- The Washington Times - Tuesday, December 16, 2003

Bionic ‘2.0’

Television’s “Six Million Dollar Man” is paying a visit to UPN’s version of the ‘70s action hero. Erstwhile “bionic man” Lee Majors guest stars on “Jake 2.0” at 9 tonight as an agent lured out of retirement to help Jake find a former KGB spy trying to restart the Cold War.

The ex-spy wants to ignite a dirty bomb in the District, and it’s up to Jake (Christopher Gorham) and Mr. Major’s new character to save the day. “Jake 2.0” follows the exploits of Jake, a regular Joe who was injected accidentally with microscopic computers that give him superpowers.

In “The Six Million Dollar Man,” Mr. Majors played Steve Austin, a National Aeronautics and Space Administration test pilot seriously injured in a crash, who received robotic spare parts giving him similar superhuman prowess.

Write on

There’s finally some good news on minorities and the television industry, Associated Press reports. The number of minority writers working on television series rose in 2002, part of an overall hiring increase, the Writers Guild of America-West said last week.

The total number of writers working in prime-time TV increased from 1,334 in 2001 to 1,576 last year, while the number of minority writers rose from 135 to 205 in the same period, the guild reported.

Minority writers have started to break into non-ethnic sitcoms and dramas but remain concentrated in comedies, especially ethnic ones, the guild said. WGA President Victoria Riskin credited the gain to both industrywide meetings initiated by the union and the involvement of production and labor-relations heads at the major networks and studios. A provision for the diversity meetings was included in a 2001 wage agreement.

“Even after a strong year in 2002, we must continue the commitment to raise minority writers’ share of television writing jobs to an acceptable level,” guild Vice President Charles Holland told AP.

AbFab’ inhales Oxygen

Those desperate, drunken ladies of Britain’s “AbFab” are back in the states. “Absolutely Fabulous” is set to return Jan. 2 on the Oxygen channel with a fresh batch of misadventures, Reuters News Agency reports. The show, featuring Patsy and Edina (actress Joanna Lumley and series creator-writer Jennifer Saunders) first aired stateside in 1992 courtesy of the BBC and later in 1994 on Comedy Central.

The show’s take-no-prisoners humor isn’t an easy sell, but the leads’ outrageous antics have made it a favorite among fans with thick skin. The “AbFab” characters were created for a BBC sketch comedy program that Miss Saunders has performed off and on since the late 1980s with Dawn French, her longtime collaborator.

Bad Dogg?

An actress has sued rapper Snoop Dogg and MTV over an episode of the network’s “Doggy Fizzle Televizzle,” in which she claims she unwittingly was made to appear as if she were naked and engaging in sexual relations with another actor, Associated Press reports.

In a lawsuit filed Friday, Doris Burns accuses Snoop Dogg, whose real name is Calvin Broadus, and MTV of breach of contract, fraud, invasion of privacy and defamation. She is seeking unspecified damages.

A spokeswoman for MTV, which produced and aired the show, said the company doesn’t comment on pending litigation. Messages left for Snoop Dogg’s attorney by AP were not returned.

Miss Burns claims that during the filming of a scene for the rapper’s sketch comedy show, the producers wanted it to appear that she was having sex with an actor playing her husband. According to the lawsuit, she refused, but she did agree to wear a tank top and underwear and hold the hand of the actor while sitting on the bed. When the show aired Aug. 31, the episode looked very different because her torso and both actors’ hands were blurred, the suit claims.

Compiled by Christian Toto from staff and wire reports.

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