- The Washington Times - Sunday, November 7, 2004

Auditions, part two

Looks like the search to replace Craig Kilborn on CBS’ “The Late, Late Show” is getting serious.

Starting tonight, each returning guest host will get a week’s worth of episodes to show they can handle the gig.

First up is actor Craig Ferguson (“The Drew Carey Show”), to be followed by actor/comedian D.L. Hughley, Damien Fahey of “TRL” fame and actor Michael Ian Black.

“We received tremendous feedback on these talented individuals during their initial short stints on the show, and we are thrilled to bring them back for more substantial engagements,” said Rob Burnett, president and CEO of Worldwide Pants Incorporated, which produces “The Late, Late Show.”

The new host will be announced “shortly,” the network reports.

The late night talker airs weeknights at 12:37 a.m. on CBS.

Last rites

HBO is preparing a eulogy for “Six Feet Under.”

The pay cabler confirmed Friday that the upcoming fifth season of “Six Feet” will be the last for the ensemble drama revolving around the trials and tribulations of a family that runs a mortuary, notes the Hollywood Reporter. Series creator/executive producer Alan Ball recently informed HBO executives that he felt the show will have run its creative course by the end of the upcoming 12-episode season.

“Working on ‘Six Feet Under’ has been enormously fulfilling creatively, but if the show is about anything, it’s about the fact that everything comes to an end,” said Mr. Ball, an Oscar-winner for 1999’s “American Beauty.”

“Six Feet” has been a critical darling for HBO, if not a commercial hit on the scale of “The Sopranos” or “Sex and the City,” since its 2001 debut. The drama — whose ensemble cast includes Peter Krause, Michael C. Hall, Rachel Griffiths, Lauren Ambrose and Frances Conroy — has been showered with Emmy nominations (it earned 16 Emmy bids in 2002, its first year of eligibility, and 23 noms in 2003) but has yet to claim the top drama series prize in the annual Emmy derby.

Production on “Six Feet’s” fifth season is set to begin Nov. 16, but a premiere date has not yet been set, network executives said. Word of “Six Feet’s” swan song season comes at a time when HBO is already in a transitional phase after bidding farewell to “Sex and the City” this year, while its other original series staple, “The Sopranos,” isn’t due back for its final season until 2006.

Prinze Jr. follows dad

Actor Freddie Prinze, Jr. is going where his famous father once made his mark on Hollywood — prime time TV.

The 28-year-old “Scooby-Doo” star has signed a deal with Warner Bros. and ABC to create and star in his own sitcom, Associated Press reports. Mr. Prinze will portray a Puerto Rican raised in a household of women, an experience he said is based on his own life. Mr. Prinze was raised by his mother in New Mexico after his father, “Chico and the Man” star Freddie Prinze, committed suicide in 1977.

Although Mr. Prinze has popped up for guest spots on “Boston Legal” and “Friends,” he’s most noted for his turns in both “Scooby-Doo” movies and the slasher film “I Know What You Did Last Summer.”

“This was something I wanted to do for a long time,” Mr. Prinze told AP while on the set of his latest movie.

“It’s tough working on the road all the time. I love my family. I love my wife. I miss them. I want to be in Los Angeles. A TV schedule, especially half-hour, allows you the opportunity to go and make movies when you want to make movies and then still be able to satisfy yourself creatively from home.”

He says he wouldn’t have signed on the project without playing a significant role in its creation.

“I told them I won’t do TV unless I’m the executive producer, unless I’m the creator, unless I’m a writer on the show,” Mr. Prinze said. “If that’s a problem, I understand that and respect that. I have to make sure it’s represented the way it is. The only way to do that is if I have one boss and not seven.”

Mr. Prinze, who is married to “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” star Sarah Michelle Gellar, is filming the coming-of-age drama “Nailed Right In” with Alec Baldwin and Mena Suvari in New York. He said he has no fears about the wishy-washy world of TV sitcoms.

“When I focus on something, I usually succeed in this business,” Mr. Prinze said. “I’m more scared about flying.”

Compiled by Christian Toto from staff and wire reports.

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