- The Washington Times - Tuesday, February 10, 2004

Rosa redux

HBO revisits civil rights pioneer Rosa Parks’ simple but stark protest against discrimination tonight with a new, Oscar-nominated documentary.

“Mighty Times: The Legacy of Rosa Parks,” airing tonight at 10:15 on the cable network, reintroduces the story of the Montgomery, Ala., bus boycott that helped fuel the civil rights movement.

The documentary combines archival images, re-enactments and first-person interviews with those who lived through the boycott.

On Dec. 1, 1955, Mrs. Parks refused to give up her seat on a bus to a white man. Her subsequent arrest led to a boycott of the bus system led by Martin Luther King that lasted 381 days and ended when the Supreme Court ruled segregation unconstitutional.

Britney ‘On-Air’

Neophyte talk-show host Ryan Seacrest gets a boost today when a certain belly-baring beauty stops by his L.A. studio.

This afternoon’s “On-Air With Ryan Seacrest” interview with pop starlet Britney Spears will be among her first chats since her quickie Las Vegas wedding last month.

The pop singer also will perform during the live telecast, so watch those lips to see if she’s truly singing or just wed to a prerecorded vocal track.

“On-Air With Ryan Seacrest” airs weekdays at 5 on UPN20.

Second chances

A pair of actresses are learning there is life after cancellation.

Sarah Wayne Callies, the star of WB’s short-lived “Tarzan,” is swinging back with a project all her own.

Miss Callies, who played a New York cop named Jane in the canceled WB series, will take the lead in the ABC drama pilot “The Secret Service,” Reuters News Agency reports. “The Secret Service” centers on a young woman (Miss Callies) who struggles to balance her marriage with the demands and dangers of her Secret Service career.

Meanwhile, another actress from a doomed show, Eva Longoria of ABC’s “L.A. Dragnet,” will soon star in the ABC drama pilot “Desperate Housewives.”

“Housewives” takes a darkly humorous look at the secretive lives of four women living in an Anytown, U.S.A., cul-de-sac. Miss Longoria will play one of the women, a former runway model married to a handsome fellow. She’s unhappy with her husband’s disapproval — and begins a relationship with the family’s 16-year-old gardener.

Williams flying high

Reuters News Agency

Not so long ago, Treat Williams was spending as much time flying helicopters as he was acting.

An experienced pilot, Mr. Williams was putting his skills to good use by helping get an aviation business off the ground during a period when he admits acting opportunities, particularly after September 11, had become “very thin.”

However, shortly after he came to Los Angeles in early 2002 to do the play “War Letters,” his manager sent him a pilot script that literally changed his fortunes.

Mr. Williams sealed the deal to star in “Everwood” as Dr. Andy Brown within the first 15 minutes of his first meeting with creator-executive producer Greg Berlanti and his producing partner, Mickey Liddell.

“Everwood’s” Dr. Brown is a guy who had everything until his wife died in a car accident. Deep in mourning, he gave up his life as a hotshot Manhattan neurosurgeon and moved his teenage son and preteen daughter to a small Colorado town, where he opened a free clinic.

A strong Nielsen performer by WB standards, the show is starting to bubble up with critics for its deft blend of small-town dramedy and story lines concerning teenage promiscuity and eating disorders.

Mr. Williams had two previous TV series that proved short-lived — the 1991 drama “Eddie Dodd” and the 1993 sitcom “Good Advice.”

Nevertheless, he made a big bet on “Everwood’s” longevity last year by moving his wife, 12-year-old son and 5-year-old daughter from their home in New York to Park City, Utah, where “Everwood” is filmed.

“There are so many actors my age who would love to have a series,” Mr. Williams, 52, says.

“I don’t know how I got so lucky to be blessed with work that I love doing and not having to leave my kids. I get to have dinner at home at night.”

Compiled by Christian Toto from staff and wire reports.

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