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Tuning in to TV

- - Monday, October 17, 2011

Comedian George Lopez has new show in the works

Comedian George Lopez said he is creating a family-orientated sitcom where he will play a father and husband, vowing to return to television less than two months after TBS canceled his late-night show "Lopez Tonight."

Mr. Lopez told the Associated Press that his show, now untitled, "will be the opposite" of "George Lopez," the syndicated television sitcom that aired on ABC from 2002 to 2007 and made him a household name.

He also plans to star in his third live HBO stand-up special next year, his first since 2009.

Viewership for his late-night show on TBS declined heavily in its second year. He said the show suffered after he lost his 11 p.m. time slot to Conan O'Brien. He said TBS' plan was for Mr. Lopez to go on after Mr. O'Brien at midnight and win over Mr. O'Brien's young viewers.

Instead, Mr. Lopez's total viewership dropped 40 percent in its second year, from an average of 910,000 nightly viewers to 543,000. By August, the audience had dropped to 391,000.

The comedian said it is unfortunate his show was canceled because few minority hosts are on late-night television.

Mr. Lopez, who often lampoons his Mexican heritage and upbringing, said there will not be a grandmother figure on his new show. On "George Lopez," Mr. Lopez often verbally sparred with the actress who played his mother. He promised that he would tease all of his co-workers if the show is picked up for TV next fall.

"Whoever is my relative, I will not be nice to them," he said.

'E! News' co-host Rancic reveals cancer diagnosis

"E! News" co-host Giuliana Rancic said she is in the early stages of breast cancer, the Associated Press reports. The 37-year-old made the announcement Monday on NBC's "Today" show.

Mrs. Rancic said the cancer was discovered during a mammogram while she was undergoing a third round of in-vitro fertilization in an effort to get pregnant.

Mrs. Rancic said she will have surgery this week, followed by 6 1/2 weeks of radiation therapy.

She is married to Bill Rancic, winner of the first season of "The Apprentice."

Mrs. Rancic said she still wants to get pregnant because "this baby will have saved my life."

Spike TV Scream Awards to be aired Tuesday

Heroes and villains from the worlds of horror, fantasy and sci-fi shared the stage Saturday at Spike TV's annual Scream Awards.

The show was as much about how the awards were presented as who got them, but for starters, the top honorees were Harry Potter, Darth Vader, Nicolas Cage, Pee-wee Herman and Robert Downey Jr., according to the Associated Press.

Resembling a psychedelic circus, one side of the stage was a life-size dollhouse populated by costumed characters, the other a staircase topped by a giant keyhole, and in the middle was a lake that lit up with fire.

Fans picked the night's winners and filled the makeshift theater for the 2 1/2-hour presentation, which is set to air Tuesday as a two-hour special on Spike TV and VH1.

Harry Potter took the night's top prize. The eight-part film franchise was named the "ultimate scream," and awards presenter Chloe Grace Moretz described the saga as "the most awesome, most rocking thing that the universe has ever seen."

Audience members were given glow sticks before the winner was announced, and when "Potter" star Daniel Radcliffe accepted the prize by video from New York, fans there were waving the same lights. Co-star Ralph Fiennes, who played Lord Voldemort, also appeared by video to accept an award for favorite villain.

Darth Vader, though, won the ultimate villain award. "Star Wars" creator George Lucas presented the Sith Lord with his prize.

Meanwhile, Mr. Lucas announced that the first "Star Wars" film converted to 3-D will open in February. He also offered a peek at his latest project, "Red Tails," about the Tuskegee Airmen.

The most anticipated movie was "The Dark Knight Rises," and stars Anne Hathaway, Gary Oldman and Joseph Gordon-Levitt took the stage to thank fans for the honor. Bradley Cooper accepted an award for "Limitless," and J.J. Abrams was on hand to take a sci-fi prize for "Super 8."

When "Black Swan" director Darren Aronofsky accepted the best director award, a massive black swan floated by in the lake behind him. Peter Dinklage is in Croatia shooting "Game of Thrones," but he somehow managed to accept the supporting actor award from an underwater site.

Gordon Ramsay ending deal with restaurant in Dubai

Celebrity chef and TV personality Gordon Ramsay is saying goodbye to Dubai.

According to the Associated Press, the famously foul-mouthed Briton's company said by email Monday that his consultancy deal with Verre restaurant in the Persian Gulf city-state is coming to an end.

Gordon Ramsay Holdings said it scrapped the deal after a regular review of commercial operations. It didn't elaborate, though a number of Mr. Ramsay's eateries have taken substantial financial losses.

Verre opened in the Hilton Dubai Creek hotel in 2001. It was Mr. Ramsay's first international restaurant.

Hilton confirmed the deal is ending this month but didn't say what's next for the highly rated restaurant. Verre's top chefs said they are working on a project that will be unveiled soon.

Larry Hagman has cancer, will continue work on 'Dallas'

Larry Hagman has been given a cancer diagnosis, the Associated Press reports.

The 80-year-old actor is famous for playing J.R. Ewing on "Dallas." In a statement Friday, he said: "As J.R. I could get away with anything - bribery, blackmail and adultery. But I got caught by cancer."

Mr. Hagman declined to specify what kind of cancer he has but said it's "a very common and treatable form." He plans to continue working on a reboot of "Dallas" for TNT, which was to begin production Monday.

The new "Dallas" focuses on the Ewing offspring as they clash over the future of the family dynasty. The original prime-time soap opera aired on CBS from 1978 to 1991.