- The Washington Times - Monday, March 5, 2012

Oprah lands interview with Houston’s daughter

Oprah Winfrey has landed an interview with Whitney Houston’s daughter and other family members for a TV special that will air on the Oprah Winfrey Network.

Oprah’s Next Chapter” will feature an interview with Bobbi Kristina, Houston’s only child. It also will include Patricia Houston, the singer’s sister-in-law and manager, as well as the singer’s brother, Gary, the Associated Press reports. It is scheduled to air on Sunday.

The superstar was found dead in a bathtub at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, Calif., on Feb. 11. An exact cause of death has yet to be determined.

Miss Winfrey was one of the guests invited to Houston’s funeral in Newark, N.J., last month.

Houston was 48 years old. Her daughter turned 19 on Sunday.

‘Hawaii Five-O’ star taking break from show

A representative for Alex O’Loughlin said the “Hawaii Five-0” star is taking time away from the show to get treatment for problems related to pain medication, according to the Associated Press.

Rachael Wesolowski said in a report in the Honolulu Star-Advertiser that Mr. O’Loughlin “is taking a short break to receive supervised treatment for prescription pain medication due to a recent shoulder injury.”

Series producer CBS Television Studios and Mr. O’Loughlin’s representatives declined to comment on the nature of his injuries or his treatment.

Mr. O’Loughlin, who portrays crime fighter Steve McGarrett, is known for doing many of his own stunts on the action-packed show. He reportedly will be absent for at least one episode.

Philippine official denies actor was hassled

A Philippine official said “Friday Night Lights” star Taylor Kitsch was not hassled at Manila’s airport recently, as the Canadian actor indicated this week.

Mr. Kitsch said Wednesday on the “Late Show With David Letterman” that customs officers stopped him at the airport and ordered him back to Japan because his passport didn’t have enough pages to stamp his arrival. He was to finish filming Oliver Stone’s “Savages” in the Philippines.

Mr. Kitsch said he was let in only after proving with his iPhone that he was an actor.

Philippine Customs chief Ruffy Biazon wrote in his blog Friday that no airport records show Mr. Kitsch visited Manila, and that his officers do not stamp passports.

Mr. Kitsch is best known for his role as American football star Tim Riggins on the television series “Friday Night Lights.”

Yahoo Screens launches first two comedy series

Yahoo was to begin its first season of comedy series on Monday with two shows: “Sketchy,” a satire-infused series, and “Funny or Die Presents: First Dates With Toby Harris,” an offering from Will Ferrell’s popular Web brand, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

The Internet giant, which aims to rebrand itself as a destination for hot comedy programs, is unspooling the fresh material on Yahoo Screens, its new video portal that scores almost 11 million monthly viewers, according to the New York Times.

“We wanted to put a real stake in the ground when it came to Internet comedy,” said Erin McPherson, head of video programming and originals at Yahoo. “Comedy is where we saw a lot of consumer demand, for both the best of what you see on TV and the viral sensations you see on the Internet.”

“Sketchy” will feature spoofs on “The Hunger Games” and breast pumps, with the latter subject parodied in a spot directed by Lindsay Crystal, daughter of Billy Crystal. In “Toby Harris,” comic actor Seth Morris stars as an unlucky single guy. The show comes via Yahoo’s high-profile, Ferrell-fronted partner, Funny or Die, a key ally as the company takes on Google’s YouTube and Comedy Central’s atom.com in the Internet comedy market.

Next on tap for Yahoo: “Burning Love,” a Ben Stiller-produced reality-show parody starring Ken Marino (“Wanderlust”) as “Bachelor”-like bait for desperado ladies. Mr. Marino created the series, which co-stars Adam Scott (“Friends With Kids,” TV’s “Parks and Recreation”), Malin Ackerman (“Wanderlust”) and comedian Michael Ian Black.

Yahoo’s video-content strategy is based on a Hollywood model of signing talent and building programming from there; the management company Principato Young Entertainment, which focuses on comedy, will assist the company with casting, among other roles.

In the past several months, Yahoo has struck deals with the likes of Tom Hanks and Bill Maher.

Jessica Lange returning to ‘American Horror Story’

For the second season of FX’s anthology series “American Horror Story,” Zachary Quinto and Jessica Lange will be joined by returning cast members Evan Peters, Sarah Paulson and Lily Rabe, co-creator Ryan Murphy announced Friday, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

Following its breakout freshman season that featured the deaths of the Harmon family (played by Dylan McDermott, Connie Britton and Taissa Farmiga) who moved into the haunted L.A. abode, Mr. Murphy told reporters that the second season will feature an entirely new setting, story and cast.

Season 2 will shift from the creepy Los Angeles haunted mansion to an East Coast “horror institution.”

Mr. Peters co-starred as mass-murderer-turned-ghost-stuck-in-the-house Tate Langdon, while Miss Paulson had a more limited run as medium Billie Dean. Miss Rabe played Nora Montgomery, one of the original owners of the house at the center of the series.

Season 2, which likely will premiere in October, will revolve around Miss Lange’s new character, with Mr. Quinto cast as a series regular.

* Compiled from Web and wire service reports.