- The Washington Times - Monday, November 22, 2004

At last: Jerry’s on DVD

If they can release “My Big Fat Greek Life” — the short-lived TV adaptation of 2002’s “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” — on DVD, then where, oh where is “Seinfeld”?

Fans of the so-called show about nothing can relax. The popular NBCsitcom, which ended its nine-year run in May 1998, arrives today on DVD with seasons 1 through 3.

“Seinfeld” may have left the air six years ago but its place in pop culture remains secure. Witness Friday’s ceremony at the Smithsonian, when the famous puffy shirt worn by the show’s star, Jerry Seinfeld, was put on display, alongside such revered entertainment memorabilia as Kermit the Frog, Archie Bunker’s chair and Dorothy’s magic slippers from “The Wizard of Oz.”

With the new DVDs, die-hard “Seinfeld” lovers can relive the saga of the puffy shirt and so much more. Just think of all those colorful catch phrases — from “Yada, yada yada” to “not that there’s anything wrong with that” — and the other superbly observed nuances that separated the show from its peers.

The eight-disc gift set, priced at $119.95, comes packed with an original “Seinfeld” script, plus a deck of playing cards and salt and pepper shakers straight from the gang’s (Mr. Seinfeld, Michael Richards, Jason Alexander and Julia Louis-Dreyfus) favorite diner.

The package also includes “How it Began: The Making of ‘Seinfeld’” along with show bloopers, deleted scenes and commentary from co-creator Larry David and the cast.

And finally, the discs also reveal that Miss Louis-Dreyfus — who played Elaine to manic perfection — was chosen for the role over Megan Mullally (now on NBC’s “Will & Grace”), Rosie O’Donnell and Patricia Heaton (CBS’ “Everybody Loves Raymond”).

A ‘Samantha’ holiday

The WB gets into the made-for-TV movie mode tonight, with a little help from actress Mia Farrow.

The channel’s first original film, “Samantha: An American Girl Holiday,” airs at 8 p.m., spinning a bittersweet yuletide tale from the popular line of children’s dolls and books.

The family drama follows 9-year-old Samantha Parkington (played by AnnaSophia Robb), an orphan being raised by her wealthy grandmother (Miss Farrow) in New York circa 1904. Samantha befriends a poor girl whose parents find work as servants in the home of one of her grandmother’s neighbors. The girls bond despite their differing class status, a devotion that’s tested when the neighbor girl is sent to an orphanage and Samantha plots her escape.

The movie will be rebroadcast Thursday evening at 8.

Kinsey’ fallout

Sex may sell, but try telling that to New York’s WNET-TV.

The Big Apple channel has rejected a promotion for the hotly debated biopic “Kinsey” because it’s too provocative, Associated Press reports.

Fox Searchlight Pictures, which is distributing the movie on pioneering 1950’s sex researcher Alfred Kinsey (played by Liam Neeson), called the decision “shocking” and said no other station in the country has rejected commercials for the film.

WNET is a commercial-free PBS station, but sometimes runs “enhanced underwriting spots” featuring films, said station spokeswoman Stella Giammasi. Fox Searchlight says the spots essentially are commercials, but lack those critical blurbs or information on how to find out where the movie is playing.

WNET executives found the “Kinsey” spot “too commercial and too provocative,” Miss Giammasi said.

Some conservative groups, such as the Concerned Women of America’s Culture & Family Institute and Generation Life, say the film seeks to glorify the researcher they blame for inspiring the sexual revolution.

Fox Searchlight said it has bought advertising time in San Francisco, Boston, Chicago and Philadelphia and on the PBS affiliate in Los Angeles. A commercial has also run in more than 200 TV markets nationwide on CNN.

Lonely ‘Survivor’

It’s supposed to be every man’s dream: marooned alone on a desert island, while being surrounded by a bevy of women.

Yet for Chris Daugherty, a 33-year-old highway construction worker, the scenario isn’t so rosy.

Mr. Daugherty is the last remaining male on CBS’ “Survivor: Vanuatu” after James “Chad” Crittenden got squeezed out by the show’s unshakeable female alliance Thursday, AP reports.

Mr. Crittenden, a 35-year-old teacher from Oakland, Calif. thought he’d convinced some of the women to vote with him to get Eliza Orlins out. But the women stuck with their original plan to vote out all the men before picking off their own kind.

Mr. Crittenden said he wasn’t angry about what happened.

“I’m not sore or sour, but … I wish I could’ve gone further,” he said.

Now only Mr. Daugherty — and the six women — remain in the hunt for the $1 million prize on the latest edition of the long-running reality show.

Compiled by Christian Toto from staff and wire reports.

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