- The Washington Times - Friday, August 7, 2009

Heading to ‘Parks’

Comedian Louis C.K. is joining the cast of NBC’s “Parks and Recreation” for a multiepisode arc, Variety reports.

he stand-up comic will portray a Pawnee, Ind., police officer and potential love interest for the character played by show star Amy Poehler.

Louis C.K. will first appear in the second episode of the “Parks” season and in several segments thereafter.

The role represents the D.C.-born comedian’s first series since his HBO sitcom, “Lucky Louie,” which he created for the premium pay cabler. He just received an Emmy nomination for outstanding writing in a variety/music/comedy special, for the Showtime special “Louis C.K.: Chewed Up.”

He recently taped his third stand-up special, “Louis C.K.: Hilarious,” and will appear in the new Ricky Gervais feature, “The Invention of Lying,” which will be released in September, Variety says.

‘Tori & Dean’ sets record

The season finale of Oxygen’s “Tori & Dean” attracted more than 1 million viewers in the advertiser-coveted 18-to-49 demographic — the first time the network has ever broken a million in that group, Broadcastingcable.com says.

The show topped last year’s finale, which drew 932,000 in that age group and attracted 1.47 million viewers overall, up from 1.3 million last year.

TCM plans movie night

Turner Classic Movies will air a new series, “A Night at the Movies,” starting in October.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, each episode of the show will take an in-depth look at a different film genre.

The first episode, highlighting the history of thrillers, will feature interviews with authors, filmmakers and actors, including Ken Follett, Bryan Singer, Oscar winner Diablo Cody (“Juno”) and Kenneth Branagh.

The episode was written, produced and directed by Laurent Bouzereau, an award winner for his documentary on Alfred Hitchcock’s “Rear Window.”

The first installment will premiere at 8 p.m. Oct. 2, leading off five weeks of Friday-night programming dedicated to thrillers.

Dethroned

Turns out Conan O’Brien isn’t the king of late night after all.

According to TVGuide.com, NBC issued a news release calling Mr. O’Brien “the new king of late night” after ratings for his “Tonight Show” beat “The Late Show With David Letterman” in Mr. O’Brien’s first week at the helm.

Since then, however, Mr. Letterman has bounced back. NBC’s head of late night, Rick Ludwin, said Wednesday at the Television Critics Association fall TV tour that the news release had been “premature.”

“There were those who predicted that Conan was not going to be broad-based enough to work at 11:30, and we were so thrilled with the numbers for the first week that far exceeded our expectations, that we used that phrase in that headline, and that was premature,” Mr. Ludwin was quoted as saying.

‘Hulk’ star to dance?

Lou Ferrigno, the former “Incredible Hulk” star who had been training Michael Jackson for his comeback concerts until Mr. Jackson’s death on June 25, is in talks to be a contestant on next season’s “Dancing With the Stars” on ABC, TVWeek.com says, citing a report from Life & Style.

Although Mr. Ferrigno has not signed the contract, he has met with the producers, who he says loved the idea of having him on the show.

“I’ve never done that type of dancing before, so I know that I’ll have to train hard,” Mr. Ferrigno says.

Monk’s curtain call

It seems just about every general-interest cable network has a successful series or two. Before USA’s “Monk,” though, such channels rarely made original series, and few found many viewers.

Now the show that helped start it all — and certainly made USA’s fortunes — is bowing out, although its quality and ratings remain high. The eighth and final season premieres at 9 p.m. Friday with an episode that has the show’s typically compelling blend of sly humor and a good mystery.

Obsessive-compulsive sleuth Adrian Monk (played by Tony Shaloub, who has won three Emmys for the role) is pleased as punch to become bodyguard to the former child actress who starred in his favorite show. Christine Rapp (a deliciously naughty Elizabeth Perkins) bears quite a resemblance to “Brady Bunch” star Maureen McCormick — who also starred in a wholesome series and went on to write a tell-all about her not-so-wholesome life.

Monk can’t figure out why anyone would want to hurt the beautiful Christine. So assistant Natalie Teeger (Traylor Howard) and police captain Leland Stottlemeyer (Ted Levine) urge him to read her book. Well, maybe not all of it. Monk, the kind of guy who buttons up his shirts all the way, is disillusioned — after asking if the tea she’s drinking is hot, he begs Natalie, “Pour it into my eyes! Blind me!”

He still cracks the case, of course.

No mention is made in this episode of the mystery Monk most wants to solve: the murder of his beloved wife, Trudy. Let’s hope he finally lays that case to rest by the time the show wraps up in December.

Kelly Jane Torrance

Also this weekend:

Sex in the Ancient World: Egypt (10 p.m. Friday, History Channel) — A graphic 3,000-year-old papyrus is discovered that seems to be X-rated. Is it a message to the gods, part of a fertility ritual or simply evidence of erotica? Experts decode the evidence to reveal its true meaning, shedding new light on the everyday lives of Ancient Egyptians.

George Lopez: Tall, Dark and Chicano (10 p.m. Saturday, HBO) — The funnyman returns to the premium pay channel for his second stand-up special, performed before a packed arena crowd at the AT&T Center in San Antonio.

Who Wants to Be a Millionaire (8 p.m. Sunday, ABC) — It’s the return of Reege, as “Millionaire’s” original host, Regis Philbin, comes back to his old stomping grounds to reprise his role for a 11-night stint.

Randy Jackson Presents America’s Best Dance Crew (9 p.m Sunday, MTV) — The hit show, produced by the “American Idol” judge, kicks off its fourth season by moving from Thursday to Sunday nights.

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

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