- The Washington Times - Monday, August 9, 2004

More ‘Medicine’

Lifetime TV, and its largely female audience base, needs another dose of “Medicine.”

The cable network’s original drama “Strong Medicine” has been renewed for a sixth season, Reuters News Agency reports.

The news hit the cast and crew just in time for its 100-episode celebration in Culver City, Calif.

“Strong Medicine” explores the ongoing struggles of two dedicated female physicians, played by Patricia Richardson and Rosa Blasi. It averages 2.2 million viewers in its Sunday 9 p.m. slot. The show’s fifth season premiered June 13.

With the new 22-episode order, “Strong Medicine” will have reached a total of 132 original episodes at the end of its sixth season — making it the longest-running original drama series ever created for basic cable, according to Lifetime.

The “Strong Medicine” renewal comes on the heels of Lifetime’s cancellation of its cop series “The Division” after four seasons. And the network also ordered five more episodes of the mystery drama series “Missing,” now in its second season, in addition to its current 13-episode order.

Last Comic’ finale

The surprise summer hit “Last Comic Standing” decides tonight once and for all who’s the funniest amateur cutup in the country.

NBC’s reality yuk-fest airs its two-hour finale at 8 p.m. Host and executive producer Jay Mohr (“Saturday Night Live”) returned to host the show’s second season, the first of which drew only modest ratings. This time around — thanks, in part, to a more open competition which let comedy veterans compete — the reality show attracted more viewers and proved a genuine hit for NBC.

Veteran stand-ups such as Kathleen Madigan and Sue Costello (who even had her own short-lived sitcom on Fox) tried but couldn’t compete with the lesser-known comics.

The contest is down to three funnymen: Long Island’s Alonzo Bodden, Detroit’s John Heffron and Boston’s Gary Gulman.

Last year’s winner, Dat Phan, is working clubs across the country. But unlike the winners of “American Idol,” he’s hardly a household name.

Compiled by Christian Toto from staff and wire reports.

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