- The Washington Times - Sunday, June 27, 2004

Loughlin’s new house

Actress Lori Loughlin seems renewed after an acting sabbatical in which she married and had two children.

Ten years will do that to you.

The erstwhile “Full House” star is back on the small screen after a nearly decade-long hiatus with WB’s “Summerland,” Associated Press reports.

The 39-year-old actress plays a fashion designer who suddenly must take over as mom for her sister’s three children after her sibling dies in a car crash.

The show, created for Spelling Television, is Miss Loughlin’s first regular gig since “Full House” ended its nine-year run in 1995. Miss Loughlin played John Stamos’ wife, Rebecca, on ABC’s popular family sitcom.

In the intervening years, she married fashion mogul Mossimo Giannulli and had two children, Isabella, 5, and Olivia, 4. She says she’s happy to be back to work.

“When you don’t work for a while, immediately you get a little black mark next to your name,” she told AP. “You have to make difficult choices in your life, and you just have to be happy with them.”

New Arab TV

The BBC is gearing up to introduce a new, 24-hour Arabic language channel to compete with Al-Jazeera, the New York Post reports.

The news channel, to be broadcast across Europe and the Middle East, will have its $50 million in annual costs covered by the Foreign Office, which also supports the BBC World Service radio network. The BBC is publicly funded but operates independently. It broadcasts in dozens of languages, including Arabic, on its radio World Service.

The BBC envisions its channel rivaling the Qatar-based Al-Jazeera, which regularly airs Osama bin Laden’s speeches and has been roundly accused of anti-Western bias.

The new channel will offer a mix of news, information, discussion programs and documentaries, the network said.

The BBC ran an Arabic channel in the mid-1990s but closed it after two years of operation when its backers pulled out.

Jenny’s ‘Bad’ side

Jenny McCarthy is joining UPN as part of a new mid-season comedy dubbed “The Bad Girl’s Guide.”

Based on Cameron Tuttle’s best-selling “Bad Girl’s Guide” book series, the show promises a group of “sexy, self-assured” single women who live by their own rules, according to UPN.

Hmm…Sounds like an excuse to trot out scantily clad women who play right into male fantasies — but we digress.

Miss McCarthy will play Annie, the leader of the bad girl pack. The actress, a former Playboy Playmate, previously starred on the MTV dating show “Singled Out” and also appeared in a sketch comedy show for the cable network.

Clinton jokes reborn

It’s the best of times, again, for late night comics. Bubba’s back on the beat.

Former president Bill Clinton’s very public promotion of his new book, “My Life,” has let late-night comics revisit their best presidential lines, Associated Press reports.

So far this month, the former president has been the butt of more jokes on the late-night shows than President Bush and Democratic foe John Kerry combined, according to the Center for Media and Public Affairs.

The count, through Wednesday night: 92 Clinton jokes, 64 Bush jokes and 26 for Kerry.

“Clinton is the ultimate crossover target,” Matthew Felling, a spokesman for the center, told AP. “His material works with both Newsweek and Maxim readers.”

David Letterman on CBS’ “Late Show” took note of Mr. Clinton’s portrait being unveiled at the White House.

“There’s trouble,” he said. “Clinton’s portrait was hitting on the Dolley Madison portrait.”

NBC’s Conan O’Brien said Mr. Clinton had been calling up friends and reading them passages of his autobiography before it was printed.

“Friends say every chapter begins, ‘There once was a gal from Nantucket,’ ” Mr. O’Brien quipped.

Compiled by Christian Toto from staff and wire reports.

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