- The Washington Times - Thursday, December 4, 2003

‘Alias’ recap

Viewers who can’t get enough of Jennifer Garner as Sydney Bristow in “Alias” can now watch the entire first and second seasons on DVD.

The first season’s DVD box set came out earlier this fall, and the follow-up season was released Tuesday.

The new six-DVD package includes deleted scenes and never-before-seen footage, including shots of Miss Garner accidentally hitting a stunt man in the head with a metal container during a fight scene. Audio commentary is available on four of the episodes, featuring feedback from various cast members and executive producer J.J. Abrams. At times, the group rambles on about nothing, but there’s an obvious camaraderie between them.

Most importantly, last season’s episodes include the romance between Miss Bristow and Agent Vaughn, who is played by Michael Vartan. Hopefully, as the third season progresses and Miss Bristow regains her memory, the two will be reunited, and Mr. Vaughn’s relationship with Lauren Reed, played by Melissa George, will go by the wayside.

The box set features 22 episodes and retails for $69.99.

“Alias” airs Sunday evenings at 9 on ABC.

The brothers Turturro

HBO has signed brothers Nick and John Turturro to work on “The Doorman,” a new comedy set to join its slate of original programming, according to Reuters News Agency.

The pair will write and executive produce the project, based on “NYPD Blue” alumnus Nick Turturro’s 12-year experience working as a doorman in New York.

Nick is set to star in the show, which has received a script commitment from the premium cable network, with older brother John attached to direct the pilot.

Nick and John Turturro have appeared together in several projects, most recently in the TNT original movie “Monday Night Mayhem.” Nick Turturro recently signed on to do a four-episode arc on the NBC drama “Third Watch,” while brother John co-starred opposite Adam Sandler and Jack Nicholson earlier this year in “Anger Management.”

No laughing matter

Comedy Central figured that if every other cable network and entertainment medium had an awards show of its own, why not them?

The ad campaign for the first Commie Awards, airing Sunday at 9 p.m. on Comedy Central, questions whether another awards show is really necessary, the Associated Press reports.

“We really wanted to strike a balance between our comedic irreverence in acknowledging the fact that there are way too many awards shows already and actually acknowledging that these are awards for jobs well done,” Lauren Corrao, Comedy Central’s programming chief, told the AP.

The show honors the best in comedy for 2003. Along with “serious” awards such as funniest person and funniest movie actor are categories such as the “Oh, I thought you were dead” award and the funniest unintentionally funny film award.

The idea is to generate an event that will get fans excited and involved and entice viewers that might not watch the network every day.

An awards show is straight out of the cable-television playbook, particularly for Viacom subsidiaries. Spike aired the Video Game Awards yesterday. Nickelodeon has its Kids’ Choice Awards, and MTV has the Video Music Awards and its own movie awards.

Bill Hilary, Comedy Central executive vice president and general manager, told the AP it’s a coincidence that the Commies are beginning during the first year the network was controlled by Viacom. The idea was in development before the corporate changeover, he said.

It’s no coincidence that the Commies are scheduled for early December. That’s just after a ratings sweeps month, so the competition from broadcast networks won’t be as intense, and advertisers are eager for a big event to sell holiday presents or tout new-movie releases, Mr. Hilary said.

Comedy Central is also premiering seven new series next year, so the awards show offers a cross-promotional bonanza.

The network is hoping the Commies can become for comedy what MTV’s video awards are for music.

“It is important that we have an awards ceremony,” Mr. Hilary said, “but it’s more important that it’s funny.”

The Commie bobble-head trophy is supposed to resemble St. Genesius, the patron saint of comedians.

Comedy Central wasn’t quite ready to risk a live awards show, so the event was taped Nov. 22 in Los Angeles. More than 550,000 Comedy Central viewers voted on the awards, winnowing a larger list drawn up by network executives into four nominees for each award, then determining the winners.

Andy Richter serves as the host of the Commies, and the show pays tribute to Rodney Dangerfield, giving him its first-ever comedy-idol award and throwing him an 82nd birthday party.

Finally — some respect.

Compiled by Christian Toto from staff and wire reports.

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