- The Washington Times - Friday, March 20, 2009

‘Sing-Off’ is on

NBC has signed off on “The Sing-Off,” a reality competition that will pit a cappella groups against each other in a battle without instruments.

According to Variety, the eight-week series will feature contestants as they perform without backing tracks or a band and compete by crooning popular, contemporary songs. The winning group will receive a Sony Music recording contract, Variety says.

NBC is billing the show as the first reality competition to center on a cappella singing and cites the 1990s success of Boyz II Men and the more recent popularity of Justin Timberlake (whose former group, ‘NSync, also frequently performed multipart harmony) as the reason behind the series.

Cat-tastrophe

Season five “Project Runway” finalist Kenley Collins was arrested Tuesday for assault, reports the New York Post.

According to the newspaper, the catty reality star attacked her fiance Zak Penley — by throwing a cat at him — as he slept.

Yes, you read that right.

Miss Collins, 25 — who reportedly continued her attack by pelting Mr. Penley with a laptop and even some apples — was charged with assault, menacing, harassment and criminal possession of a weapon.

Her weapons of choice, however, seem more creative than some of her trademark ‘50s-style fashion designs showcased on Bravo’s hit reality series. Ironically, during her “Runway” run Miss Collins was accused of being — well, a copycat.

The up-and-coming designer, however, calls her cat attack “a miscommunication.” After being released without bail from a Brooklyn jail, she told the New York Post, “Fights happen, and that’s that. There is no case.”

No reason was given for the altercation, but according to sources, Miss Collins told her fiance, “You’re lucky, it could have been worse.”

Although the claws came out between Miss Collins and benevolent “Runway” mentor Tim Gunn during her appearance, she nonetheless emerged as the second runner-up during season five.

FX series for Rollins

If ever there was an ideal match between series and actor, Henry Rollins and “Sons of Anarchy” might be it.

The actor and former Black Flag and Rollins Band singer will join the FX series about bikers next season, says Zap2it.com. He’s set to appear in six episodes as “a new antagonist” to the Sons of Anarchy motorcycle club headed by Charlie Hunnam’s character; the cable channel promises he will be a “deadly threat” to the club.

Mr. Rollins, a District native, hosts a talk show on cable’s Independent Film Channel and has carved out a decent career as an actor, with credits that include “Heat,”“Lost Highway” and “Feast.” Given that, he seems like a natural fit for FX’s show, which begins shooting its second season in late April.

Short takes

• Lily Collins, daughter of musician Phil Collins, will appear in two episodes of CW’s drama “90210” this season, says the Hollywood Reporter. In the penultimate episode airing May 12 and in the May 19 season finale, she will play Phoebe, a West Beverly Hills student and rival of Annie (Shenae Grimes). Miss Collins, a broadcast-journalism student at the University of Southern California, is also a red-carpet correspondent for Nickelodeon.

• Also per THR: Cable’s National Geographic Channel has renewed its popular “Dog Whisperer” for a sixth season. The Friday-night staple starring dog guru Cesar Millan has been granted 30 more episodes, which will roll out later this year.

• In other THR casting news, former “Saturday Night Live” standout Chevy Chase will star with Joel McHale in a comedy pilot. Mr. Chase’s casting comes after an upcoming guest stint on NBC’s “Chuck”(which will air in the coming weeks). The pilot stars Mr. McHale — host of E! Entertainment Television’s “The Soup” — as a lawyer who discovers his degree isn’t valid and has to go back to community college. Mr. Chase will play another student, a guy who’s been married five times.

Weekend watch

Desperate Housewives (9 p.m., WJLA-ABC7) — Bree (Marcia Cross) considers selling her catering business to save her marriage, Katherine (Dana Delany) is caught in the most unexpected of circumstances and Edie’s (Nicollette Sheridan) worst fears come true.

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

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