- The Washington Times - Wednesday, August 24, 2005

‘Rescue’ rescued

Despite disappointing ratings this past year, FX’s firefighting drama, “Rescue Me,” has been picked up for one more season, Zap2it.com reports.

The show, which stars Denis Leary as a damaged New York firefighter, received its share of acclaim this season, earning its first two Emmy nominations.

Mr. Leary and Peter Tolan were nominated for writing the show’s pilot, while Mr. Tolan was also nominated for his direction of the debut episode.

“It’s always great to get word that you’ve been picked up for another season,” Mr. Leary says. “FX has been unbelievable to work with, and I’m happy for Peter and the cast. We’re really hitting our stride.”

“Rescue Me” has averaged about 2.7 million viewers per week this summer, on par with what it delivered last year.

The series has four episodes remaining in the current season. The show airs Tuesdays at 10 p.m., with the season finale scheduled for Sept. 13.

Gayheart’s new role

Rebecca Gayheart has landed the title role in “Scarlett,” the new Lifetime drama about a successful New Orleans-based gothic horror writer whose characters mysteriously come to life.

Kristen Dalton, Lyndsy Fonseca and Michael Duvert also have been tapped for roles in the hour-long series. The pilot begins shooting in the Big Easy this month.

Miss Gayheart’s recent credits include the Broadway production of “Steel Magnolias,” FX’s “Nip/Tuck” and the feature films “Harvard Man” and “Jawbreaker.”

Menounos to NBC

Up-and-coming TV correspondent Maria Menounos is leaving “Entertainment Tonight” to join rival “Access Hollywood” and NBC’s “Today” show, Associated Press reports.

Miss Menounos, 27, will be a special correspondent for “Access Hollywood,” which begins its 10th season in national syndication Sept. 5. She also will be a West Coast contributor for “Today.”

A former Miss Massachusetts Teen USA, Miss Menounos reports on film, TV, music and fashion for “ET” and has been an international correspondent for “Channel One News,” a TV news program for teenagers that is distributed by satellite to classrooms nationwide.

As an actress, Miss Menounos has appeared in featured roles on the WB’s “One Tree Hill” and this summer’s blockbuster film, “Fantastic Four.”

BTK film for TV

A made-for-TV film about BTK killer Dennis Rader is already in the works, just days after the grisly details of his crimes were made public in a disturbing televised trial, AP reports.

“The Hunt for the BTK Killer” will air Oct. 9 on CBS, the network said Tuesday.

The film stars Robert Forster and Michael Michele as the two Wichita, Kan., police detectives who discover that Rader has resurfaced after a nearly 15- year absence.

Gregg Henry plays Rader, who last week was sentenced to 10 consecutive life terms. He was arrested in February and pleaded guilty in June to 10 murders from 1974 to 1991.

A former church congregation president and Boy Scout leader, Rader led a double life, calling himself BTK — which stands for “bind, torture and kill.”

Law’ lands on Bravo

After its not-so-hot debut on NBC, “The Law Firm,” the David E. Kelley-produced reality law series, has found a home on Bravo.

The show, Mr. Kelley’s first foray into reality TV, was dropped by NBC after just two episodes.

Bravo will air the complete eight-episode run of the unscripted series Tuesdays at 8 p.m. beginning next week. The two episodes that originally aired on NBC will be rebraodcast Tuesday night, with the remaining six unspooling at 8 p.m. each Tuesday in the following weeks.

NBC had said the remaining episodes would air on Bravo, but no specific scheduling announcements were made — seemingly landing “The Law Firm” in unresolved-reality-show purgatory along with “My Big Fat Obnoxious Boss” and “Forever Eden.”

Mr. Kelley, a prolific producer and series creator, once derided reality television. Now he’s finding the genre isn’t so easy to crack.

Compiled by Thomas Walter from staff and wire reports.

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