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Tuning in to TV: Prime Minister Cameron to appear on ‘Letterman’

- - Tuesday, September 25, 2012

British Prime Minister David Cameron's booking on "The Late Show With David Letterman" has ignited a media debate in London.

His appearance, scheduled for Wednesday, will mark the first time a British prime minister in office will have appeared on the show. Mr. Cameron is in New York to give a speech to the U.N. General Assembly.

He will enter Mr. Letterman's arena intending to talk up British business, riding the wave of optimism created by the success of the London 2012 Olympic Games. However, the guest appearance is being eyed with a mixture of caution and bravado in the British press.

Rupert Murdoch's News Corp.-owned Times described Mr. Cameron's appearance as "a high-risk move," while the Guardian called the plan "brave, if slightly foolhardy" given Mr. Letterman's tendency to ask "awkward" questions.

The conservative party leader's appearance comes after fellow conservative and London Mayor Boris Johnson showed up on the show in June in the run-up to the Summer Olympics. His performance drew laughs when Mr. Letterman asked the famously wild-haired mayor how long he had been responsible for cutting his own hair.

Mr. Cameron, a former head of communications at Carlton Communications, once part of commercial broadcaster ITV's network of companies, is certainly media savvy.

But the British press will want to see if Mr. Letterman probes the prime minister — lightheartedly or not — on such topics as his high-profile relationships with some of the key names involved in the News Corp. phone-hacking scandal.

Earlier this year, Mr. Cameron appeared before the Leveson Inquiry into media ethics and standards to give evidence on his relationship with Mr. Murdoch and his neighbor Rebekah Brooks, the former News of the World editor and News Corp.'s U.K. publishing arm News International's CEO.

'One Day At a Time' star facing pancreatic cancer

Bonnie Franklin, who starred in the sitcom "One Day At a Time," has been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, her family said Monday.

In a statement released by CBS, the family said the 68-year-old actress is undergoing treatment and continuing her normal schedule.

Miss Franklin, who lives in Los Angeles, and her family "remain extremely positive" and asked that her privacy be respected.

The petite, red-headed actress starred as single mom Ann Romano in the hit CBS comedy "One Day At a Time," which aired from 1975 to 1984. Her co-stars included Mackenzie Phillips and Valerie Bertinelli.

On her Twitter account, Miss Phillips sent "out love and sweet prayers" to the "incomparable Bonnie Franklin."

Miss Franklin's recent credits include appearances on "The Young and the Restless" and "Hot in Cleveland," which reunited her with Miss Bertinelli.

On stage, Miss Franklin was in the original Broadway production of "Applause," for which she received a 1970 Tony Award nomination, and other plays including "Dames at Sea" and "A Thousand Clowns."

Her family said Miss Franklin is grateful for people's support and concern as she fights cancer.

DNA test sought to settle claim on Hemsley estate

A Texas judge has ordered DNA testing on a man who claims to be the brother of the late "The Jeffersons" star Sherman Hemsley.

Richard Thornton is challenging the validity of Hemsley's will, which names the actor's longtime manager, Flora Enchinton of El Paso, as sole beneficiary. Hemsley died of lung cancer July 24.

Judge Patricia Chew on Monday rescheduled the El Paso trial on Hemsley's estate to begin Oct. 31.

Mr. Thornton, of Philadelphia, sought the DNA testing and must provide results by Oct. 15. Hemsley was born in Philadelphia but had lived in El Paso for the past 20 years.

Court documents indicate Hemsley's estate is worth more than $50,000.

USA Network renews three shows, waits on others

USA has renewed "Royal Pains," "White Collar" and "Covert Affairs."

A day into the broadcast networks' premiere week, the NBCUniversal-owned cable network has pulled the trigger to bring back three staples of its summer lineup.

"Royal Pains" will return for two additional runs of 13 episodes each, getting a 26-episode order for seasons five and six. The move comes as the show is prepping a two-hour TV movie, "Off-Season Greetings," revolving around the upcoming nuptials between Evan (Paulo Costanzo) and Paige (Brooke D'Orsay) slated to air Dec. 16.

"White Collar" and "Covert Affairs," meanwhile, will return for their fifth and sixth seasons, respectively, consisting of 15 episodes each.

The fate of "Common Law," "Fairly Legal," "Necessary Roughness" and limited series "Political Animals" has yet to be determined. A decision is expected soon.

Rita Wilson won't be nude for appearance on 'Girls'

When Rita Wilson signed on to guest star on HBO's "Girls," she had one major stipulation: no nudity.

A signature of the Emmy-nominated series starring Lena Dunham are its casual and frequent displays of nakedness, especially on Miss Dunham's part. In an episode from the first season, actress Becky Ann Baker, who plays the mother of aspiring writer Hannah (Miss Dunham), is shown in the nude during a shower-related pratfall.

"I [wanted] it put in my contract. ... [They] don't want to see me nude," Miss Wilson, 55, told Us Weekly. "That's all I have to say. I'm like, 'Don't write in any nudity, please.' "

Miss Wilson, who joined husband Tom Hanks at Sunday's Emmys, where he picked up a trophy as executive producer of HBO's "Game Change," will play the mother of uptight Marnie (Allison Williams) on Girls' second season.

"[Filming] was a blast," she said. "It's just one episode this season, but I hope there's room for [my character] to grow!"

Miss Wilson also has a recurring role on CBS' "The Good Wife" as shrewd lawyer Viola Walsh.

Compiled from Web and wire reports