- The Washington Times - Tuesday, November 9, 2004

Sarandon’s ‘Law’

Actor Chris Sarandon of “The Princess Bride” fame guest-stars on a new “Law & Order” tonight that tackles the issue of same-sex “marriage.”

The actor will play a defense attorney in the episode, airing at 10 p.m. on NBC. The story is another “L&O;” ripped-from-the-headlines affair, in which a governor resigns after the death of his wife — and his homosexual love life is revealed.

Mr. Sarandon earned an Oscar nomination for his first film role, playing Al Pacino’s lover in 1975’s “Dog Day Afternoon.” He also starred as a modern-day vampire in the cheeky feature “Fright Night.”

His television work includes a role in the short-lived series “The Court” and appearances on NBC’s “ER.”

Gordon’s new ‘Minutes’

Former BET anchorman Ed Gordon makes his “60 Minutes” debut tonight with a profile of red-hot actor Jamie Foxx (“Ray”), Associated Press reports.

Mr. Foxx talks about being adopted by his grandparents in Texas and the pain he felt at being largely ignored by his biological parents.

The segment is quite a coup for Mr. Gordon. “60 Minutes” rarely takes stories from outsiders. CNN’s Christiane Amanpour is a rare exception.

The 44-year-old Mr. Gordon anchored a nightly BET newscast before that network cut back on news. He’s best known for his interviews, including news-making talks with O.J. Simpson, Janet Jackson, Sen. Trent Lott and R. Kelly.

“He’s young and smart, and he’s demonstrated that he has a lot to contribute,” said “60 Minutes Wednesday” executive producer Josh Howard.

Mr. Gordon told AP he won’t be typecast by stories he does.

“I won’t solely pitch African-American issues, but I think it’s important that I do,” he said.

CBS’ Wednesday edition of “60 Minutes” is struggling in the ratings this fall, hurt by being in the same time slot as ABC’s hit “Lost” and Fox’s postseason baseball.

The broadcast airs at 8 p.m.

Kattan’s TV pitch

Rubbery funnyman Chris Kattan is coming back to TV after a brief bid for the type of movie fame enjoyed by such “Saturday Night Live” alumni as Chevy Chase, Will Ferrell and John Belushi.

The comic is teaming with “Austin Powers” writer Michael McCullers for an as-yet-untitled sitcom to showcase his physical shtick, Reuters News Agency reports.

After a bidding war, the 20th Century Fox TV/3 Arts Entertainment comedy landed at ABC with a pilot commitment.

The project, which Mr. Kattan describes as “Larry David meets ‘I Love Lucy,’” centers on a consumer reporter at a small-town TV station, his relationship with his co-workers and his dating life.

“He is based on a huge exaggeration of myself,” Mr. Kattan told Reuters. “He is an appealing, neurotic, Basil Fawlty type of egomaniac.”

Mr. McCullers, who worked with Mr. Kattan on “SNL,” will pen the script with “Just Shoot Me” writers Don Woodard and Tom Maxwell. The trio, along with Mr. Kattan, say the show will echo the comic style of physical sitcoms such as “The Dick Van Dyke Show” and the aforementioned “Fawlty Towers.”

“We miss the set pieces that allow for great physical comedy with smart jokes behind it,” Mr. Kattan said.

The funnyman, who notched seven years on NBC’s venerable sketch show, called ABC the perfect network home for the project, based on its commitment to shows such as “Desperate Housewives” — which shows “they appreciate good writing with darkness to it,” he says.

Compiled by Christian Toto from staff and wire reports

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