- The Washington Times - Thursday, August 12, 2004

‘Apprentice’ no more

Ereka Vetrini, who ended up on the wrong end of Donald Trump’s “You’re fired” tag line on “The Apprentice,” has signed on with Tony Danza’s upcoming talk show.

The native New Yorker, whose 15 minutes of fame might not be over just yet, will serve as announcer and sidekick on “The Tony Danza Show,” a daytime chat fest debuting Sept. 13.

Miss Vetrini’s duties will include informal chats with Mr. Danza, covering red-carpet events and chewing the fat on the news of the day for the live broadcast.

The “Apprentice” contestant, a Boston College graduate, is perhaps best known for her run-ins with fellow contestant and District resident Omarosa Manigault-Stallworth.

“I was looking for someone whose name ended in a vowel, and I think I found her,” Mr. Danza says.

Adds Miss Vetrini: “I learned everything about business from working in my parents’ pizzeria, the two best business people I know…and now I’ll be able to learn everything there is to know about television from a man whose career has stood the test of time.”

Mr. Danza gained fame from roles on two ABC sitcoms, “Taxi” and “Who’s the Boss,” but the actor has shown greater range in recent years with his tap-dancing and an appearance on Broadway in “The Iceman Cometh.” He also earned an Emmy nomination for his guest turn on ABC’s legal drama “The Practice.”

Family unfriendly?

HBO isn’t exactly bending over backward to please traditional-family supporters.

The cable network is planning a pair of programs guaranteed to send the Parents Television Council folks dashing for their contact lists.

First up is the fictional “Big Love,” co-produced by Tom Hanks, centering on a polygamous family in Utah. The series stars Bill Paxton and Chloe Sevigny and has already received the green light for 10 episodes.

The network’s other news, released late last week, is that Rosie O’Donnell is teaming up with HBO to produce a documentary based on the first ocean cruise of the same-sex vacation service founded by the entertainer and her partner, Kelli O’Donnell. The Norwegian Dawn, the vessel the couple chartered as part of their new R Family Vacations program, returned from its inaugural trip last week after a weeklong voyage to Key West and the Bahamas with 500 homosexual-headed families aboard.

Both HBO programs will air sometime next year.

Internment revisited

A new documentary on Japanese-American internment camps set to debut next month in Little Rock, Ark., will make its PBS debut in May, the Associated Press reports.

“Time of Fear” is part of a project to preserve the long-neglected history of the two Arkansas camps. The film will be shown Sept. 24 during a Little Rock conference, which will reunite hundreds of former camp detainees.

“We are excited because this is the first documentary that will focus exclusively on the Arkansas camps,” said Jessica Hayes of the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.

The university, the Los Angeles-based Japanese American National Museum and the Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation organized the film, conference, traveling exhibits and numerous other educational projects about the experiences of thousands of Japanese-Americans who were forcibly relocated to Arkansas after the bombing of Pearl Harbor.

From 1942 to 1945, the Jerome and Rohwer camps in southeast Arkansas held 16,000 detainees. More than 120,000 Japanese-Americans were sent from the West Coast and Hawaii to 10 internment camps at the beginning of the war. Eight camps were in the West; the Arkansas sites were the only ones in the South.

Producer Kathryn Dietz said the Arkansas camps proved unique because of the impoverished area surrounding them.

Arkansans living near the camps went without running water and electricity, both of which were supplied to the camps, the film states.

Among those interviewed in the documentary is “Star Trek” actor George Takei, who was forcibly relocated from California to Arkansas with his family when he was a child. The future actor’s family lived in the Rohwer camp for a year.

Compiled by Christian Toto from staff and wire reports.

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