- The Washington Times - Monday, March 22, 2004

Nip’s‘ new addition

Current “X-Men” and ex-Bond girl Famke Janssen is set to join the cast of FX’s “Nip/Tuck.”

The svelte actress will appear in a dozen episodes of the plastic-surgery drama, which returns for its second season in June, Reuters News Agency reports.

Miss Janssen will play a woman who becomes a counselor to Joely Richardson’s character, Julia McNamara, the wife of one of the show’s two plastic surgeons. Miss Janssen, who makes her debut in episode three, will appear in the bulk of the show’s upcoming 16-episode season beginning June 22.

“Nip/Tuck” executive producer Greer Shephard described Miss Janssen’s role as “a femme fatale who is going to [insert herself] into the life of all of our characters and wreak tremendous havoc.”

Known for her role as the sexy but lethal assassin in the 1995 James Bond entry “GoldenEye,” Miss Janssen is in production on the 20th Century Fox suspense thriller “Hide and Seek,” starring Robert De Niro.

She also will appear in the indie dark comedy “Eulogy,” set for release in September by Lions Gate Films.

High hoops on CBS

The NCAA tournament’s early going proved an easy ratings victory for CBS.

The first three days of the NCAA tournament tied with 2000 as the highest-rated since 1998, Associated Press reports.

The network’s three-day coverage of the tournament averaged a preliminary national rating of 5.3 with a 12 share. That’s a 6 percent bump up from 2002’s 5.0 with a 12 rating.

The three-day average in 1998 was 5.4 with a 13.

This year’s ratings are up 33 percent from the comparable windows on CBS for last year’s tournament, when the network moved some games to ESPN in order to broadcast news about the war in Iraq.

The ratings for Syracuse’s 72-70 victory over Maryland and Alabama’s 70-67 upset of top-seeded Stanford during Saturday’s third broadcast window (6:06-8:07 p.m.) were the highest since 1994, with a 7.7 and a 17 share.

The rating is the percentage of all homes with TVs, whether or not they are in use. The share is the percentage of homes with sets in use.

Siegel honored

Veteran TV movie critic Joel Siegel got a big thumbs up last weekend from some very special critics: the cancer support group that presents the Gilda Radner Courage Award.

Mr. Siegel, entertainment editor for ABC’s “Good Morning America,” received the award Saturday from the Roswell Park Alliance Foundation, Associated Press reports. Mr. Siegel, 60, was credited with offering hope to others through his public battle with colon and lung cancer.

Mr. Siegel announced his health is sound, but he recently recorded a public service announcement saying that an earlier colonoscopy would have spared him three surgeries, radiation treatments and chemotherapy.

He reflected on his cancer battle in the 2002 book “Lessons for Dylan,” dedicated to his young son.

“I’m not sure whether it was the cancer or having the child at 55, but those are really two life-changing events,” Mr. Siegel told AP.

Quoting Miss Radner, the late comedian and cancer victim whom Mr. Siegel considered a friend, he added, “One of the things cancer does is it helps you set your priorities. If it weren’t for the downside, everybody would want to have it.”

Angel’ reborn?

Fans of the WB’s “Angel” aren’t taking news of its cancellation lightly.

It wasn’t enough to start sending out “Save Angel” postcards or pay for full-page ads in the Hollywood Reporter. Now the faithful have hired a billboard truck to drive around Los Angeles with the slogan “We will follow ‘Angel’ to hell … or another network,” Reuters reports.

Theresa Fortier, one of the instigators of the www.SavingAngel.org Web site, said the group has raised some $22,000 from several hundred donors in just a few weeks. The truck, which is costing the group $700 a day, will cruise around for at least another week, and more print ads are likely to be placed.

“We’ve made it clear to [donors] that what we’re doing wouldn’t necessarily save the show, but if no one was gonna go broke, we’d appreciate whatever they could give,” Miss Fortier said. “We just want it known that we’re concerned that the end seems near for quality TV drama. We don’t want to lose the one last tie we have to the Joss Whedon universe.”

The show, spun off from “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” by that show’s creator, Mr. Whedon, is set to end its run this May.

Compiled by Christian Toto from staff and wire reports.

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