Thursday, May 27, 2004

Selleck likes ‘Ike’

Tom Selleck steps into Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower’s commanding shoes this Memorial Day for an A&E original movie, Associated Press reports.

“Ike: Countdown to D-Day,” airs at 8 p.m. Monday.

The June 6, 1944 Allied assault on the beaches of Normandy in northern France turned the tide of World War II, beginning the liberation of Europe.

Mr. Selleck, 59, starred as Thomas Magnum in the ‘80s TV action-drama series “Magnum P.I.” His films include “Three Men and a Baby” and “In & Out.”

‘O.C.’ legal fight

The force behind Fox’s “The O.C.” won’t be able to kick back and enjoy his vacation this summer.

The show’s creator, Josh Schwartz, is being sued for $10 million by two men who claim he stole their idea for the hot teen drama, according to E! Online.

Erik Lindsay and Scott Donnelly filed suit last week in Los Angeles Superior Court accusing Mr. Schwartz of reneging on a verbal agreement made in June 2002 to develop a series called “The Pointes.”

According to court documents, Mr. Schwartz was to be credited as executive producer, while Mr. Lindsay and Mr. Donnelly would go down as co-creators, writers and producers.

However, Mr. Schwartz purportedly turned around and pitched the series — about a teen from the wrong side of the tracks who goes to live in a swank beachfront community — as his own.

The rest of the story is well known: Fox snapped up the series and launched it last August. The show just wrapped its freshman season with an average 9.6 million viewers.

A call by E! Online to Mr. Schwartz’s representative was not immediately returned.

But Fox President Gail Berman vouched for the writer-producer.

“I know who has written the pilot, and I know who has written every episode… so I’m quite sure Josh will prevail,” Miss Berman told E! Online’s TV writer Kristin Veitch.

Renewing “The O.C.” proved the least surprising move of the season, but Fox went one further. It ordered a companion series to the teen-friendly drama from Mr. Schwartz.

Eastwood’s TV roots

The Hallmark Channel celebrates Clint Eastwood’s birthday with a marathon of the actor’s “Rawhide” series.

Based on George Dutfield’s 1866 diary, the show, which ran from 1959-66 on CBS, tells the tale of a team of cowboys on a cattle drive from San Antonio, Texas, to Sedalia, Kan.

Other “Rawhide” regulars included Paul Brinegar, James Murdock and Sheb Wooley.

The rerun lollapalooza begins at noon tomorrow. Mr. Eastwood turns 74 Monday.

‘Family’ Fire

This Sunday’s “American Family” delves head-first into the current Iraq conflict.

The PBS show, which airs at 6 p.m. on WETA-TV, finds Jess (Edward James Olmos) and Cisco (Parker Torres) going through some father-son bonding after arriving at Robert’s home when news of American hostages in Iraq reaches the United States.

The episode, called “The Burning Fire,” also touches upon the Geneva Convention and the cultural gap between the American and Iraqi people.

D-Day week

The History Channel does its duty this weekend by remembering one of World War II’s key events, the Allied invasion of Normandy on its 60th anniversary.

The network’s “D-Day Week” begins with the live WWII Memorial Dedication at 2 p.m. tomorrow, to be followed by an updated encore broadcast of “Save Our History: WWII Memorial” on Sunday at 8 p.m.

The live dedication will be anchored by Josh Binswanger, who will be joined by historian Steve Gillon and World War II hero Len Lomell.

The monument, located between the Lincoln Memorial and the Washington Monument, also is expected to draw such speakers as Tom Brokaw, former Sen. Bob Dole and President George W. Bush.

Compiled by Christian Toto from staff and wire reports.

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