- The Washington Times - Monday, July 28, 2008

Keitel gets ‘Life’

In his first major TV-series role, Harvey Keitel will join the cast of ABC’s “Life on Mars,” the Hollywood Reporter says.

“Life on Mars” is based on the British series and centers on a modern-day police detective (Jason O’Mara), who, after a car crash, finds himself mysteriously transported back to 1973 and still working as a detective.

The Oscar-nominated Mr. Keitel (“Bugsy”) — whose other movie credits include “Reservoir Dogs,” “National Treasure,” “The Piano,” “Pulp Fiction” and “From Dusk Till Dawn” — will play Detective Gene Hunt, head of the homicide department. He joins previously announced cast members Mr. O’Mara as Detective Sam Tyler, Michael Imperioli (“The Sopranos”) as Detective Ray Carling and Jonathan Murphy as Detective Chris Skelton.

Filming begins in and around New York City on Aug. 5, TVWeek.com reports.

Core to host newscast

Veteran District broadcaster Chris Core will headline WDCW-TV’s new weekly news program “Weekend News With Chris Core,” premiering Aug. 30.

The weekly 30-minute news show — which will provide news and analysis of local and national events — will air Saturdays at 6 p.m., with a rebroadcast Sunday at 9:30 a.m.

Mr. Core has been a mainstay in the local and media community since the early 1970s. He joined WMAL-AM in 1974, after working three years as a Foreign Service officer assigned to Voice of America.

From 1976-1996, he co-hosted WMAL’s top-rated afternoon drive program “Trumbull & Core” with Bill Trumbull. After Mr. Trumbull’s retirement, Mr. Core hosted his own program in various time periods on WMAL until earlier this year. He than joined XM Radio’s POTUS (President of the United States) ‘08 channel as a host and also began serving as a commentator for WTOP Radio. His “Core Values” commentary is heard three times daily on the station.

Leo eyes the ‘Zone’

Could the eerie music of “The Twilight Zone” soon be playing once more at the movies?

Maybe.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, Warner Bros. and Leonardo DiCaprio’s production company Appian Way are in the early stages of seeking material for a feature take on one or more episodes from the classic TV series.

The studio and production company are quietly putting out word to creators that they are looking for pitches and script ideas based on the show for feature development. The companies are not seeking to remake an episodic movie — as the only big-screen version of the show did 25 years ago — but rather hope to build one continuing story line based on one or more episodes.

Warners owns rights to the Rod Serling-penned episodes, which comprise the bulk of its 1959-64 run. The Serling shows include such iconic episodes as “To Serve Man,” about giant aliens who land on Earth to rehabilitate humans in order to feed them to those on their planet, and “Eye of the Beholder,” the tale of an inverted society where the attractive are considered ugly. About 155 episodes of the original series exist.

A feature adaptation could be a passion project of sorts for Mr. DiCaprio, who in interviews has cited “Twilight Zone” as his favorite show.

Thanks to syndication (the show runs daily on cable’s Sci Fi Channel), CBS’ original “Twilight Zone” continues to have a devoted, if somewhat older-skewing, fan base nearly five decades after it left the airwaves.

In 1983, Warners released a four-segment film based on the series. Each segment was helmed by a different director Joe Dante, John Landis, George Miller and Steven Spielberg — with three of the segments remakes of classic episodes. The movie drew modest box office and was known mainly for a supposed curse after Vic Morrow and two child actors died during production.

The news of a possible “Twilight Zone” movie comes as “The X-Files,” another film adaptation of a paranormal-themed television series, opened last weekend.

There have been other attempts at “Zone” updates over the years, particularly on television; CBS made a TV movie in 1994 based on several Serling episodes, and a short-lived show aired on UPN six years ago.

On tap tonight

Shark Week (9 and 10 p.m., Discovery) — The cable channel’s annual Shark Week, which continues through Friday, ventures into the deep for two installments: “Surviving Sharks,” at 9 p.m., which includes tips on water safety; “Day of the Shark,” an account of six shark attacks that took place at different times of day, follows at 10 p.m.

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

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