- The Washington Times - Thursday, September 9, 2004

One Knight stand

What’s so funny about tirades, meltdowns and misunderstandings?

Plenty, say the suits at CBS — who, according to Associated Press, are considering turning the shenanigans of dyspeptic basketball coach Bob Knight’s life into a sitcom.

The fiery Texas Tech University coach met with TV officials last month in Los Angeles and gave his approval for a sitcom deal. CBS and Paramount Television are exploring the development of a half-hour comedy that could run next year.

Mr. Knight, 63, would serve as a consultant and said he might make guest appearances.

“Right now, it’s still in an embryonic stage,” Lindy DeKoven, who would serve as the show’s executive producer, told the Lubbock (Texas) Avalanche-Journal. “Right now, we don’t have a writer yet, so we can’t get into too much detail.”

The next step is for the future show scribe to come to Lubbock and spend time getting to know Mr. Knight at work and at home.

Let’s hope for the writer’s sake that he or she is on the same page as the coach.

John Wentworth, executive vice president of marketing and media for Paramount Television, said the sitcom could possibly be ready to roll out in September 2005.

Gilligan speaks out

A newly re-imagined “Gilligan’s Island” isn’t sitting well with the man who for millions of viewers will forever be known as the Skipper’s “little buddy.”

” ‘Gilligan’s Island’ is one show that they’ve never tried to copy. They couldn’t burlesque it, because we had done so much of that. And they couldn’t satirize it, because we had done so much of that, too. So producers just left it alone. I really don’t think this show is going to work,” actor Bob Denver, who played Gilligan on the original series, told AP from his Princeton, W.Va. home.

That isn’t stopping TBS from setting sail with “The Real Gilligan’s Island,” set to debut in November. The show will feature seven castaways: a real-life skipper, a first mate, a millionaire couple, a movie star, a professor and an innocent farm girl. The show will pit them against the elements to see if they can devise a way to get off the island.

The castaways will even relive some of the bizarre scenarios from the original series, an idea that made Mr. Denver chuckle.

“I’d like to see them put a lion or a tiger on the island, but I really don’t think that would happen. Or they could get real headhunters from Borneo and put them on the island,” he said.

“Gilligan’s Island” spawned a number of TV movies since its last CBS broadcast, more than 35 years ago. Talk also circulated about a possible big-screen “Gilligan’s Island” to star Chris Farley, but little movement has been made on the proposal since the comedian’s passing in 1997.

Next group for ‘Next’

UPN has its own reality hit with “America’s Next Top Model,” which just announced the lineup for its third season.

The new “Model” hopefuls will hit the screen Sept. 22, AP reports.

The supermodel boot-camp show, hosted by Tyra Banks, lets 14 aspiring hopefuls compete in a series of tests for catwalk proficiency, fitness and publicity skills. Contestants, according to the show’s Web site, will be judged for “both inner and outer beauty.”

The models’ poise will likely be tested while they live together in a New York loft under constant surveillance by the show’s cameras.

One contestant, Magdalena, 24, says, “I think it’s quite possible for me to lose my temper while living with 13 other girls.”

That could be an understatement, judging from the first two seasons.

Kristi, who is 20 and from St. Louis, says: “I was raised really Christian. I have a lot of family that might be pretty disappointed if I end up naked on TV.”

Toccara, a 22 year-old from Dayton, Ohio, is the only “plus-size” model. She proclaims, “Girls, watch out, ‘cause big is in.”

Compiled by Christian Toto from staff and wire reports

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