- The Washington Times - Tuesday, December 14, 2004

‘Newlyweds’ come home

Those precocious newlyweds, Nick Lachey and Jessica Simpson, are ready to fill your Christmas stocking.

The pair of brilliantly packaged MTV stars make their DVD debut this week with “Newlyweds: Nick & Jessica: The Complete First Season.”

The two-disc package features glimpses of their first year of wedded bliss as well as new footage, interviews, music videos and the ability to pause the disc — just as Miss Simpson realizes Chicken of the Sea is actually tuna fish.

Ever-ready Regis

Is Regis Philbin assuming James Brown’s mantle as the hardest working man in showbiz?

He’ll not only sit in for an ailing Dick Clark for the latter’s “New Year’s Rockin’ Eve” on Dec. 31, but has also agreed to co-host the live portion of NBC’s three-hour “Apprentice” finale tomorrow evening, TV Guide reports on its Web site.

As is Mr. Clark’s tradition, Mr. Philbin will host the show from New York’s Times Square. He will be joined, via satellite, by singer Ashlee Simpson, who is hosting the West Coast part of the ABC special.

Besides Miss Simpson, performers include country music stars Big & Rich; singer Ciarra; the bands Earth, Wind & Fire and Good Charlotte; and rocker Billy Idol.

Mr. Clark, 75, suffered a stroke Dec. 6. In a statement released Monday, he admitted it will “feel strange” watching the ball drop on TV for the first time in three decades, but added that “my doctors felt it was too soon. I’m sure Regis will do a great job, and I’m thankful that he was able to step in on such short notice.”

Mr. Clark, who went from hosting “American Bandstand,” “Bloopers” and game shows to producing awards ceremonies, has been host of a New Year’s Eve special for 32 years. He produces the American Music Awards, Academy of Country Music Awards and Golden Globe Awards.

Subbing for ailing entertainers is becoming a full-time chore for Mr. Philbin, who filled in for David Letterman when the “Late Show” host underwent heart bypass surgery in 2000 and recovered from an eye infection in 2003.

D.C.’s tidings of joy

TNT sets aside its made-for-cable telecasts and “Law & Order” reruns tonight to revel in a little holiday spirit, District style.

The cable channel will air the annual “Christmas in Washington” concert at 8 p.m., hosted by Dr. Phil and Robin McGraw and featuring an appearance by President George W. Bush and first lady Laura Bush. The special, taped Sunday in the District’s National Building Museum, features performances by country music superstar LeAnn Rimes, Grammy-winner Michael McDonald, 2003 “American Idol” Ruben Studdard, actress-singer Vanessa Williams and teen singing sensation JoJo.

Among the tunes being performed on the yuletide program: “The Christmas Song,” “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” and “The Little Drummer Boy.”

No hard feelings

“Desperate Housewives” star Eva Longoria says she’ll be at the Golden Globes next month to cheer for her fellow cast members.

Her co-stars Marcia Cross, Teri Hatcher and Felicity Huffman were nominated Monday for best actress in a TV musical or comedy series, and Nicollette Sheridan was nominated for best supporting actress in a miniseries, movie or series.

The program, which airs Sunday evenings on ABC, also received a nomination for best comedy or musical series.

“They have all paid their dues and are so awesome to work with. It couldn’t have happened to better women,” Miss Longoria told the syndicated TV show “Access Hollywood.”

The Golden Globe Awards will air live Jan. 16 on NBC.

Surf’s up at ABC

ABC officials have ordered a script for “Making Waves,” a new ensemble drama based on surfing’s Paskowitz family, Reuters News Agency reports.

The California clan has run surf camps nationwide for more than 30 years, including some designated for autistic children in New York, Hawaii and other seaside spots.

Producer Keri Selig, who will develop the project with writer Trey Callaway, said she envisions the series and the surf-camp setting as a way to bring a fresh twist to the family drama genre.

“We’re trying to do an unconventional family drama about an unconventional family that runs an unconventional business,” Miss Selig said.

We’re betting there will be some very conventional swimsuits in the mix.

Patriarch Dorian “Doc” Paskowitz is a legend in surfing circles who’s credited with helping to popularize the sport when he was living in Hawaii in the 1940s. He has nine children — all surfers — most of whom remain involved in the family business.

Compiled by Christian Toto from staff and wire reports.

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