- The Washington Times - Wednesday, June 23, 2004

Braff’s debut

It’s not Cannes, but “Scrubs” star Zach Braff will take it.

A record 20,000 people who attended the fifth annual Maui Film Festival honored Mr. Braff’s film “Garden State” with the award for best feature film, Associated Press reports.

Mr. Braff, who plays Dr. John “J.D.” Dorian on the NBC series, accepted the award as the five-day festival concluded last weekend.

“Garden State,” scheduled for release in theaters July 30, is Mr. Braff’s directorial debut. He also wrote the screenplay.

The 29-year-old actor-director stars as a man who returns home for his mother’s funeral and breaks free of a lifetime of medicine-induced passivity. He also strikes up a relationship with a quirky young woman (Natalie Portman).

The film co-stars Peter Sarsgaard and Ian Holm.

Bubba and b-ball

The much ballyhooed appearance by former President Bill Clinton on “60 Minutes” and the end of the National Basketball Association playoffs dominated the ratings game last week.

The CBS news show scored nearly 15.8 million viewers Sunday, Associated Press reports.

However, the top prime-time program belonged to ABC. The final game between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Detroit Pistons in the NBA finals was seen by 21.8 million viewers, according to Nielsen Media Research figures released Tuesday.

Overall, CBS decisively led the week with an average 8.6 million viewers (5.8 rating, 11 share). NBC had 7.2 million viewers (4.9 rating, 9 share), while ABC had 6.4 million (4.4 rating, 8 share) and Fox 4.7 million (3.1 rating, 6 share). The WB had 2.3 million (1.6 rating, 3 share), UPN 2.5 million (1.7 rating, 3 share) and Pax TV 970,000 (0.7 rating, 1 share).

Among the summer crop of new shows introduced by Fox, the season premiere of “The Simple Life 2” ranked 13th. The debut of the hip-hop sitcom “Method and Red” took 24th place, while Andy Richter’s new comedy, “Quintuplets,” scored a 29th-place position in its premiere. The network had less success with its tropical melodrama “North Shore,” which came in 38th for the week.

A ratings point represents 1.08 million households, or 1 percent of the nation’s estimated 108.4 million TV homes. The share is the percentage of in-use televisions tuned to a given show.

For the week of June 14 through 20, the top five shows, their networks and viewerships, were: “The NBA Finals: Detroit vs. L.A. Lakers, Game 5,” ABC, 21.8 million; “60 Minutes,” CBS, 15.8 million; “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation,” CBS, 14.1 million; “CSI: Miami,” CBS, 14 million; “Without a Trace,” CBS, 12.8 million.

Rohm wraps ‘Order’

One of the cast mainstays of NBC’s “Law & Order” series is moving on.

Elisabeth Rohm is expected to end her record-setting stint on the crime drama sometime next season to pursue other acting opportunities, Reuters News Agency reports.

Miss Rohm, the fifth actor to take on the role of assistant district attorney, has made her character the longest-running ADA on the show, having replaced Angie Harmon in 2001 to work alongside executive ADA Jack McCoy (played by Sam Waterston since 1994).

The actress, who plays Assistant District Attorney Serena Southerlyn, is locked for the first 13 episodes of the show’s 15th season this fall. The door is left open for her to make more appearances before she officially departs.

Miss Rohm is shooting “Miss Congeniality II” with Sandra Bullock and reportedly has several new television projects lined up.

Reno’ rules

The pseudo-cops of “Reno 911!” are arriving on DVD shelves this week.

Comedy Central’s improv comedy gets the DVD box treatment with “Reno 911! The Complete First Season” and is priced at $26.98.

The show, a sly parody of Fox’s “Cops,” doesn’t deliver the kind of belly laughs that “South Park” can. Its unforced rhythms, thanks to improvised dialogue from a whip-smart cast, finds the humor in its most absurd scenarios.

The set features 14 episodes plus the usual array of outtakes and cast commentary.

The show’s second season airs Wednesday evenings at 10:30. Familiar faces expected to appear in season two include former “Baywatch” babe Traci Bingham, Emmy-winner Wayne Brady, country music superstar Kenny Rogers and activist-comedian Dick Gregory.

Compiled by Christian Toto from staff and wire reports.

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