- The Washington Times - Friday, August 8, 2008

Cho’s double duty

Margaret Cho has booked a scripted TV job in addition to her upcoming reality show, Zap2it.com reports.

The comedian has joined the cast of Lifetime’s “Drop Dead Diva,” a pilot about a dead model-actress whose soul ends up in the body of a brilliant but rather frumpy lawyer. Jackson Hurst also has signed on to the show, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

Brooke Elliott stars in “Drop Dead Diva” as Jane, the lawyer who becomes the new home for the soul of Deb, a self-absorbed party girl who gets a chance to redeem herself when her soul ends up in Jane’s body. Miss Cho will play Jane’s assistant, while Mr. Hurst (“The Mist,” Lifetime’s upcoming “Living Proof”) will play a lawyer — and ex-boyfriend of Deb’s — who takes a job at Jane’s firm.

Meanwhile, Miss Cho and her parents will star in “The Cho Show,” a slice-of-life reality show that premieres on VH1 later this month. Miss Cho, who previously starred on ABC’s “All-American Girl,” appeared in several episodes of Fox’s “‘Til Death” last year; her other recent credits include Sci Fi’s miniseries “The Lost Room” and “One Missed Call.”

Seeking voters

Lifetime Networks has announced the launch of the Every Woman Counts bus tour, which will make 14 stops in 11 markets, providing women with an opportunity to register to vote and sound off on the upcoming presidential election by uploading videos to the networks’ YouTube channel.

Lifetime officials told Multichannel.com that women hopping aboard the bus will be asked to declare what they would do if they were president and discuss the topics and issues most important to them as Sens. Barack Obama and John McCain hit the campaign trail.

The bus tour also will hit Denver and Minneapolis-St. Paul, the host cities for the Democratic and Republican national conventions, where the networks will host a series of high-profile “Every Woman Counts” events. The tour kicked off July 31 in Indianapolis and will end at the Republican National Convention in early September.

At each stop, women can register to vote at myLifetime.com, watch Lifetime Every Woman Counts public service announcements and “If I were president …” vignettes from celebrities such as Reba McEntire, Queen Latifah and Jewel. Highlights from Lifetime programming, including the hit series “Army Wives,” and original broadband series also will be shown.

“The bus tour was created to connect with women in their hometowns on the issues that matter most to them and to inspire them to register and vote,” said Meredith Wagner, Lifetime’s executive vice president of public affairs. “Thirty-five million eligible women did not vote in the 2004 presidential election, and we are committed to changing this statistic as part of our Every Woman Counts campaign.”

Viewers at home also can track the Every Woman Counts YouTube bus on its trip around the country and can access the Lifetime channel on YouTube at www.everywomancounts08.com.

Weekend highlights

With the coming weeks focused on China and the start of the Olympic Games in Beijing, millions worldwide are expected to click on Friday’s opening ceremony, airing on host network NBC.

The Peacock, in fact, has even extended its tape-delayed coverage of the event by half an hour. The ceremony will be broadcast to American audiences at 7:30 p.m., the Hollywood Reporter says, citing an announcement network officials made during Sunday’s telecast of the NFL Hall of Fame Game from Canton, Ohio. The previous plan was to televise the ceremony beginning at 8 p.m. for four hours.

Other networks, of course, want to hone in on the action. Some, however, are choosing to focus on the host country rather than athletic coverage.

Two programs to consider:

Saturday

China’s First Emperor (9 p.m., History Channel). He would become an emperor more powerful than Napoleon, capture more territory than Alexander the Great and create the largest army the world has ever seen. In 240 B.C., Chin Shi Huang Di, ruler of the Qin Kingdom, rose to power, defeated six states and created an empire that would lay the groundwork for modern-day China. The three-hour program explores the life and times of this unique leader and what still remains of the Qin dynasty from the Great Wall of China to the army of 8,000 life-sized terra-cotta warriors and horses that guard his empire in the afterlife.

Sunday

Martin Yang’s China (2:30 p.m., WMPT, Channel 22). As a part of his series on China, its people and cuisine, the celebrated chef heads to Yunnan province, where the Dai people of Dali continue to practice their centuries-old traditions. Recipes include mushroom medley soup.

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

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