- The Washington Times - Thursday, August 27, 2009

Jackson sis on ABC

ABC says La Toya Jackson will give her first one-on-one interview since brother Michael Jackson’s death when she sits down with Barbara Walters next month.

She will discuss her relationship with Michael and account for her belief that he was murdered, the network tells Associated Press. The interview is scheduled to air Sept. 11 on “20/20.”

Miss Jackson, 53, has told ABC News that she looks forward to the day justice is served “to all the parties involved in my brother’s homicide.”

She also will appear Sept. 16 and 18 as a guest co-host on ABC’s “The View,” where Miss Walters is one of the regular hosts.

Gosselin to guest

Speaking of “The View,” Kate Gosselin - sans estranged husband, Jon, and her brood of eight - has been tapped to fill in for Elisabeth Hasselbeck on the ABC chat fest Sept. 14 and 15, says TVWeek.com, citing a report from People magazine.

Mrs. Hasselbeck is on maternity leave after giving birth to her third child, Isaiah, earlier this month, notes the Hollywood Reporter.

ABC previously announced Meghan McCain, E.D. Hill and Miss Jackson as guest co-hosts for the daytime talk show.

Mrs. Gosselin, the mother of twins and sextuplets, co-stars with her estranged husband on TLC’s reality series “Jon & Kate Plus 8.”

Since the couple separated, their troubles have become the focus of the show, and Mrs. Gosselin has appeared on other programs, including “Larry King Live,” explaining her side of their story.

MTV sets movie slate

MTV is developing a slate of made-for-TV movies, designed to complement the network’s unscripted and scripted programming lineup.

According to Broadcastingcable.com, some of the movies are a riff on existing programs, while others are set in worlds that tie into specific MTV shows.

The movies likely will be scheduled for the network’s Friday-evening film slot, although MTV will explore pairing them with other programming or even using them to launch into new genres. MTV expects to launch one new feature every quarter.

One of the projects, “My Super Psycho Sweet Sixteen,” is a horror film, something currently lacking on MTV’s programming slate.

“We are looking at projects that capitalize on concepts or genres popular with our audience,” says Chris Linn, senior vice president of production and series development at MTV, who adds that the network hopes to have “more synergy” between genres - scripted, unscripted and features.

The movies announcement comes as the network looks to boost its scripted programming. It already has given the go-ahead to the comedy “Hard Times” and a remake of the British hit “Skins,” with more scripted comedies and dramas expected to move forward in the coming months. The last time the network made this large a push for made-for-TV movies was in 1999. Unlike the current effort, those movies were all musically themed and not necessarily tied into MTV programming.

Beyond the three projects the network has announced, it has six others in various stages of development, with more in the pipeline. The network is looking at developing features based around important events in the lives of its 12-to-34-year-old demographic, such as prom, summer and the holidays.

MTV also is eyeing the features as a way to develop talents who eventually migrate to other MTV programming.

The three projects announced by the cable network are:

- My Super Psycho Sweet Sixteen, which is set at a sweet-16 party at a rollerdome that had been plagued by murders. The name is derivative of the long-running MTV documentary series “My Super Sweet 16,” which chronicles sweet-16 parties of children of the rich and famous. The movie will premiere on MTV in October after a run in movie theaters.

- Turn the Beat Around, which is set in the competitive Los Angeles dance scene. The movie follows a struggling young dancer who persuades a club owner to open a disco that features disco hits remixed with modern music and dance. The movie would fit well with “Randy Jackson Presents: America’s Best Dance Crew,” which is an “American Idol”-style competition for dance groups and one of the network’s top hits.

- Made, based on the now seven-year-old documentary series of the same name. The movie will be a scripted comedy in the vein of “Clueless” and “Bring It On.” It still is in development, but centers on a cheerleader helping a band nerd make the squad.

Tanner’s troubles

Actor Antwon Tanner, who pleaded guilty in a New York City court to a Social Security number scheme, will appear in at least the first several new episodes of the teen television drama “One Tree Hill,” Associated Press reports.

CW network spokesman Paul McGuire says it is not clear what will happen later in the show’s seventh season.

“One Tree Hill” co-stars Mr. Tanner as high school basketball-star-turned-coach, Skills Taylor. The show is in production in Wilmington, N.C., and returns Sept. 14.

The actor, 34, also appeared with Samuel L. Jackson in the 2005 movie “Coach Carter.” He admitted in federal court in Brooklyn that he had sold more than a dozen Social Security numbers for $10,000. He’s expected to get as much as a year in prison at his Nov. 20 sentencing, AP said.

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

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