- The Washington Times - Monday, September 15, 2003

‘Heaven’ sent

“7th Heaven’s” eighth-season opener picks up where last season’s nail-biter left off — with newlyweds Lucy (Beverley Mitchell) and Kevin (George Stults) fearful Lucy is pregnant and a police officer knocking on the Camdens’ front door.

Tonight’s episode, airing at 8 on the WB, confirms that someone is, indeed, pregnant. It also divulges the heavy news delivered by the officer.

The show, heralded for its strong family values, stars Catherine Hicks, Stephen Collins and Jeremy London.

Time for Ozzy’s missus

Ozzy Osbourne’s better half is getting the spotlight all to herself.

“The Sharon Osbourne Show,” debuting today at 2 p.m. on the WB, is the latest talk show to hit daytime television.

Expect the usual celebrity suspects, plus a melange of “compelling personal stories,” as the show promises, along with news headlines and reality video snippets.

All that in just one hour.

The host won’t be a cussin’ and a feudin’ as she does on her MTV reality show, but she will conduct interviews with handsome male celebrities on an actual bed for “under the cover” interviews.

Let’s hope Ozzy is watching VH1 and not his wife during those moments.

Today’s episode features crooner Justin Timberlake, who is promoting his “Justified” tour, singer Wynonna Judd and a segment with eight recently orphaned siblings.

Other guests lined up for premiere week include actress/comedienne Mo’nique (UPN’s “The Parkers”), singer Macy Gray, Chris Harrison (“The Bachelor” host), actress Juliette Lewis and son Jack Osbourne, who will contribute to a discussion on addiction and recovery.

Nugent gets real

Rocker/hunter/provocateur Ted Nugent is getting a reality special to call his own.

“Surviving Nugent” promises an all-terrain contest pitting seven contestants against each other for cash and prizes, according to Associated Press.

The special, set to air Oct. 5 on VH1, will include a vegan, a homosexual man, a New Yorker and what the AP describes as a “sex kitten.”

Musically speaking, Mr. Nugent is best known for the classic rock staple “Cat Scratch Fever.” In recent years, the guitar slinger has become a passionate voice for hunters’ rights, using his impish humor to stab at the politically correct and groups like PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals).

Spike’s got game

Director Spike Lee frequently can be found cheering on the New York Knicks from Madison Square Garden’s courtside seats.

Now, the director is turning his sights to promoting the NBA for TNT.

Mr. Lee will oversee the new marketing campaign promoting NBA games on the Turner-owned network, according to the Cox News Service.

Filming starts this week for the campaign, which Atlanta-based Turner Broadcasting System says will be the most expensive it has ever mounted for sports programming, although it wouldn’t put a price tag on the effort.

The campaign features children, NBA stars and takeoffs on nursery rhymes. In one spot, NBA rookie LeBron James will dress up like a baby, while children sing a basketball version of “Rock-a-Bye Baby.” Shaquille O’Neal, Jason Kidd and Ben Wallace also will appear in the ads.

TNT brands itself as the drama network, and the campaign will play up the drama of the games and the season, David Levy, president of Turner Sports, told the Cox News Service.

The campaign will include commercials on TNT and other networks owned by Turner, including TBS Superstation. There also will be print, radio, billboard and online ads. Turner airs 54 regular season games and 44 playoff games. The NBA playoff games generate some of the highest ratings on the network. Last year, they averaged 3.6 million viewers, and the all-star game drew 10.8 million.

Early Emmys

Actress Alfre Woodard and actor Charles S. Dutton were among the winners at the creative arts Emmy Awards, a precursor to the upcoming main ceremony, the Associated Press reports.

The creative arts awards recognized more than 60 technical and other achievements for the 2002-03 season.

Miss Woodard was honored Saturday as outstanding guest actress in a drama series for “The Practice.”

Mr. Dutton, a Baltimore native, who won in the guest actor category last year for “The Practice,” was honored this time for his work in “Without a Trace.”

For guest actor and actress in a comedy series, the winners were Gene Wilder for “Will & Grace” and Christina Applegate for “Friends.”

Among networks, NBC received a leading 11 awards, followed by HBO with 10, CBS with nine, ABC with eight and Fox and PBS with seven each. NBC’s “Will & Grace” was the most honored series Saturday with three awards.

Honors for best comedy and drama series, best movie and other achievements will be given Sunday, in a ceremony airing on Fox.

It’s a good thing

Far from shunning Martha Stewart for her legal troubles, a pair of Boston-area furniture salesman known for their distinctive TV ads are featuring the queen of home decorating in new commercials.

Barry and Eliot Tatelman, who run the Boston-area chain Jordan’s Furniture, brought in the domestic doyenne to boost her new line of furniture, notes the Hollywood Reporter.

“Eliot and I aren’t saying innocent or guilty,” said Barry Tatelman, CEO of Jordan’s, which the brothers sold to Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway in 1999 but still operate.

In one of their typically self-deprecating ads, the pair are creating potpourri sachets for a bedroom dresser and a centerpiece for a table. They walk over to get approval from Miss Stewart, who remarks “Not enough hydrangeas — never enough hydrangeas.”

Miss Stewart has pleaded innocent to charges of obstruction of justice, conspiracy, securities fraud and making false statements to investigators in connection with her sale of ImClone Systems Inc. shares. Her trial is scheduled to begin Jan. 12.

‘Watch’ for changes

Major changes are coming in season five of NBC’s “Third Watch” (starting Sept. 29), says TV Guide Online.

In last season’s finale, firefighter Alex Taylor (Amy Carlson) was killed off in an explosion.

Viewers also will learn Noble (guest star Tom Berenger) was gunned down.

But who cares about them? How will we ever watch “Watch” without dimpled hunk Eddie Cibrian, who plays paramedic Jimmy Doherty?

That’s right. Word is, Mr. Cibrian will exit the show mid-season, possibly to be replaced by a new cutie.

But why?

Mr. Cibrian has signed a talent holding deal with ABC, which spells both big bucks and leading man status.

Compiled by Christian Toto from staff and wire reports.

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