- The Washington Times - Monday, February 4, 2008

Tyra plans new show

Forget aspiring models. Tyra Banks intends on putting more realistic people on the air.

The former supermodel and producing partner Ken Mok are re-teaming to create an as-yet-untitled reality series for the CW, this time set in the behind-the-scenes world of a fashion magazine, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

The series, described as “The Devil Wears Prada” meets “The Assistant,” will allow ambitious assistants to feel what it’s like to have heavier responsibilities at a fashion magazine. In each episode, the contestants will meet two challenges: an individual and team competition. Each group will submit a page for “The Book,” a mockup of the proposed magazine. The losing team’s page will be dumped, and one member will be eliminated.

The winning team’s page will be included in “The Book.” The ultimate winner of the show will land a job in the fashion industry.

So far, the CW has ordered eight episodes that will begin shooting in April for a late spring or summer premiere, the Hollywood Reporter said.

Miss Banks and Mr. Mok brought “America’s Next Top Model” to UPN, which then merged with the WB to become the CW. The reality series is the network’s highest-rated show and premieres its 10th cycle on Feb. 20.

CBS, CTV teaming up

In a move that could help strike-strapped broadcasters, CBS is partnering with the Canadian network CTV on a new scripted drama set to begin production in April, MediaWeek.com reports. Tentatively titled “Flashpoint,” the series revolves around a SWAT-like tactical team of cops that deals with gangs, hostages and bombs.

CBS has ordered 13 episodes of the show, starring Enrico Colantoni (“Veronica Mars”), Hugh Dillon (“Degrassi: The Next Generation”) and David Paetkau (“LAX”). It’s set to air later this year both here and in Canada.

The series originally was developed by CTV and Toronto-based Pink Sky Entertainment. The show’s Canadian writers enable CBS to sidestep any legal issues regarding the three-month-old strike here by the Writers Guild of America.

Pink Sky, along with Canadian-based Avamar Entertainment, are producing the series, in association with CBS Paramount Network TV, says MediaWeek.com.

David joining Spike

Actor Keith David, the distinctive voice-over talent behind several acclaimed PBS specials, is set to star in Spike TV’s two-hour back-door pilot “S.I.S,” Zap2it.com reports.

“S.I.S.,” from Sony Pictures TV and Original Films, centers on a five-person elite secretive police unit — S.I.S., or Special Investigation Squad — within the Los Angeles Police Department that tackles major crimes and major criminals. Mr. David will play Assistant Chief Joseph Armstrong, head of the secret squad.

Omari Hardwick, Matt Nable, Peter Stebbings and Colleen Porch already have been cast as the other members of the unit.

‘Truth,’ ‘Idol’ slip

Fox’s “Moment of Truth” faltered Wednesday in its second outing, falling 23 percent compared with last week’s premiere. Still, the Fox reality series remained dominant in the hour and was second only to “American Idol” for the night.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, “Moment of Truth” averaged 17.9 million viewers, based upon preliminary estimates released Thursday by Nielsen Media Research. That’s down from last week’s stellar premiere (23 million) but still nothing to sneeze at. “Idol” was down 6 percent and fell 9 percent in viewership week-to-week.

Last week’s final ratings data is expected tomorrow

Star leaves psych ward

Actor Justin Chambers sought help at UCLA Medical Center just days before Britney Spears did, says Zap2it.com, citing a story by TMZ.com reports.

Mr. Chambers, who plays a bad boy with a sentimental side on the ABC medical drama “Grey’s Anatomy,” checked into the psych ward Jan. 28, and checked out Wednesday, TMZ.com reported. He did not encounter Miss Spears, who was escorted by police to the same ward before dawn on Thursday.

The actor’s representative claims that Mr. Chambers, the married father of five, was “exhausted and suffers from a sleeping disorder and went in voluntarily to get some help.”

Mr. Chambers, 37, plays Dr. Alex Karev on “Grey’s Anatomy.” His other credits include “Cold Case,” the TV movie “Hysterical Blindness” and on the big screen, “Liberty Heights” and “The Wedding Planner.”

Compiled by Robyn-Denise Yourse from Web and wire reports

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