- The Washington Times - Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Arsenio returns

Arsenio Hall has been named host of MyNetworkTV’s new reality series, “Funniest Moments” (working title), network President Greg Meidel announced Tuesday. The program is scheduled to premiere this fall 2008 on Wednesday nights at 9 p.m.

A versatile actor, comedian and producer, Mr. Hall is best-known as the host of the Emmy Award-winning late-night talk show “The Arsenio Hall Show,” which premiered in January 1989. The entertainer, 53 - whose film credits include 1987’s “Amazon Women on the Moon”and 1988’s “Coming to America” with Eddie Murphy - will be featured next in the animated film “Igor,” set for release this fall.

Court date for Al

Having already made his mark in the legislative branch of government, former Sen. Alfonse M. D’Amato is ready to move on to the judicial system. Twentieth Television is planning to shoot a pilot for a potential court show featuring the former Republican senator from New York, the Hollywood Reporter says.

While serving in the Senate from 1981 to 1999, Mr. D’Amato was known for his lengthy and, at times, comical filibusters on the Senate floor, one of which found him singing “South of the Border,” THR notes.

The new show revolves around small-claims cases, and the pilot is likely to be shot in Los Angeles, THR says.

ABC’s hoop dreams

The first two games of the Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Lakers series on ABC were more popular than any National Basketball Association finals since 2004, a boon to a network otherwise off to a tough start to the summer season.

The series’ second game was seen by 13.5 million people Sunday, slightly higher than Thursday’s opener, according to Nielsen Media Research.

Meanwhile, CBS‘ wife-swapping drama “Swingtown” debuted with 8.6 million, making it the sixth most-watched drama of the week, Nielsen reported.

With the broadcast networks in summer slumber mode, the action is heating up on cable. “Army Wives” had 4.5 million viewers for its season debut on Lifetime, making it the most-watched original drama in the network’s 24-year history. Similarly, “Ice Road Truckers” reached 3.9 million people Sunday, the best-ever season launch for a series in the History channel’s own history.

Among the broadcast networks, CBS won the week, averaging 7.2 million prime-time viewers. Fox had 6.5 million , and ABC had 6.1 million. Following were NBC with 5.7 million, the CW with 1.8 million, My Network TV with 1 million and ION Television with 470,000.

Among the Spanish-language networks, Univision led with a 3.2 million average, Telemundo had 1 million, TeleFutura 640,000 and Azteca 110,000.

For the week of June 2 through 8, the top five shows, their networks and viewerships were : 1) NBA Finals Game 2: L.A. Lakers vs. Boston Celtics, ABC, 13.5 million; 2) NBA Finals Game 1: L.A. Lakers vs. Boston Celtics, ABC, 13.3 million; 3) “Two and a Half Men,” CBS, 9.8 million; 4) “60 Minutes,” CBS, 9.8 million; and 5) “Million Dollar Password,” CBS, 9.6 million;

Short takes

mMTV has given a six-episode commitment to “Bromance,” which follows “The Hills” star Brody Jenner as he auditions a group of dudes to fill his “bro” vacancy. According to Variety, the tongue-in-cheek series will follow the usual dating-series conventions, as seen in such shows as MTV’s Tila Tequila showcase “A Shot at Love” or ABC’s “The Bachelor.” In this case, however, it will be a bunch of guys taking part in contests and angling for alone time with Mr. Jenner.

mTori Spelling and husband Dean McDermott are parents again. The “Beverly Hills, 90210” alum and Mr. McDermott welcomed their second child - 6-pound, 8-ounce Stella Doreen McDermott - at a Los Angeles hospital on Monday, Miss Spelling’s publicist Meghan Prophet said in an e-mail to Associated Press. It’s the second child for the 35-year-old actress and the third for Mr. McDermott, 41, who has a son from a previous marriage. The couple, who wed in May 2006 and star in the Oxygen reality series “Tori and Dean’s Home Sweet Hollywood,” have a 1-year-old son named Liam Aaron McDermott. The third season of their reality show premieres June 17.

m”NCIS” has recruited Rocky Carroll to active duty as a series regular on the veteran military-themed crime drama, Variety says. The actor - whose previous TV credits include “Roc,” “The Agency” and “Chicago Hope” - previously had the recurring role as Leon Vance on the CBS show. Now his character has been promoted to director of the Naval Criminal Investigative Service, replacing Lauren Holly’s character, who was killed in the show’s season finale.

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

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