- The Washington Times - Friday, November 21, 2008

‘Lipstick’ fans unite

Rumors of the death of “Lipstick Jungle” may have been at least slightly exaggerated.

Following the lead of the industry trade papers, and the logic of both shows’ dismal ratings, Zap2it reported last week that NBC had canceled both “My Own Worst Enemy” and “Lipstick Jungle.”

For the first-year Christian Slater drama, that appears to still be the case.

For “Lipstick Jungle,” though, there’s a glimmer of hope, at least for series star Brooke Shields.

“They thought that because ‘My Own Worst Enemy’ has been shut down that the same thing had happened to us, and it’s not true,” US Weekly quotes Miss Shields as saying. “They’re not breaking down the sets. We’re still working. We still have more to do, so it’s erroneously presented that we’ve been canceled.”

“Lipstick Jungle” started the season on Wednesdays but moved to Friday nights. Through its first seven episodes, the series is averaging about 5 million viewers per installment, Zap2it.com reports.

That normally wouldn’t offer even an iota of hope for a struggling series, but digital-video-recorder viewership has reportedly been a boon to the show’s overall audience. The New York Times is reporting that NBC Entertainment Co-chairman Ben Silverman has promised that the show will complete production on its 13-episode order — nine are completed — with the possibility of more, should ratings demand them.

Meanwhile, “Lipstick Jungle” fans are still being urged to send lipsticks — the equivalent of the “Jericho” nuts campaign, which offered a temporary stay for that now-departed series to NBC offices.

HBO’s Kinison biopic

HBO launched comic Sam Kinison’s star, and now the pay cable giant will memorialize his life and death with “Brother Sam,” a film Tom Shadyac will direct.

Dan Fogler will play the manic comic, Variety says.

The biopic will be adapted from the book “Brother Sam: The Short, Spectacular Life of Sam Kinison,” a memoir written by his brother and manager, Bill Kinison, and Steve Delsohn. A new script has been written by Shari Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini, the writer-directors of “American Splendor.”

David Permut is producing in a co-production of David Permut Presentations and Mr. Shadyac’s Shady Acres. Steve Longi is co-producer, and Bill Kinison is executive producer.

Mr. Shadyac and Mr. Permut spent eight years trying to get the project made as a feature at Universal Pictures, but it stalled and seems a better fit at HBO, Variety notes.

Mr. Kinison’s star was launched by an appearance on HBO’s Rodney Dangerfield-hosted “Young Comedians” special in 1984. Mr. Fogler is the Tony-winning star of “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee,” who transitioned to feature films with “Balls of Fury.”

Ready to rumble

Former World Wrestling Entertainment star Hulk Hogan, who apparently loves hogging the spotlight in and out of the ring, is back on prime time television (remember his recent VH1 reality series, “Hogan’s Rules”? ) with “Hulk Hogan’s Celebrity Championship Wrestling” on CMT.

Now in its sixth week, the competition takes on a new intensity Saturday at 8 p.m. when pro football player turned championship wrestler Bill Goldberg makes a guest appearance.

Mr. Goldberg will coach the remaining five celebrity contestants including former National Basketball Association champion Dennis Rodman, “Different Strokes” actor Todd Bridges, super heavyweight boxer Butterbean, “Real World” cast member Trishelle Cannatella and Dustin Diamond of “Saved by the Bell” — as they continue to go head to head in the ring in their quest to win the title “Celebrity All-Star Heavyweight Champion.”

Also this weekend:

Friday

Annapolis 300: A Capital Celebration (8 p.m., WMPT-Channel 22) The fascinating tale of Maryland’s capital city and how its history is intertwined with American history.

Saturday

Turkey Day Disasters (3 p.m., Food Network) — Fans share their wildest dinner disaster stories and get great tips and recipes for a worry-free Thanksgiving. Hosted by Guy Fieri (“Guy’s Big Bite,” “Guy Off the Hook”) and guest starring Food Network chefs Tyler Florence, Michael Symon and Sunny Anderson.

Sunday

American Music Awards (8 p.m., ABC) — Jimmy Kimmel returns as host for the 35th annual event, and Alicia Keys leads the pack with five nominations. Among those performing: Christina Aguilera, Natasha Bedingfield, Beyonce, Mariah Carey, Coldplay, the Jonas Brothers, Annie Lennox, Leona Lewis, Ne-Yo, Rihanna, Taylor Swift and Kanye West.

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

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