- The Washington Times - Sunday, August 1, 2004

Pax’s new ‘Dash’

Pax brings the popular board game Balderdash to the small screen tonight, with a little help from comic Elayne Boosler.

Miss Boosler, who came of age during the 1980s stand-up comedy boom, is your host for “Balderdash,” premiering at 8:30 p.m. The new show will run weeknights in that time slot.

“Balderdash” features a panel of celebrity comics peppering two competing contestants with bluff answers to questions in such categories as “words,” “movies” and “famous epitaphs.” The initial wave of celebrity panelists include Tim Meadows, formerly of NBC’s “Saturday Night Live”; “Cheers’” star George Wendt; and “Third Rock from the Sun’s” French Stewart.

Poitier goes to ‘Mars’

Sydney Tamiia Poitier, daughter of Oscar-winner Sidney Poitier, is joining the cast of the upcoming UPN drama “Veronica Mars.”

Miss Poitier will play Mallory Dent, a popular journalism teacher at Neptune High School and a mentor to Veronica Mars (Kristen Bell). The actress will make her “Mars” debut on the show’s second episode, airing at 9 p.m. Sept. 28.

Miss Poitier can currently be seen in CBS’ hit drama “Joan of Arcadia” in a recurring role.

Her “Mars” role won’t be her first appearance on UPN. She previously starred in the network’s failed comedy, “Abby.”

“Veronica Mars” stars “Everwood’s” Miss Bell as a savvy 17-year-old apprentice private investigator dedicated to solving mysteries in and around her tony seaside community, although the residents of Neptune would prefer their dirty secrets remain unknown.

Wing’ taking flight?

One of the stars of NBC’s long-running “The West Wing” predicts an unofficial term limit clause is about to kick in for the series.

Richard Schiff, who plays White House communications director Toby Ziegler on the political drama, says he doesn’t expect the show to last much longer, Associated Press reports.

“I honestly don’t think it’s the last year, but maybe the year after that,” he told AP last week just before a Red Hot Chili Peppers concert sponsored by the Creative Coalition — a nonprofit, nonpartisan group made up of those in the arts and entertainment industries who serve as educators and advocates on various social and political issues — of which he is a member.

“The plans are that it’s going to go a full term, eight years,” says Mr. Schiff, a 2002 Emmy-nominee for best supporting actor. “Thank God, constitutionally we can’t go more than that.”

And if that’s when the show does end, he adds, then “that’d be fine by me.”

“I used to do a lot of movies. I was used to moving around a lot and I’m anxious to do that again,” Mr. Schiff said.

Prior to last season’s start, “The West Wing” lost its key voice when creator and writer Aaron Sorkin left the series. Its ratings have dwindled over the years, but it recently earned the attention of Emmy voters once again as one of five nominees in the best drama category for the upcoming awards ceremony Sept. 19.

Compiled by Christian Toto from staff and wire reports.

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