- The Washington Times - Thursday, October 9, 2003

Pearl widow speaks

Mariane Pearl, wife of slain Wall Street Journal journalist Daniel Pearl, talks about her husband’s ordeal tonight with CNN’s Aaron Brown.

Mrs. Pearl’s new book, “A Mighty Heart,” recalls the tragic death of Mr. Pearl, kidnapped and killed by Islamic extremists last year.

Mr. Pearl’s captors had demanded the United States release some Pakistani nationals being held at the Guantanamo Bay holding cells. When their demands weren’t met, they killed Mr. Pearl.

“NewsNight with Aaron Brown” airs at 10 tonight.

Personal ‘Snapshots’

Potomac filmmaker Becky Krimstein knows firsthand how breast cancer can strike a person in her prime. She was diagnosed five years ago at age 35.

Still, she couldn’t have predicted that while filming her new documentary on the disease, four people close to the production would be diagnosed with the potentially deadly illness.

“A Cancer Rainbow: Snapshots from My Journey,” airing Sunday at 10:30 p.m. on WETA-TV, details the emotional journey breast cancer patients endure after the initial diagnosis.

Ms. Krimstein, who co-produced and co-directed the film with her husband, Gary, said “Snapshots” introduces us to the people who helped her through her own recovery.

“We were so struck by the people who inspired us,” Ms. Krimstein said. “We wanted to make a positive film about how you get through the emotional side of it.”

During the production, four women tied to either Ms. Krimstein or the film’s other subjects learned they had breast cancer. Ms. Krimstein’s next-door neighbor, one of those four, tells her story through answering-machine messages left at the Krimstein home.

She said the film will show those with breast cancer that “life, in a strange way, is better on the other side. You learn what’s important,” she said.

Defending his honor

CBS’s “60 Minutes” features a former CEO accused of securities fraud on this weekend’s edition of the venerable newsmagazine.

Richard Scrushy, former CEO of HealthSouth, gives Mike Wallace an exclusive interview concerning accusations he inflated HealthSouth’s profits by $3 billion. Five former chief financial officers for the chain of rehabilitation hospitals say Mr. Scrushy perpetrated the fraud.

Mr. Scrushy’s lawyers promise the interview will be their client’s only public statements on the matter.

“60 Minutes” airs Sunday at 7 p.m.

New place for ‘Space’

The Robinson clan is headed back into deep space.

The WB Network has given a pilot order to a remake of the fantasy-adventure drama “Lost in Space,” which ran on CBS from 1965-68, Reuters News Agency reports. Feature filmmaker John Woo (“Mission: Impossible 2”) is on board as an executive producer and may direct the pilot.

The prospect of revisiting “Lost in Space” piqued the interest of several networks. The WB, which bid aggressively, is hoping that “Lost” will become another fantasy-action franchise show for the network, even if its young-skewing audience has no firsthand memory of the original series.

The new-model “Space,” to be set in the year 2097, will hew closely to its progenitor by following the adventures of the Robinson family and their loyal robot sidekick.

In the original series, Guy Williams and June Lockhart played the heads of a family of three who set out on a five-year mission to explore a distant planet only to find themselves hopelessly lost in space after the controls of the spacecraft are sabotaged by a nefarious scientist who inadvertently winds up going along for the ride.

“We’re sticking to (creator) Irwin Allen’s core vision of a family fighting for its survival in space,” said Doug Petrie (“Buffy the Vampire Slayer”), who will write the pilot script and also executive produce. “As a writer, space is the greatest window dressing in the world, and we are going to have fun with it. But at its core, it’s a family story, and their emotions are going to be completely real and completely relatable.”

Imagine, “Dawson’s Creek” in outer space.

Also executive producing will be Jon Jashni and Kevin Burns, whose Synthesis Entertainment banner was formed in 2001 to oversee revivals of the many TV and film properties controlled by Mr. Allen’s estate.

Synthesis and NBC previously had been working on a two-hour “Lost in Space” TV movie that would have been something of a reunion with original series cast members. But the project was scuttled last November after the death of “Lost” star Jonathan Harris , who played the malevolent Dr. Smith.

The 1998 film “Lost in Space” (with William Hurt and Mimi Rogers) attempted to revitalize interest in the TV franchise, but its modest box office receipts and slick special effects may have left fans of the original series wanting. Part of the series charm, for many, was its hokey visual effects.

When the Synthesis partners met with Mr. Petrie to discuss a range of possibilities, the writer sketched out his detailed vision for a series remake.

“When I got to my ideas for season four, they said, ‘OK, OK, shut up already,’” Mr. Petrie said.

Earthy delights

We all know about the concerts, gold records and, in some cases, groupies that come along with rock ‘n’ roll fame. But how do singers unwind after a brutal tour or whirlwind press schedule?

Some, it seems, turn to their gardens.

“Rock Gardens,” a one-hour special hosted by Michelle Phillips (The Mamas and the Papas) tracks down rockers to learn how they make their gardens grow. They offer tours of their estates, detailing how digging their hands into soil keeps them balanced.

The special covers the gamut — from Mark Hoppus of pop-punk superstars Blink-182, to yesterday’s darlings, including Micky Dolenz of the Monkees.

The special, which also features Grace Slick, John Oates, Darius Rucker of Hootie and the Blowfish and Chaka Khan, airs Sunday evening at 9 on cable’s HGTV.

Compiled by Christian Toto from staff and wire reports.

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