- The Washington Times - Monday, July 14, 2008

Laura returns to ‘GH’

Genie Francis is checking back into “General Hospital.”

The 46-year-old actress again will reprise her role as Laura on the ABC daytime soap opera beginning Aug. 26, AP reports. Her character’s 1981 fairy-tale wedding to Luke (played by Anthony Geary) was watched by 30 million viewers and landed the couple on the cover of Newsweek magazine. Miss Francis began playing Laura in 1976.

“This is a short visit,” she told AP on Friday. “It’s a mother-daughter story. Years ago, when I started playing the character as a 14-year-old girl, it was a mother-daughter story, only I was the daughter. So it’s kinda cool this is full circle. It’s nice to come back for visits. ‘General Hospital’ is my home.”

Laura was last seen slipping in and out of a catatonic state in 2007. The upcoming appearance will feature Laura in a story line with daughter Lulu.

All Miley all the time

The hit “Hannah Montana” movie will be nearly inescapable on television this month in every dimension.

“Hannah Montana & Miley Cyrus: Best of Both Worlds Concert” will come to Starz in standard and high definition starting at 9 p.m. on July 26, Associated Press reports.

The 3-D version of the film, which had a limited-engagement theater run earlier this year, will begin showing on the Starz on Demand and Starz HD on Demand channels on July 27 along with the other two versions. (Fretting about where you put those 3-D glasses? Starz has a guide to crafting a pair at www.starz.com/3D.)

The movie also will be available to download from the broadband platforms Starz Play and Vongo, but only in standard definition and not in 3-D, AP says.

Disney Channel previously announced that the movie’s TV premiere is set for 8 p.m. July 26, preceded by a day-long marathon of episodes of “Hannah Montana” starring 15-year-old Miley.

The concert film was shown in 3-D for its theater run and grossed more than $65 million. Starz notes that its TV premiere precedes the movie’s expected Aug. 19 home-video release by several weeks. Miley’s new album, “Breakout,” will be released July 22.

Lee pines for Big Easy

Filmmaker Spike Lee says he wants to revisit New Orleans for a sequel to his highly acclaimed HBO documentary “When the Levees Broke.”

Mr. Lee, who appeared Friday at the ESPN session at the Television Critics Association conference to discuss his upcoming documentary on National Basketball Association star Kobe Bryant, says he will look to revisit the devastated areas portrayed in the award-winning four-hour documentary, but he did not give a specific time frame. HBO executives could not be reached for comment on a possible timeline for the sequel, Multichannel.com reports.

Mr. Lee’s ESPN documentary, “Game Day With Kobe,” looks at a regular game day experience for the Los Angeles Lakers star with unprecedented access and more than 30 cameras focused on the NBA’s Most Valuable Player. The director also will be one of 30 filmmakers who will develop documentaries for ESPN’s “30 for 30” project chronicling sports subjects over the past three decades, although he said he has yet to settle on a subject for his documentary.

On tap tonight …

The Closer, Saving Grace (TNT) — It’s girls’ night out on the cable network, beginning with a “Closer” marathon at noon, which leads to the show’s season premiere at 9 p.m. Kyra Sedgwick stars. The season premiere of “Saving Grace,” with Oscar winner Holly Hunter, follows at 10 p.m.

Earth: The Biography (National Geographic Channel, 9 p.m.) — The five-hour series about the beauty and wonder of all seven continents, continues. The episode “Atmosphere” is followed by the series’ fourth installment, “Oceans” (10 p.m.), AP notes.

Compiled by Robyn-Denise Yourse from Web and wire reports

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