- The Washington Times - Monday, June 18, 2007

‘Legal’ shake-up

John Larroquette is joining the cast of ABC’s “Boston Legal,” while several cast members have exited as series regulars, Variety reports.

According to the trade publication, Rene Auberjonois, Julie Bowen, Mark Valley and Constance Zimmer have not been renewed as “Boston Legal” stars but may make occasional appearances. Insiders at David E. Kelley Prods. said the move was part of an effort to keep the stories and characters fresh in the show’s fourth season.

Mr. Larroquette will play Carl Sack, a senior partner from Crane Poole & Schmidt’s New York offices who transfers to Boston. The actor, known for his role as Asst. D.A. Dan Fielding on NBC’s “Night Court” (1984-1992), won an Emmy for his guest stint on ABC’s “The Practice.”

Also new to the cast: Christian Clemenson, an Emmy-winner for his guest role on “Boston Legal” as lawyer and Asperger’s syndrome sufferer Jerry “Hands” Espenson, and Tara Summers (“Dirt”), who will play a young associate.

Mr. Robinson’s ‘Law’

Actor Keith Robinson, who played songwriter C.C. White in the film adaptation of Broadway’s “Dreamgirls,” has been cast as a regular in “Canterbury’s Law,” a new drama series for the Fox network, says EurWeb.com.

The program stars Julianna Margulies (“ER”) as a rebellious defense attorney who pushes the boundaries of the law to protect innocent clients. Mr. Robinson will play her co-worker, Chester Fields.

He replaces Jocko Sims, who starred in the role for the pilot.

Mr. Robinson will next be seen in the CBS miniseries “Comanche Moon,” which is scheduled to air in November.

A star for Babs

Barbara Walters was honored Thursday with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. The TV newswoman’s star on the sidewalk in front of the Kodak Theatre is between those for Ryan Seacrest and Destiny’s Child.

“This strange alignment makes me hip and hot,” Miss Walters quipped during a ceremony attended by her “The View” co-hosts Joy Behar and Elizabeth Hasselbeck. Other well-wishers included Police Chief William Bratton, Walt Disney Co. Chief Executive Bob Iger, and Kathy and Nicky Hilton.

Elvira aide sought

Fox Reality has given the green light to “The Search for the Next Elvira,” in which the Mistress of the Dark — portrayed by Cassandra Peterson — will be searching for “a surrogate handmaiden with whom to share her personal appearance duties.”

According to the Hollywood Reporter, the series will feature 13 contestants — culled from an open “casket call” taking place July 13 at the Queen Mary in Long Beach, Calif. — competing to see whether they can look the part and present the same persona as the Elvira character. Three hourlong episodes will air starting at 9 p.m. Oct. 13. After the second episode Oct. 20, viewers can vote for the winner, who will be announced during the live finale on Halloween.

The show is produced by Queen “B” Prods. and Panacea Entertainment in association with Natural 9 Entertainment. Miss Peterson’s producing partner, Panacea CEO Eric Gardner, is executive producing with Miss Peterson, who created the character.

“We receive hundreds of Elvira appearance requests every year,” Mr. Gardner said. “We began dreaming of a world in which there would eventually be legions of franchised Elviras, including one in every shopping-mall atrium in the country each Halloween season. Fox Reality has given us the opportunity to anoint the first recruit.”

Adds Elvira: “There are simply too many ghastly engagements for one Mistress of the Dark to entertain. I am searching for someone to share my tricks with — someone to help spread the Halloween spirit.”

On tap tonight…

“Age of Love” (9 p.m., NBC): The Peacock mimics ABC’s “The Bachelor” with its own unique twist. The single guy (30-year-old Australian tennis pro Mark Philippoussis) will share a home with a bevy of 13 beauties who will be divided into two groups — the “kittens,” all women in their 20s, and the “cougars,” women age 40 and above. There’s a process of elimination, of course, and Mr. Philippoussis will decide which woman suits him best…regardless of age. Tonight’s premiere is a relatively polite affair as the women introduce themselves and an unsuspecting Mr. Philippoussis “supposedly” learns of the age differences for the very first time. The tranquility, though, is short-lived. The claws come out on “Love’s ” second installment.

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

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