- - Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Newt Gingrich is pulling a Joe Biden by making a cameo on NBC’s “Parks and Recreation” — but unlike with the vice president, there was no planning involved.

On the spur of the moment Monday, the ex-GOP presidential candidate and House speaker was written into “Parks and Rec” after walking into Indianapolis’ St. Elmo Steak House while the comedy filmed scenes on location at the restaurant, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

“It was a completely random chance. But you can’t pass up on an opportunity like that,” series co-creator Mike Schur told the Indianapolis Star.

And so Mr. Schur and the episode’s writer-director weaved Mr. Gingrich — in town to meet with Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels — into the storyline, which revolved around a bachelor party for Ben Wyatt (Adam Scott), who’s getting married to Leslie Knope (Amy Poehler), mayor of fictional Pawnee, Indiana.

Miss Poehler was not present at the restaurant, although Mr. Scott was joined by actors Nick Offerman, Aziz Ansari, Rob Lowe, Chris Pratt and Jim O’Heir. Indiana Pacers’ players Roy Hibbert and Miles Plumlee filmed planned cameos.

“I love, ironically, that we had to come to Indianapolis to have Speaker Gingrich,” Mr. Lowe told the Star. “No, we didn’t have him in Washington. We have him at St. Elmo’s.”

‘Seinfeld’s‘ Michael Richards cast in new TV Land sitcom

TV Land says it has cast “Seinfeld” star Michael Richards in a pilot for a prospective new sitcom.

The series, “Giant Baby,” also would feature “Cheers” alums Kirstie Alley and Rhea Perlman, according to The Associated Press.

TV Land said Tuesday the pilot will be taped next week.

“Giant Baby” focuses on Broadway star Maddie Banks, played by Miss Alley. Mr. Richards plays her limo driver while Miss Perlman plays her assistant.

This would be Mr. Richards’ first regular series role since his short-lived NBC sitcom aired in 2000. Before that, he played Jerry Seinfeld’s kooky neighbor Cosmo Kramer on the wildly popular “Seinfeld” series.

In the meantime, Mr. Richards performed as a stand-up comedian. He lost his temper while being heckled at a club in 2006 and was caught on tape shouting the N-word. He later apologized.

$319M verdict upheld in ‘Millionaire’ case

A federal appeals court on Monday upheld a $319 million verdict over profits from the game show “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire” and rejected Walt Disney Co.’s request for a new trial.

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