provided.

Earlier, Ed Bernero, the show’s executive producer, refuted rumors that producers had refused to grant the Tony- and Emmy-winning Mr. Patinkin a raise after the show became a hit. “This is not about money,” Mr. Bernero said on a fan site for the show. “This is not about something Mr. Patinkin asked for that wasn’t provided.”

In fact, Mr. Bernero claimed, Mr. Patinkin gave no hint that he was leaving the show until he failed to show up for work on the day before the first episode was scheduled to be shot. “He also has not contacted anyone within the show (producers, cast, crew) to explain why he isn’t returning. Even to this moment, we have no word from him,” Mr. Bernero said.

“He gave us no advance notice that anything was wrong, no opportunity to find a way to make the loss of this character work, no indication that we should be looking for someone else, no warning that we might have to rewrite the first seven scripts (which is how far ahead we try to work) without the central character in them. None. Zero.”

Extreme’ measures

A Los Angeles County Superior Court judge rejected a claim by five orphans saying the producers of ABC’s “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” owed them a place to live, says TVWeek.com, citing a story in Monday’s Los Angeles Times.

The article said the dispute revolved around an Easter 2005 episode of “Makeover” in which the home of Phil and Loki Leomiti was remodeled after they took in the five Higgins siblings: Charles II, Michael, Charis, Joshua and Jeremiah. Afterward, the relationship between the Leomitis and the Higginses became strained, and the Higgins siblings moved out.

The Higgins siblings hired a lawyer to sue several entities, including ABC and Walt Disney Co., for “fraud, breach of contract and infliction of emotional distress.” The siblings plan to appeal, the Times article said.

Side job for Shatner

After a recent career path that’s taken him from Web pitchman to prime-time Emmy winner, William Shatner has been signed to host a celebrity-interview show on the Biography Channel, Variety reports.

Mr. Shatner, currently starring on ABC’s “Boston Legal,” will interview a range of guests on the half-hour show, titled “Shatner’s Raw Nerve.” Both actors and politicians will be featured, and network representatives said producers will make an effort to book guests separately from their movie and other junkets.

Biography also said that Mr. Shatner “will explore life’s most intriguing questions and unearth his guests’ strange and unknown stories.” Thirteen episodes have been ordered by the network, with the series set to air next year, Variety said.

Beckham show bashed

“Victoria Beckham: Coming to America,” an attempt by the former Spice Girl and her soccer-playing hubby David to woo the American media, was originally intended as a miniseries, but has been trimmed to a one-hour special by NBC, Agence France-Presse reports.

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