- The Washington Times - Thursday, September 2, 2004

Bart speaks

Nancy Cartwright’s new one-woman show owes a deep debt to a certain precocious boy.

Miss Cartwright, who performed “My Life as a 10-year-old Boy” in Scotland at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival last week, is the voice of Bart Simpson.

The performer’s show let Miss Cartwright riff on her days supplying more than 330 episodes worth of Bart-speak for Fox’s “The Simpsons,” Reuters News Agency reports.

“I love being a celebrity where nobody knows my face,” she said at a performance last week.

Miss Cartwright also does the voices for “Simpsons” mainstays Nelson “Smell ya later” Muntz and Ralph “My cat’s breath smells like cat food” Wiggum, along with Rod and Todd Flanders. She also provides the goo-goos and ga-gas for young Maggie Simpson.

The show, which recounts her childhood in Dayton, Ohio, and rise to vocal stardom, has not been well-received in Edinburgh.

Miss Cartwright warned the audience not to expect details about what she describes as “tense” contract negotiations with Fox during her shows. The studio reportedly threatened to replace her, along with Dan Castellaneta (Homer), Julie Kavner (Marge) and Yeardley Smith (Lisa), before a deal was finally reached in May.

But it didn’t take long for Miss Cartwright to vent steam about her network bosses. “Fox didn’t want people to know that this bad boy was voiced by this blond chick,” she said. “Even though I breathe life into this character, I don’t own his voice.”

Being Bobby

Reality television thrives on the tortured yet talented among us.

Enter Bobby Brown.

The R&B singer, whose clashes with the law and volatile relationship with wife, Whitney Houston, have made him regular gossip fodder, could have his own reality show, E! Online reports.

Sources tell E! that Mr. Brown is in talks with Bravo to star in an unscripted series that will tail the erstwhile king of new jack swing as he attempts to get his personal life in order and resurrect his music career, potentially with a New Edition reunion.

The last time Mr. Brown reunited with New Edition was for a tour in late 1996 after a 10-year layoff.

The sole sticking point holding up the program, according to E!, is exactly how much time Miss Houston will appear on screen.

Mr. Brown has been pushing for the reality project, titled “Being Bobby Brown,” since April.

He hatched the idea after the couple’s highly rated 2003 interview with Diane Sawyer on ABC’s “Primetime,” in which they talked openly about their marital woes, Mr. Brown’s legal problems and their rumored drug abuse.

Hilfiger’s new design

We’ve seen pop singers, entrepreneurs and models try reality television on for size. Why not fashion designers?

Clothing mogul Tommy Hilfiger is teaming up with CBS for a new reality show pitting 16 would-be designers against one another, Reuters reports.

The network picked up 13 episodes of the midseason series, tentatively titled “The Cut,” which will test contestants’ talent, business acumen, and sales and marketing expertise, among other skills.

Mr. Hilfiger, the series’ host, and a “style council” of guest advisers will eliminate one contestant each week, with the winner getting a chance to design a collection under the Tommy Hilfiger label.

“The road to success is not easy to navigate, but with hard work, drive and passion, it’s possible to achieve the American dream,” Mr. Hilfiger said. ” ‘The Cut’ is going to give someone the opportunity of a lifetime and help that person achieve his or her dreams.”

The guest advisers will come from the worlds of fashion, art, music and entertainment, said Kevin Beggs, president of programing and production at Lions Gate Television, which is producing the series with Pilgrim Films and Television. But he declined to specify who will make appearances.

Mr. Hilfiger — whose daughter Ally became reality fodder during last year’s MTV show “Rich Girls” — introduced his first menswear collection in 1984. Retail sales of his clothing, home furnishing, fragrance and eyewear products generate about $3.5 billion annually.

Compiled by Christian Toto from staff and wire reports

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