- House and Senate negotiators reach two-year budget deal
- Congress seeks ban on in-flight calls
- Michelle Malkin’s Twitchy site sold to owners of Townhall, HotAir: report
- GM’s Barra to be first woman to run top American carmaker
- China: Poisonous smog is a military asset, if you think about it
- Texas woman admits to sending ricin to Obama
- Ron Paul on son Rand: ‘I think he probably will’ run for president
- Cold War heats up again in the Arctic: Russian airfield reactivated after 20 years
- 6-year-old boy suspended for sexual harassment over kiss
- Voters deciding Mass. congressional contest
'Lonely' no more
The studio behind the Internet video sensation "Lonelygirl15" has received funding from a group of investors, including veterans of Netscape, Google and Mark Burnett Productions.
According to Backstage.com, LG15/Telegraph Ave. Prods. — which is being rebranded as EQAL — will receive a $5 million Series A round of financing led by Spark Capital. Netscape co-founder Marc Andreessen, Conrad Riggs of Mark Burnett Productions, Silicon Valley venture investor Ron Conway and former Google director Georges Harik also are investing in this round.
Company Chief Executive Officer Miles Beckett, President and Chief Operating Officer Greg Goodfried and Mesh Flinders started "Lonelygirl15" in June 2006, and it quickly became a viral hit on YouTube.
The funding isn't tied to a specific new project. The investors are looking to "build the corporate infrastructure" and hire programmers, developers and ad sales workers. The studio has eight full-time employees, with "Lonelygirl" and "KateModern" employing production units of 12 to 14 people apiece, says Backstage.com.
Wendy gets TV show
Syndicated radio host Wendy Williams, known for her bold personality and an infamous on-air spat with Whitney Houston, will start up her long-awaited television talk show July 14 on Fox, the New York Daily News says.
The hour-long daily show is slated for a six-week run and will feature Miss Williams interviewing prominent guests.
Miss Williams — a former on-air personality at the District's WOL (1450-AM) in the 1980s and host of "The Wendy Williams Experience" on VH1 in 2006 — will continue her radio show, which is nationally syndicated daily from New York's WBLS.
Buscemi on 'ER'
OK, so it's not George Clooney returning, but the former Tony Blundetto — aka Steve Buscemi — will guest-star on the 14th-season finale of "ER," airing May 15, TVGuide.com says. He'll play "a loudmouthed drunk with a dangerous secret."
Amy's on a roll
Just call it an Amy Poehler weekend.
Along with her role as a regular on NBC's "Saturday Night Live" and a new movie ("Baby Mama") opening in theaters today, the versatile performer also is lending her voice to "The Mighty B!" a new Nickelodeon cartoon debuting on the cable network tomorrow at 10:30 a.m.
The animated series — also co-created by Miss Poehler — focuses on Bessie Higgenbottom, the gung-ho leader of her local Honeybees scout troop. (She even wears her Honeybees uniform every day.) On the premiere episode, Bessie adopts an equally spirited pooch so she can compete in the Honeybees-sponsored dog show. Then she takes a long-awaited ride on the world's most terrifying roller coaster — but only after proving she's tall enough to gain admission.
Also worth a peek this weekend:
• On the Trail of Captain John Smith (9 p.m., WMPT-Channel 22) — Tonight's installment, "Rediscovering the Chesapeake Bay," offers a renewed discovery of the Chesapeake Bay then and now through the eyes of 21 crew members piloting a replica of the ship Captain John Smith sailed in 1608 to explore the vast estuary's wilderness.
• Reign Over Me (9 p.m., Starz) — This 2007 film centers on Charlie Fineman (Adam Sandler), a New York City man who lost his wife and children on Sept. 11, 2001, and has spent the years since blocking out the world. He soon runs into Alan Johnson (Don Cheadle), his old college roommate, and things start to change.
• The Sopranos (8 p.m., HBO) — The storied Mob series returns for an encore presentation with three back-to-back episodes from its final season.
Compiled by Robyn-Denise Yourse from staff, Web and wire reports.
By Donald Lambro
Growth spikes are little more than trend-free anomalies
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