- The Washington Times - Tuesday, December 23, 2003

Bachelor bummer

Bachelor Bob might not be able to smooch his way out of this one.

Bob Guiney, the buss-happy star of the popular ABC reality series “The Bachelor,” has been sued for breach of contract by the show’s producers, Associated Press reports.

In a lawsuit filed Friday, Mr. Guiney and his record company, Wind-up Records, were sued for promoting his new CD, “3 Sides,” and music video. Production company And Syndicated Productions Inc., a division of Telepictures Productions, wants to stop Mr. Guiney from making any more public appearances in connection with the CD.

The producers also are seeking unspecified monetary damages.

Stars of “The Bachelor” and “The Bachelorette” series sign contracts with exclusivity clauses prohibiting them from promoting any other products without permission, according to the lawsuit.

Mr. Guiney caught the public’s eye as the husky and affable contestant in the first season of “The Bachelorette.” After being rejected, a slimmer Mr. Guiney was picked to star in the fourth season of “The Bachelor.”

Michael J. O’Connor, a lawyer for And Syndicated Productions, did not immediately return a call seeking comment. There was no immediate response to a call seeking comment from Wind-up Records.

Rocket finds ‘Faith’

Regis Philbin isn’t the only New York fixture to appear on ABC’s “Hope & Faith.” The parade of well-known New Yorkers continues later this season as retired New York Yankees pitcher Roger “The Rocket” Clemens and Yankees coach Willie Randolph pay the freshman show a visit, according to Associated Press.

The episode, titled “Charley’s Baseball,” is scheduled to air early next year. The plot: Charley (Ted McGinley) has a baseball autographed by Mr. Clemens, the future Hall of Fame hurler. When it’s destroyed by Justin (Pauline Litt), Hope (Faith Ford) and Faith (Kelly Ripa) pose as reporters who sneak into the locker room to try to find the pitcher. Cue the wacky high jinks.

‘Matrix’s‘ new Hu

Action star Kelly Hu (“X2: X-Men United”) is stepping into “Threat Matrix,” ABC’s freshman drama set in the world of homeland security, Reuters News Agency reports.

Miss Hu has been tapped to co-star in at least five episodes of the show, playing a new member of the elite task force created to respond to daily threats to U.S. security. She begins work early next month.

The actress’s credits include the features “The Scorpion King” and “Cradle 2 the Grave” and the CBS series “Nash Bridges” and “Martial Law.” She recently wrapped the Miramax action-comedy feature “The Underclassman,” starring Nick Cannon.

Fox’s rappers delight

Fox appears eager to snap up hip-hop’s rising movie stars, Method Man and Redman.

The duo, who previously teamed up for “How High” and “Scary Movie 3,” will star in a new comedy for the network, Reuters News Agency reports.

Based on an idea by Method Man, the untitled project will star the duo as themselves as they move into a big house in a predominantly white New Jersey suburb. The good times are rolling for the twosome, who wreak havoc upon the neighborhood until Method Man’s mom moves in with them and straightens things up.

“It is a very traditional fish-out-of-water story, but Meth and Red really bring a lot of charm and their particular brand of charisma to it and make it very appealing,” Erin Simon Berenson, senior vice president of Comedy Development at Regency TV, which is developing the project, told Reuters.

The pilot will be written by Kell Cahoon, whose credits include NBC’s “Just Shoot Me” and HBO’s “The Larry Sanders Show.”

Method Man and Redman also are attached to an untitled New Line comedy described as an urban version of “The Producers” and Miramax’s remake of the South Korean comedy “Jail Breakers.” Method Man, of Wu-Tang Clan fame, next appears in MGM’s comedy “Soul Plane” and Miramax’s “My Baby’s Mama.”

The duo exploited marijuana humor in “How High,” but it’s unlikely broadcast television will want them revisiting that material.

‘Simple’ countdown

America’s favorite farm girls, Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie of “The Simple Life,” will help count down the final moments of 2003 on “America’s Party,” airing live on New Year’s Eve from Las Vegas, Associated Press reports.

Ashanti, Metallica, Puddle of Mudd, Hootie and the Blowfish and Keith Urban are among those scheduled to perform, Fox announced Thursday. The show will be broadcast from the Venetian Resort Hotel & Casino beginning at 11 p.m. Dec. 31.

This year’s special guest for the Times Square countdown in New York City did a bit more than spill cow’s milk to gain nationwide fame. Shoshana Johnson, who spent 22 days as a prisoner of war in Iraq after being shot during an ambush, will push the globe triggering the drop of a 1,070-pound Waterford crystal ball and lead a 60-second countdown to 2004.

Miss Johnson, who was discharged from the Army last week, told New Yorkers: “Thank you for your support of my Army, my armed forces, my fellow soldiers, who were willing to do what is necessary for our freedom, for us to sit back and enjoy such a wonderful New Year’s Eve.”

Miss Johnson, 30, was a cook for the 507th Maintenance Company when it was ambushed in March. She was shot in both ankles and captured with five other soldiers, including Jessica Lynch. Nine soldiers died in the attack.

Miss Johnson was awarded the Bronze Star, the Purple Heart and the Prisoner of War Medal for her service in Iraq.

Compiled by Christian Toto from staff and wire reports.

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