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Tuning In

- The Washington Times - Friday, July 27, 2007

Homer's all-star lineup

Jack Black, Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert and a returning Sideshow Bob will help animate the 19th season of "The Simpsons" this fall, Zap2it.com reports.

The long-running Fox show has signed up another eclectic roster of guest voices for 2007-08, starting with Lionel Richie in the season premiere on Sept. 23. In the episode, after Homer saves Mr. Burns from drowning, Mr. Burns takes him to Chicago aboard his private plane — with Mr. Richie, who composes a customized version of "Say You, Say Me" for Homer, in tow.

Other early-season guests include "The Sopranos" and "Fargo" veteran Steve Buscemi, who plays a bank robber on the Sept. 30 episode, and Mr. Black, who on Oct. 7 opens a rival comics store in Springfield, much to the chagrin of Comic Book Guy. That episode also features cameos from three well-known graphic-novel artists: Dan Clowes ("Ghost World"), Art Spiegelman ("Maus," "In the Shadow of No Towers") and Alan Moore ("Watchmen," "V for Vendetta").

Kelsey Grammar (who also stars in Fox's new comedy "Back to You") will make his 10th appearance as the homicidal Sideshow Bob. His "Frasier" co-stars David Hyde Pierce and John Mahoney will join him as, respectively, Bob's brother Cecil and their father. Other guest voices lined up for the season include Mr. Stewart, Mr. Colbert, tenor Placido Domingo, former CBS News anchor Dan Rather, a returning "Weird Al" Yankovic, Matt Dillon, Kurt Loder, Beverly D'Angelo, Maya Rudolph and Topher Grace.

'Wild' claims probed

Discovery Channel is looking into claims that "Man vs. Wild" doesn't rough it as much as viewers are led to believe, says TVGuide.com, citing a story in the Hollywood Reporter.

An investigation by the United Kingdom's Channel 4 found that "Man vs. Wild" host Bear Grylls retreated to a hotel room on at least two occasions when it was purported that he slept "in the wild."

Weekend highlights

Best bets for viewers:

Tonight: Cable's premium Starz network continues its Summer of Stars series with "The Illusionist" (9 p.m.). The Oscar-nominated 2006 film, adapted from the short story by Steven Millhauser, stars Edward Norton, Paul Giamatti, Jessica Biel and Rufus Sewell in a tale of love, murder and magic in early 20th-century Austria.

Tomorrow: Baltimore-born funny girl Mo'Nique rules the night with not one but three appearances on Oxygen. First up: "Hair Show" (5:30 p.m.), a 2004 film featuring Mo'Nique as a hairstylist from Charm City. Next, "Mo'Nique's F.A.T. Chance," a beauty pageant for plus-size women, begins its third season with the host and five contestants sprinting off to Paris. Then, Mo closes out the evening with the Oxygen special "Mo'Nique: Behind Bars," which features never-before-seen footage of the star interviewing some of the prisoners at the Ohio Reformatory for Women — home to 2,000 female felons

Sunday: AMC has Francis Ford Coppola's Oscar-winning "Godfather" trilogy, with 1972's original film airing at 4 p.m., followed by "The Godfather: Part II" at 8 p.m. "Mad Men," the network's acclaimed new drama, is sandwiched in at 12:30 a.m. Monday — right before "The Godfather: Part III" turns up at 1:30 a.m.

Compiled by Robyn-Denise Yourse from staff, wire and Web reports.