- - Sunday, February 12, 2012

‘Homeland’ actor not sure if Obama should watch

Actor Damian Lewis has a warning for Barack Obama. He says the president shouldn’t watch the Showtime TV series “Homeland” too much “because he won’t sleep at night.”

The British star at the heart of the political thriller, which was named best TV drama at the Golden Globes, said the leader of the free world is a big fan of the show that has generated white-hot buzz.

“Not only has Obama been watching it, but his aides have been calling up going, ‘We need to see it,’ ” Mr. Lewis said. “So he’s been getting entire state departments, top of the U.S. government, asking to see it because their boss watches it and they feel they need to know what their boss has been watching.”

And why should Mr. Obama be worried?

“[The show] spreads its criticism around of state governments and terrorists alike,” Mr. Lewis explained.

Mr. Lewis, 41, along with British co-star David Harewood, 46, spoke to the Associated Press recently before the U.K. launch of the series. Both are excited about getting reactions from home firsthand.

Mr. Lewis quipped he can’t wait to hear what fans think of it while he’s out supermarket shopping because he hasn’t generated that level of interest in the U.K. for a while.

He plays returning American war hero Nick Brody, who was discovered in a cell in Iraq after being missing for eight years.

Claire Danes, who won best actress in a drama at the Globes, is the CIA agent who doesn’t believe him. Mr. Harewood plays her boss.

In their London interview, Lewis and Harewood appeared relaxed, chatting away in their native English accents, something they ditch when on U.S. soil. They each try to stay in their American voices all day long in the United States because it’s easier and helps them practice.

As for the success of “Homeland,” Lewis suggested that intelligent TV drama helps to fill the gap left by the death of the indie movie.

“Films are either now made for [$500,000] or $500 million, you know, there seems to be little in between,” he noted. “TV has sort of filled that slot and actually you can make provocative, interesting, quirky, independent, movie-type TV.”

Jersey City welcomes ‘Jersey Shore’ spinoff

Jersey City taxpayers won’t be footing the bill for police assigned as security for the women of “Jersey Shore” and all the attention that comes with them.

New Jersey’s second-largest city has issued a permit to producers to film a spinoff of the reality series, featuring Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi and Jenni “JWoww” Farley. According to the Associated Press, filming is expected to begin later this month in the city’s Grove Street Path neighborhood.

Police spokesman Edgar Martinez said Thursday the production company in charge of the show will pay for off-duty police officers to provide security and will pay for any additional officers if they are needed. In addition, he said, the production crew won’t be taking parking spots from residents but will use pay lots.

Nearby Hoboken last week denied the show a permit to film, citing safety and quality of life concerns for residents of the city along the Hudson River.

Jersey City Mayor Jerramiah Healy said he believes the show is an opportunity to promote the city.

TV anchor bitten on air released from hospital

A television anchor who was bitten in the face by an 85-pound Argentine Mastiff during a live broadcast was released from a hospital Thursday.

Kyle Dyer of KUSA-TV was bitten Wednesday while doing a story about the dog’s rescue from an icy pond by a firefighter in suburban Lakewood, Colo.

Ms. Dyer was interviewing firefighter Tyler Sugaski and the dog’s owner, Michael Robinson, when the dog, named Max, bit her on the face. Mr. Sugaski tended to Ms. Dyer in the studio until paramedics arrived and took her to the hospital.

KUSA reported Thursday that Ms. Dyer was released from Denver Health Medical Center, where she had reconstructive surgery to her lip.

Mr. Robinson was cited with failure to have his dog on a leash - Max was off-leash when he fell into the pond - allowing his dog to bite, and failure to have a vaccinated dog. Mr. Robinson insisted that Max’s vaccinations are up to date.

“Max is a gentle, loving, family dog,” Mr. Robinson said. “This incident truly is unfortunate and does not reflect Max’s disposition towards people.

“Our family and friends pray for a quick recovery and look forward to seeing Ms. Dyer back on-air soon.”

Lawyers: ‘Survivor’ producer hopes to avoid trial

Lawyers for a U.S. reality television producer accused of murdering his wife at a Mexican resort said Thursday they hope to persuade a judge to drop the charges and free their client.

Jaime Cancino Leon, an attorney for former “Survivor” producer Bruce Beresford-Redman, said he had found inconsistencies in the prosecution case but did not elaborate.

Mr. Beresford-Redman appeared for a preliminary hearing, where a judge read the homicide charge filed against him. He did not immediately enter a plea.

The producer spoke briefly and complained he didn’t have a consular representative when investigators questioned him after his wife’s April 2010 death in the Caribbean coast resort of Cancun.

Behind bars in an office room, Mr. Beresford-Redman said he was accused of a crime he did not commit. He said he lost his wife, Monica, whom he loved very much, and lost the custody of his children and his freedom.

Mr. Cancino Leon said the defense will ask for an additional three days to make their case for dismissal, which would extend to a total of six days the time the judge has to either dismiss the charges or order a trial.

Carlos Grajales Betancourt, another defense lawyer, said the defense team also will present evidence in his client’s favor.

The Quintana Roo state attorney general, Gaspar Armando Garcia Torres, said he expects the judge to order the case to go to trial.

The body of Monica Beresford-Redman was found in a sewer cistern at a swank resort during a family vacation. The couple had gone there with their young children in an attempt to save their marriage after she learned her husband was cheating on her.

He was flown in to Cancun early Thursday escorted by nearly a dozen Mexican agents. Mr. Beresford-Redman opted in December not to appeal a U.S. court ruling upholding his extradition.

Compiled from Web and wire service reports.