- The Washington Times - Monday, July 21, 2008

History to study war

Cable’s History Channel is working on projects about World War II and the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, the Hollywood Reporter says. The network’s “WW II HD” project will take the form of a 10-part series using archival clips and unpublished documents, while the 102-minute “102 Minutes That Changed America” will follow the events that transpired on Sept. 11 in real time through professional and amateur footage captured that day, the trade publication says. “102 Minutes” will premiere in September; “WW II HD” is slated for broadcast in 2009.

Borrowers’ reunion set

NBC is pressing its news division into service to produce a reunion special for its controversial reality series “The Baby Borrowers,” Daily Variety says.

Though reality-show reunion specials are nothing new, it’s unusual for a network news division to oversee such an event, the trade publication notes.

Yet NBC is positioning the “Baby Borrowers” special as an “interactive town hall reunion” that not only will feature the show´s cast and producers, but also will include “other news-making guests.” The special is scheduled to air Aug. 6 at 9 p.m., a week after the “Baby Borrowers” reunion. NBC also will rebroadcast the finale that night at 8.

NBC News’ David Corvo will serve as executive producer for the reunion special/town hall meeting, which also will feature questions from viewers.

Based on a British format, “Baby Borrowers” revolves around teenage couples who, while supervised, care for babies, then toddlers and later teens and senior citizens.

Concerns have surfaced over parents allowing their children to take part in the show. NBC has responded by arguing that “Baby Borrowers” follows reports that teen pregnancy rose in 2006 for the first time in 14 years and celebrity teen pregnancies have hit the headlines.

Showtime bugs out

Showtime is re-teaming with “Dexter” executive producer Sara Colleton for “Exterminators,” a drama project based on the comic by Vertigo/DC Comics.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, the show - described as “Six Feet Under” in the world of pest control - centers on an ex-con who joins an exterminator company and works with a freakish supporting cast of characters. Stories will revolve around the Bug-Be-Gone crew, an extended dysfunctional family of exterminators whose greatest enemies aren’t the insects and rodents they meet and kill on a daily basis but rather their own self-doubts, vices and inner demons.

PBS’ convention plans

The broadcast networks aren’t saying how much coverage they plan for the Democratic and Republican national conventions, but PBS plans to take in the full course in prime time.

The public broadcaster said last week that it will have three hours of prime-time convention coverage each night the conventions are in session. It will be anchored by Jim Lehrer of PBS’ signature news show, “The NewsHour With Jim Lehrer,” along with other members of the team - and all of it will be in high definition, the Hollywood Reporter says.

PBS’ announcement is a marked contrast to what the other broadcast networks are leaning toward, which is an hour or so per night. The Democratic National Convention is set for Aug. 25 through 27 in Denver, and the Republicans take their turn Sept. 1 through 4 in St. Paul, Minn. PBS will be on the air from 8 to 11 each night.

More Carson coming

In a rare move for a cable network, Lifetime is looking to launch a day-time talk show, handing out a pilot order for a talker hosted by Carson Kressley, the Hollywood Reporter says.

It is part of an effort by the female-centered cable network to add original programming during the day, when it mostly airs off-network sitcoms.

Mr. Kressley is also returning as host for the second season of the Lifetime reality series “How to Look Good Naked.”

The untitled talk show, will feature the former “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy” co-host in a studio and in the field interviewing people.

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

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