- The Washington Times - Sunday, December 12, 2004

Farrell’s TV debut

Irish heartthrob Colin Farrell is set to make his American television debut early in the new year.

The star of Oliver Stone’s “Alexander” will play a life-loving Irishman — which hardly seems a stretch given his overexposed personal life — on an upcoming episode of NBC’s “Scrubs.” The actor’s appearance is set to air Jan. 25 at 9 p.m.

“He should definitely be doing more comedy,” says Bill Lawrence, the show’s creator and executive producer.

That should be welcome news to Mr. Farrell. His “Alexander” has taken a drubbing by critics.

The actor, whose previous film credits include “Phone Booth,” “Daredevil,” “S.W.A.T.,” “Tigerland,” “Minority Report” and “Hart’s War,” previously starred in the BBC series “Ballykissangel.”

Terrorism’s new face

The National Geographic Channel takes a look at the new face of terrorism in our modern age —female suicide bombers — with a special airing at 9 tonight.

“Explorer Special Edition: Female Suicide Bombers,” part of the cable channel’s new “Explorer” series, describes how these female assassins are harder to spot than their male peers, and explains why they’re increasing in number. The program also probes the reasons why these women are driven to kill others — as well as themselves —and examines whether their motives are that much different from their male counterparts.

“Explorer” host Lisa Ling visits the war-torn streets of Chechnya and Israel’s occupied territories to uncover the answers.

East meets West

CNN makes its Asian debut today as its “American Morning” program heads to Tokyo for the first of three broadcasts.

Co-anchor Bill Hemmer will give viewers a look at Japan’s political, cultural and religious landscape from that nation’s capital, while Soledad O’Brien holds down the news fort from the network’s New York City studios.

Mr. Hemmer will interview Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi, who will discuss his country’s rebuilding efforts in Iraq and its current ties to the United States. The anchor also will ask Lt. Gen. Thomas C. Waskow — the senior U.S. military representative in Japan, and commander of the U.S. Air Force units there — how our rebuilding efforts in Iraq may look to post-World War II Japan for guidance.

Brady bounces back

Dethroned talk show host Wayne Brady may be headed back to TV, starring in a proposed comedy that’s set in a personal injury law firm, Reuters News Agency reports.

Mr. Brady, who earned two Daytime Emmys for his now-canceled syndicated variety series, told Reuters he spent a long time honing the concept for the show (slated to air on NBC) with “Frasier” writer Saladin Patterson, who will write the pilot.

He also cited the lack of workplace comedies on the air as a factor in their decision to focus on the world of slip-and-fall lawyers.

“You go back in the day and look at a show like ‘Night Court’ — no one’s really tried to get into the funny of a place like that recently,”Mr. Brady said. “It seems like a world that would be full of great characters and great cases that can be really. really funny.”

Before signing up for his own talk show, Mr. Brady co-starred in the ABC improv comedy series “Whose Line is it Anyway?”

An ‘Affair’ to revisit

One of syndicated television’s most popular tabloid shows is making a comeback.

“A Current Affair,” the newsmagazine that featured District native Maury Povich as its first host back in 1986, will relaunch on Fox television stations next year, Reuters reports.

“A Current Affair” premiered on several Fox-owned stations and was syndicated two years later in 1988. It left the air in 1996. The new version is set to debut on the Fox Television Stations group, representing nearly 45 percent of the country.

“We are going to further build upon the many strengths that made ‘A Current Affair’ a great success when it first launched, and similar to 1986, it will capture the true essence of news that audiences relate to,” said Peter Brennan, who will return as executive producer.

We’re hoping that means the show’s punchy theme music returns as well.

Compiled by Christian Toto from staff and wire reports.

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