- The Washington Times - Thursday, March 20, 2008

New show for Corbett

“Sex and the City” and “Lucky” star John Corbett is looking to get back into TV with a lead role in Showtime’s comedy pilot “United States of Tara,” Zap2it.com reports.

The series will star Oscar nominee Toni Collette (“The Sixth Sense”).

“United States of Tara” is written by Oscar winner Diablo Cody (“Juno”) and looks at a woman (Miss Collette) with multiple personality disorder. According to the Hollywood Reporter, Mr. Corbett will play the main character’s husband, a contractor trying to deal with his wife’s condition.

Craig Gillespie (“Lars and the Real Girl,” “Mr. Woodcock”) will direct the “Tara” pilot, which will shoot next month in Los Angeles.

This will be Mr. Corbett’s second Showtime pilot in recent years, following a co-starring role in the premium cable network’s 2006 comedy “Manchild.”

Though many viewers will always think of Mr. Corbett as Aidan on HBO’s “Sex and the City” or as the main character on FX’s “Lucky,” for many more he’ll always be Chris from “Northern Exposure.” Mr. Corbett’s feature film credits include “Raise Your Voice” and “Raising Helen.”

Interactive ‘Adams’

As America’s love affair with HBO’s “John Adams” continues (the seven-part miniseries drew record ratings for the premium-cable biggie during its Sunday premiere), the network is upping the ante with several interactive events that it hopes will complement the viewing experience.

Visitors to the Web site, www.hbo.com/films/johnadams can find additional information on life in late-18th-century America, a timeline on Adams’ life, a special feature on the marriage of the nation’s second president and his wife Abigail, exclusive interviews with author David McCullough (whose best-selling biography forms the basis of the miniseries) and the actors plus an expanded “making of” video.

The site also offers an illustrated chronology of the most important historical events and figures of the time, all highlighted by brief descriptions, photographs from the series and biographies of the actors who play major roles.

Also featured: scenes from upcoming episodes of the weekly miniseries (airing Sunday evenings at 9) along with the actors discussing their characters.

The miniseries concludes April 20.

Ellen on ‘Idol Gives’

Comedian and talk-show host Ellen DeGeneres has been tapped to host “Idol Gives Back.” Miss DeGeneres will join regular “American Idol” host Ryan Seacrest in hosting the night, Broadcasting & Cable magazine reports.

“Idol Gives Back” is an annual spinoff of the popular reality series in which the contestants and celebrity guests raise money for charity. Viewers of the show are given toll-free phone lines and a Web site where they can donate to the charities. Last year, the show raised a whopping $76 million, earning a Governors Emmy Award for the achievement.

Among the celebrities participating in this year’s event: Bono, Brad Pitt, Miley Cyrus, Maroon 5, Eli and Peyton Manning, John Legend, Snoop Dogg and “Idol” veterans Carrie Underwood and Chris Daughtry.

Kirstie in Harpo flock

Oprah Winfrey’s Harpo Productions has signed a development deal with Kirstie Alley for TV projects, the Hollywood Reporter notes.

It’s not clear whether the deal might include a syndicated daytime talker or a program for Miss Winfrey’s new cable channel.

The media mogul helped start other daytime talk shows, including “Dr. Phil” and “Rachael Ray.” Both hosts appeared frequently on “The Oprah Winfrey Show” before getting their own shows. Miss Alley also has been on multiple episodes of “Oprah,” including a November 2006 appearance that generated headlines after she donned a bikini to flaunt her 75-pound weight loss.

Meanwhile, Miss Winfrey’s new channel, OWN: The Oprah Winfrey Network — a joint venture with Discovery Communications — is set to premiere in the second half of 2009.

Short takes

• Stephen Colbert and all 80 staffers of Comedy Central’s “The Colbert Report” will be heading to Philadelphia to cover the Pennsylvania Democratic Primary on April 22, Multichannel News reports.

• Robin Williams will guest star on “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.” The Oscar winner (for 1997’s “Good Will Hunting”) will playg an “engineer whose life has gone terribly wrong” and who faces serious repercussions. The episode is scheduled to air April 29.

• Democratic presidential hopeful Sen. Barack Obama chats with the ladies of “The View,” tomorrow at 11 a.m.

Compiled by Robyn-Denise Yourse from Web and wire reports.

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