- The Washington Times - Monday, December 29, 2003

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 network TV will want them revisiting that material.

New Ingalls named

ABC is going back to the “Prairie.”

Erin Cottrell has been cast as Caroline Ingalls in an ABC miniseries based on Laura Ingalls Wilder’s classic “Little House” series of autobiographical books about American frontier life, Reuters reports.

The six-hour miniseries, which will air under the “Wonderful World of Disney” banner, is slated to begin production next month in Calgary, Alberta.

Miss Cottrell’s credits include the feature “Legally Blonde 2: Red, White & Blonde” and the CBS daytime drama “The Guiding Light.”

The role of matriarch Caroline Ingalls was played in the 1970s series “Little House on the Prairie” by Karen Grassle.

Rogers remembered

PBS is starting the new year with a salute to a gentle giant of children’s television.

“Fred Rogers: America’s Favorite Neighbor,” airing Thursday evening at 9:30 on WETA-TV (Channel 26), celebrates the genial host, who died in February at 74, Associated Press reports.

The documentary, parts of which aired previously, details Mr. Rogers’ early years in Latrobe, Pa., his start in television with NBC in New York and his work in founding WQED in Pittsburgh, the nation’s first community-owned TV station.

The ideas he explored in his first children’s program, “The Children’s Corner,” became part of the venerated “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood.” He had an uncanny ability to see the world from a child’s view, an approach that stood the test of time.

“I really think it was a gift,” Joanne Rogers, his widow, said in an interview. “He had a gift for being able to see through a child’s eyes.”

David Newell, who played Mr. McFeely on the show, recalled how Mr. Rogers once trained a camera on an egg timer to demonstrate to children how long a minute feels.

“Who gives a minute away in television? They want to fill it up with sounds,” Mr. Newell said.

“We all have only one life to live on Earth,” Mr. Rogers once said. “And through television we have the choice of encouraging others to demean this life or to cherish it in creative, imaginative ways.”

Hiltonpalooza on Fox

Can’t get enough of the tabloid girl of the hour, Paris Hilton?

Fox serves up four repeat episodes of the socialite’s reality show, “The Simple Life,” starting tonight at 8.

Watch them all and long for the days when television featured sophisticated fare such as “Green Acres” and “The Beverly Hillbillies.”

“The Simple Life,” co-starring Nicole Richie, strands two fabulously wealthy young women on an Arkansas farm for a month.

A Bon Jovi new year

Who knew Bon Jovi would be ringing in any new year past 1991, given its dubious hair-band roots?

Yet the New Jersey rockers will jump-start 2004 tomorrow night with a special pay-per-view concert from their home state.

“Bon Jovi: Full House, The Concert From the Boardwalk” will feature songs from “This Left Feels Right — Greatest Hits … With a Twist.”

Fans will have to shell out the suggested retail price of $14.95 to share in the revelry.

The special, airing from 6:30 to 9 p.m. tomorrow, will be the only chance to catch the band singing songs from the new album on TV. The 88-minute show will be preceded by 30 minutes of behind-the-scenes footage leading up to the broadcast.

Compiled by Christian Toto from staff and wire reports.

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