- The Washington Times - Wednesday, February 18, 2004

Elliott’s ‘True Story’

Rapper Missy Elliott may think hit records and international fame are the hallmarks of success in today’s culture. Not quite.

You’re not really famous until E!’s “True Hollywood Story” gives you the full documentary treatment.

The genial Miss Elliott finally gets a “Story” of her own tonight, a new hourlong special debuting at 8.

“Missy Elliott: The E! True Hollywood Story” follows the performer through an abusive childhood in Portsmouth, Va., to her current megastar status.

‘Angel’ descends

The WB celebrated the 100th episode of “Angel” earlier this month. This week, the network drove a stake in the supernatural show’s heart by canceling it.

WB network executives announced their cancellation decision earlier than usual to give series creator Joss Whedon a chance to prepare for a grand finale, Associated Press reports.

“Angel” stars David Boreanaz as an 18th-century monster living in present-day Los Angeles as he tries to redeem himself for his past evil deeds. The series, spun off from “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” is in its fifth season.

Mr. Whedon, who overhauled the show with new cast members and story structure after barely avoiding cancellation last season, told AP he was “heartbroken.”

“It seemed like we hit our stride, so this is a big shock,” Mr. Whedon told AP.

The show maintains a small but loyal fan base, but WB executives decided the numbers were not high enough to justify the program’s cost.

Vampire teeth, apparently, don’t grow on trees.

There may be hope for resurrection, although no final decisions have been reached: WB has proposed a few “Angel” tele-movies to tie up any loose ends in the story.

“It’s my fervent hope that all my cast and my writers will be much too busy,” Mr. Whedon said. “It’s not that I’m not interested in the idea; I just want steady jobs for my people. But I definitely think there are more stories to tell.”

A lot depends on whether Mr. Whedon and 20th Century Fox Television, which produces the show, will succeed in shopping a sixth season of “Angel” to another network, such as TNT, which carries reruns of the show, or UPN, which previously picked up “Buffy” after it left WB.

Such a resurrection would seem like a natural next step for the show.

Mr. Whedon also plans to ask “Buffy” star Sarah Michelle Gellar about appearing on one of the final episodes. Her character’s romance with Angel was one of the vampire’s defining story lines.

Davis’ ‘Sex’ perks

“Sex and the City” fans can revisit the HBO show, which wraps its run this weekend, by slipping in one of the previous season’s DVD collections.

“Sex” star Kristin Davis, however, merely has to open her closet for a blast of show nostalgia.

Miss Davis, who plays eternal optimist Charlotte York Goldenblatt on the hit HBO series, told Associated Press she gets to keep most of the clothes from the show, which is ending Sunday after six seasons.

“I have a lot of quintessential ‘Charlotte’ pieces,” Miss Davis told AP Radio. “I have a lot of her vintage clothes. I have a lot of her shoes, except for the ones I’m really, really sick of because they hurt.”

Miss Davis said the show, about four women living in New York City, has changed her life dramatically.

“What it’s like to walk around in the world is completely different, in a way that has taken some getting used to,” she said. “But it is really incredibly flattering, especially now that we’re going, and people are so sad and kind of adorable about it, and it just makes you so thankful to have been a part of it.”

The show, which airs Sunday at 9 p.m., also stars Sarah Jessica Parker as sex columnist Carrie Bradshaw, Kim Cattrall as the promiscuous Samantha Jones and Cynthia Nixon as the cynical Miranda Hobbes Brady.

Sunday’s final episode will expand to 45 minutes and likely will reveal whether Carrie stays in Paris with her Russian beau, Aleksandr Petrovsky (Mikhail Baryshnikov), goes back to the charming Mr. Big (Chris Noth) or reclaims her single status. Before the series’ finale, HBO also will air a special that looks back at the hallmark comedy at 8 p.m.

Miss Davis said she could see a reunion with her co-stars in the near future, but she’s not holding her breath. She’ll be too busy visiting her podiatrist anyway.

Cooking for ‘Grace’

The guest brigade continues tonight on “Will & Grace” as no fewer than three familiar faces drop by the NBC sitcom.

Suzanne Pleshette (“The Bob Newhart Show”) stars as Karen’s predictably eclectic mama, while Tracey Ullman grabs the showy role of a wacky cooking instructor. Rounding out the trio is former “Kids in the Hall” mainstay David Foley as Jack’s (Sean Hayes) new love.

The show’s rapid-fire wit is back to regular intensity now that the focus isn’t on Grace’s marriage to Leo (Harry Connick Jr.). We’re once more pelted with funny bits, almost to the point of exhaustion.

The show’s efforts to conceal star Debra Messing’s pregnancy draw some giggles, too. In some scenes, it’s blatantly obvious she’s expanding, while other scenes try to camouflage her enhanced form.

“Will & Grace” airs at 8:30 p.m. tonight.

Compiled by Christian Toto from staff and wire reports.

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