- The Washington Times - Tuesday, September 9, 2003

Billy Dee hits ‘Street’

Veteran actor Billy Dee Williams will guest star on the next two episodes of Showtime’s original series, “Street Time.”

On tonight’s episode, airing at 10, the man formerly known as “Star Wars” hero Lando Calrissian plays a former drug kingpin who is being watched after being hidden in the witness protection program for two decades.

“Street Time” follows the lives of ex-cons and the parole officers assigned to keep them from slipping back into criminal behavior.

The show stars Rob Morrow (“Northern Exposure”) as Kevin Hunter, a man on parole who served time on marijuana smuggling charges, and Scott Cohen as James Liberti, a 10-year veteran of the U.S. Probation Department.

Ashcroft visits King

Attorney General John Ashcroft chats with CNN talker Larry King tonight on the eve of the second anniversary of the September 11 attacks.

Mr. Ashcroft is scheduled to discuss the fight against terrorism as well as President Bush’s recent address to the nation.

Also slated to appear tonight is famed broadcaster-turned-liberal-columnist Walter Cronkite.

Tomorrow night’s “Larry King Live” will feature John Walsh, host of “America’s Most Wanted” program and one of the first members of the media to enter ground zero.

“Larry King Live” airs at 9 weeknights on CNN.

‘Trek’s‘ new mission

The “Star Trek” franchise may go where plenty of shows have gone before … into mothballs.

But not without a fight, if UPN has anything to say about it.

UPN’s “Enterprise” crew has to save the planet Earth from a devastating attack in the show’s season debut at 8 tonight.

The episode picks up where last year’s cliffhanger ended. The Xindi, a mysterious and remote alien race, had killed millions on Earth through a deadly attack. Now, Captain Archer (Scott Bakula) and crew must stop the aliens from a second assault on Mother Earth.

To do so, the Enterprise must travel into the Delphic Expanse, a realm where the laws of physics no longer apply.

The show’s third season promises more whiz-bang action than “Star Trek” shows typically afford. The franchise has stumbled in recent years, and the heavy firepower may be a way of reigniting the fan base.

Only one “Trek” television show remains in production, and the box office tally for “Star Trek: Nemesis” was so poor that it may have ended the movie series, at least for the foreseeable future.

UPN’s “Enterprise” is set years before the original “Star Trek” crew from the 1960s show ever set foot aboard a spacecraft.

Lopez lands docu deal

Jennifer Lopez is using her considerable clout to produce a documentary celebrating a Cuban rite of passage.

The upcoming film, a joint effort between HBO and Miss Lopez’s Nuyorican Productions, concerns Los Quinces, a traditional coming-of-age ball marking a Cuban girl’s 15th birthday. The film will hit theaters first and then make its television debut on HBO.

First-time director Vincent Castellanos will direct the film, to be shot in and around Miami.

Told through the eyes of a young Cuban-American girl living in Miami, the documentary will follow the unfolding drama of one family’s journey through the highs and lows of the cultural tradition.

‘Circuit’s a go

Fox has greenlighted a legal pilot from Barry Levinson and Tom Fontana dubbed “The Circuit,” targeted for midseason or fall 2004, according to Reuters News Agency.

Mr. Fontana and fellow “Homicide: Life on the Street” alumnus James Yoshimura have written “The Circuit” and are executive producing with Mr. Levinson, who might direct. HBO Independent Prods., where Mr. Levinson and Mr. Fontana are based, is producing.

The project initially was developed at ABC as part of the network’s exclusive deal with HBO IP. After the network passed on it, it was taken to Fox.

Mr. Levinson is a Baltimore native whose films include “Diner,” “Avalon,” “Rain Man” and “Bandits.”

‘Guide’s‘ new look

A redesigned TV Guide magazine hit the stands Monday as the publisher of the 50-year-old title struggles to revive the neglected brand, the Associated Press reports.

The magazine carries a new logo, an expanded movie guide on salmon-colored paper, shorter articles, more viewing recommendations and easier to read prime-time channel listing grids.

The magazine also has a new slogan: “We see everything.”

The circulation of TV Guide has fallen dramatically, from more than 19 million in the 1970s to about 9 million today.

Much of that decline came after the company that publishes the magazine was bought in 2000 by Gemstar, a company known for its vision of a world where people got channel listings and recommendations from an interactive programming guide instead of a weekly magazine.

“We stopped soliciting new subscribers and reduced the number of copies we put out on newsstands,” said John Loughlin, president of the TV Guide Publishing Group. “They never rejected the product. We stopped marketing it to them.”

That neglect changed last year when News Corp., which owns a 43 percent interest in Gemstar-TV Guide International Inc., forced out Gemstar founder Henry Yuen and hired Mr. Loughlin to manage the TV Guide magazine brand.

The company will spend $10 million to market TV Guide with the goal of adding 750,000 new subscribers by the end of the year.

Compiled by Christian Toto from staff and wire reports.

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

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