- The Washington Times - Sunday, May 13, 2007

King of … ?

Adding a baby to a sitcom is one of the surest signs that the show has jumped the shark. “The King of Queens” managed to get to the end of the series before considering a little addition.

The series, starring Kevin James and Leah Remini, ends its nine-year run tonight with a special one-hour episode on CBS at 9.

As Doug and Carrie attend Arthur’s (Jerry Stiller, playing Carrie’s dad) wedding, it appears their own marriage is failing fast. Doug has discovered that Carrie has secretly kept her Manhattan apartment. Can she persuade him to move from the Queens he knows and loves? Will a phone call from an adoption agency in China bring the pair together or have them racing each other to see who can grab the baby first? (You can guess which.)

The show turns a little serious as it wraps up, but it won’t disappoint fans of the blue-collar sitcom era that now comes to an end. Doug recalls the moment in the marriage they really committed to each other: She realized he was fat and staying fat, and he realized she wasn’t getting any nicer. As they leave the airwaves, Doug and Carrie remain as surprisingly lovable as ever.

‘Crashers’ burns

The black hole that is NBC’s 10 p.m. Monday time slot has claimed another victim.

The network has pulled its unscripted series “The Real Wedding Crashers” from the time period, effective immediately, Zap2it.com reports. For tonight and May 21, the remaining two Mondays of the season, new episodes of “Law & Order: Criminal Intent” will air in the 10 p.m. spot after “Heroes.” The “CI” episodes will then repeat in the show’s usual Tuesday home the following night.

For those keeping score, “The Real Wedding Crashers” is now the third casualty of the 10 p.m. Monday slot on NBC this season. Aaron Sorkin’s backstage drama “Studio 60” and Paul Haggis’ “The Black Donnellys” had previously occupied the hour, and both fell victim to lackluster ratings.

Inspired by the hit 2005 Vince Vaughn-Luke Wilson movie, “The Real Wedding Crashers” — produced by “Punk’d” mastermind Ashton Kutcher — debuted to an audience of about 6.7 million people on April 23. Its viewership has steadily declined since then, falling to just over 5 million last week.

There’s a chance NBC will air the remaining “Wedding Crashers” episodes this summer, but there were no firm plans as of last Wednesday, Zap2it.com reports.

Age-blind ‘Love’

Perhaps NBC will have better luck with “Age of Love,” another reality series about romance.

Until now, the network has kept its premise a secret.

No more, though.

The dating show, which premieres June 18, will test the veracity of dozens of newspaper and magazine trend stories to determine whether a guy in his early 30s will fall for an older woman — when there are younger women available as well, says Zap2it.com.

If you’re a tennis fan, you may have heard of the guy in question: 30-year-old Mark Philippoussis, a one-time Wimbledon finalist whose love life has been tabloid fodder in his native Australia. Injuries have sidelined him for extended periods in recent years, but he’s hoping to make a comeback on the men’s tour this year.

In the meantime, “Age” is setting him up in a Los Angeles high-rise with two different groups of women. The “Kittens,” who are in their 20s, will move into one floor of the building, and the “Cougars” — in their 40s — will be on a higher floor. Mr. Philippoussis, who will be sandwiched in between, is unaware of the concept at first, knowing only that he’s going to be on a dating show.

Host Mark Consuelos (a star on “All My Children” and husband of talk show host Kelly Ripa) will introduce him to the fortysomething women first, with the twentysomething women joining the game a little later. Weekly eliminations will pare the field to the one woman Mr. Philippoussis likes the most.

“Age of Love” was created by producer J.D. Roth (NBC’s “The Biggest Loser”).

Briefly …

NBC has renewed the critically acclaimed but low-rated drama “Friday Night Lights” for the fall season and picked up four pilots for series, TVWeek.com reports. The network also has picked up “Bionic Woman,” “Chuck,” “Journeyman” and “Life.”

On tap tonight

Ian Ziering, Joey Fatone, Laila Ali and Apolo Anton Ohno are the remaining celebrity contestants as ABC’ s “Dancing With the Stars” begins its semifinal round at 8 tonight.

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

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