- The Washington Times - Monday, September 27, 2004

Bebe’s back

Bebe Neuwirth, best known for playing Frasier’s icy squeeze in both “Cheers” and “Frasier,” returns to episodic television in the upcoming “Law & Order” spinoff.

Miss Neuwirth will play a tough Manhattan prosecutor in “Law & Order: Trial by Jury,” coming to NBC sometime next year, Associated Press reports.

She joins actor Jerry Orbach, who is moving over from the original “Law & Order” series.

Miss Neuwirth received two Emmy Awards for her portrayal of Frasier Crane’s wife (and later ex-wife), Lilith, on the NBC sitcoms. The versatile performer also brought home two Tony Awards for “Sweet Charity” and “Chicago.”

Her film credits include “How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days,” “Summer of Sam,” “Malice” and “Bugsy.”

Richardson’s new con

Joely Richardson is going from the plastic surgeon’s office to the streets to pull a few cons for Lifetime.

The cable network has tapped the “Nip/Tuck” actress to star in its original movie, “Lies My Mother Told Me,” a story inspired by actual events, Reuters News Agency reports.

Miss Richardson will portray a seductive con artist and single mother who spends her life running from the law. When she remarries and her new husband learns of her past, she turns to murder to protect her identity and freedom.

“Lies,” scheduled to debut next year, is part of Lifetime’s expansion of its original movies franchise from 12 films a year to 19. The movie will be produced by Nomadic Pictures for Lifetime and will be directed by Christian Duguay.

Earlier this year, Miss Richardson earned a Golden Globe nomination for best actress in a drama series for her role in the steamy FX drama following two Miami plastic surgeons. Her recent feature film credits include “The Affair of the Necklace,” “The Patriot” and “101 Dalmatians.”

Big-screen ‘Strangers’

Funny lady Amy Sedaris would rather cry than chortle at the movies.

“I hate going to see comedies, and I just love serious, depressing dramas,” she told the San Francisco Chronicle in Sunday’s edition. “Maybe because I do so much of it, I would be influenced in a way that I wouldn’t want to be.”

Miss Sedaris, who portrayed the 46-year-old ex-junkie-turned-high-school-freshman on Comedy Central’s “Strangers With Candy,” is set to reprise the role for the big screen. The attractive actress will again transform herself into Jerri Blank, donning a fat suit and false teeth to play the character.

The “Strangers” film also promises cameos by Sarah Jessica Parker, Matthew Broderick, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Allison Janney and Sir Ian Holm. The series originally ran on Comedy Central in 1999 and 2000.

Miss Sedaris, 43, a younger sister of comic essayist David Sedaris, also starred in “One Woman Shoe,” an off-Broadway play about hillbilly women qualifying for welfare. She and her brother collaborated on the 2001 play “The Book of Liz.”

Asked if she had any guilty pleasures, Miss Sedaris offered two: “Lifetime Channel and Vicodin,” she said.

Seinfeld’ reunion

Jerry Seinfeld hopes folks will line up to buy DVDs of his little show about nothing.

He needn’t worry, though, given how quickly even canceled series — not to mention bona fide hits — fly off the DVD shelves.

Still, Mr. Seinfeld and company aren’t taking any chances.

The old gang gets together this Thanksgiving for a reunion special that’s slated to air the same week as their DVD release, Reuters reports.

The Nov. 25 broadcast will highlight the show’s origins and the early years of the mega-hit comedy, which ran on NBC for nine years.

Mr. Seinfeld himself will host the hourlong special. Program highlights will include clips from the show plus interviews with co-creator Larry David and co-stars Julia Louis-Dreyfus (Elaine), Jason Alexander (George) and Michael Richards (Kramer).

Named by TV Guide as the greatest television series of all time, “Seinfeld” collected a total of 10 Emmy Awards and 70 nominations during its run.

The last original episode of “Seinfeld” aired in 1998, but reruns of the show live on in syndication.

Compiled by Christian Toto from staff and wire reports.

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