- The Washington Times - Thursday, October 2, 2003

A plucky ‘Match’

Alicia Silverstone rocketed to fame with 1995’s “Clueless” and slowly sank from public view after a series of cinematic clunkers.

Now she’s taking a stab at the small screen in “Miss Match,” NBC’s light and harmless confection airing at 8 tonight.

Miss Silverstone plays Kate Fox, a divorce lawyer by day and matchmaker in every other spare moment. The comely actress won’t fool anyone as a cutthroat attorney, but her authenticity soars when it comes time to pair up strangers.

She discovers her knack for matchmaking through pairing up pals by accident — but it’s clear her abilities will be taxed in the weeks to come.

Will those matchups be enough to keep viewers coming back? The initial findings are gloomy. The show got hammered by the competition (Rivals include ABC’s “George Lopez” and CBS’s “Joan of Arcadia.”) in its debut last week.

“Miss Match” reminds us why we gravitated toward the proudly vegan actress in the first place. But a few more ratings miscues and she might find herself without a scheduling date Friday nights.

‘Married’ mediocrity

ABC’s new “Married to the Kellys” features the star of NBC’s “Inside Schwartz,” a 2001 show that made the network’s “must see” lineup into a “must flee” stampede.

Nonetheless, young Breckin Meyer (“Road Trip”) plays the intermittently appealing lead in “Married,” debuting at 8:30 tonight on the alphabet network.

This harmless Friday filler finds Mr. Meyer as a New York-based author who picks up and moves to Kansas to be with his new bride, Susan (Kiele Sanchez), and her overbearing brood.

Based on the real-life experiences of show creator Tom Hertz, “Married” benefits from its likeable cast and a smattering of laughs.

Mr. Meyer’s character looks upon his wife’s roots as beneath his New York sensibilities. Now, he spends every waking moment with his in-laws, an aggressively genial bunch whose aw-shucks veneers are deceptive.

The show has genuine fun with “game night,” when the family’s pride and passive-aggression roar to a head. “Married’s” bigoted uncle is a bore, but Susan’s competitive sister Mary (Emily Rutherfurd) should be front and center in future episodes.

Kroft busted

CBS correspondent Steve Kroft was among three news people ticketed on charges of trespassing at a chemical plant last week, a plant official told the Associated Press.

Arrested with Mr. Kroft, an investigative reporter for the CBS news magazine “60 Minutes,” were a Pittsburgh newspaper reporter and a free-lance video cameraman, the AP reports.

The reporter earlier this year wrote a series of stories for the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review on the dangers posed by lax security at chemical plants. The cameraman is a longtime “60 Minutes” contributor.

Jack Ferguson, vice president of manufacturing for Neville Chemical, confirmed the citations, which were reported Wednesday by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, a rival newspaper of the Tribune-Review. Neville makes resins used in inks, paints, plastics and other products.

The trio were stopped Sept. 22 when they were spotted by plant officials, who called police, Mr. Ferguson said. The plant is located on Neville Island, just west of Pittsburgh on the Monongahela River.

CBS News spokesman Kevin Tedesco declined to comment on the citation, saying officials there had not received it. He also declined to comment on the story Mr. Kroft was working on.

The Tribune-Review reporter, Carl Prine, referred comment to the newspaper’s editor, Frank Craig, who didn’t immediately return calls made by the AP.

All three defendants were mailed summary citations, much like traffic tickets, for trespassing, which carries a $25 fine plus court costs. No hearings on the citations have been scheduled.

Puzzling choice

On the list of personalities who would be a predictable pick to host the History Channel’s new “Extreme History” show, The Who’s Roger Daltrey comes in about 1,032nd — behind Matt LeBlanc, but ahead of Boy George.

It’s a head-scratcher, but Mr. Daltrey temporarily abandons microphone twirling for the new series, premiering Sunday at 10:30 p.m.

Mr. Daltrey, we’re told, is a history buff who will join experts on location as they tell us how to survive extreme conditions. Along the way, we’ll learn about historical moments and how the survival techniques played a part in each.

The first installment of “Extreme History with Roger Daltrey” recounts the exploration of the Colorado River in 1869, retracing the path of one-armed Civil War veteran Maj. John Wesley Powell’s crew and their 1,000-mile journey.

Mr. Daltrey tames the river in a replica of Powell’s boat.

Nugent’s nightmare

Rocker Ted Nugent is many things — a classic rocker, an avid hunter and a perennial thorn in the side of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.

Now, he’s a crazed cross between Jeff Probst and Chuck Barris as the host of “Surviving Nugent,” a two-hour reality special airing Sunday at 9 p.m. on VH1.

Mr. Nugent invites seven clueless gamers to his Michigan property for some “Survivor”-style tricks. The man responsible for “Cat Scratch Fever” howls and hoots at the contestants, kicking one unlucky fella off the show at the start just for smelling funny.

The expletive-strewn “Nugent” is as low-budget as can be imagined, but viewers surely won’t know what to expect next as the seven race to win the prize bounty.

Pax four-pack

Pax serves up a quartet of new and returning shows this Sunday, including a new role for “Touched by an Angel” ‘s Roma Downey.

At 6 p.m., the new “Animal Tails” with host Marc Curry (“Hangin’ With Mr. Cooper”) premieres, featuring celebrity pets, animal tricks and pet makeovers.

Mullet-free Billy Ray Cyrus stars in the fourth season premiere of “Doc” at 8 p.m. As Dr. Clint Cassidey, Mr. Cyrus is a small-town doctor in the Big Apple staring down medical emergencies.

“Sue Thomas F.B. Eye” details the real adventures of a deaf FBI agent. The show, which stars Deanne Bray, airs at 9 p.m.

Finally, “It’s a Miracle” returns for its sixth season at 10 p.m. with new host Miss Downey. “Miracle” focuses on uplifting stories that, as the network puts it, “defy the odds and ordinary reasoning.”

Compiled by Christian Toto from staff and wire reports.

Copyright © 2018 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

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