- The Washington Times - Monday, August 29, 2005

Scheduling tweaks

With its new “Prison Break” just out of the starting gate, Fox already has begun tinkering with the rest of its fall premiere schedule, Zap2It.com reports.

The network plans to expand the season debut of “The Bernie Mac Show” and also will move the start of “Malcolm in the Middle” back a week into late September.

The fifth season of “Bernie Mac” will debut with two episodes (beginning at 8 p.m.) Sept. 23, and the first night will feature guest appearances by actor-comedian Anthony Anderson and “Stone Cold” Steve Austin. “Malcolm,” airing at 8:30 p.m., will begin its seventh — and possibly final — season Sept. 30.

Mr. Anderson, a Howard University alumnus who shifts acting gears after a dramatic turn on “The Shield,” will return to comedy on the “Mac” premiere as a character named Bryan who says he’s Byrana’s (Dee Dee Davis) dad. Bernie wants to support him but becomes suspicious when Bryan ignores Bryana’s siblings Jordan (Jeremy Suarez) and Vanessa (Camille Winbush).

Mr. Austin, a former World Wrestling Entertainment champion, will appear in the second episode offering Bernie advice when Jordan joins his school’s wrestling team.

“Bernie Mac” returns after an abbreviated fourth season, caused mostly by the illness of the show’s star and namesake, who contracted pneumonia last fall. Four episodes aired in September, and a dozen more began airing in January. The show finished its season in April.

“Malcolm” returns with a guest appearance by Rosanna Arquette, soon to be seen in “What About Brian,” ABC’s midseason drama beginning in January.

The premiere finds Malcolm (Frankie Muniz) and Reese (Justin Berfield) trying to sneak off to the Burning Man festival. But Hal and Lois (Bryan Cranston and Jane Kaczmarek) discover their plan and decide to make it a family outing, with predictably disastrous results.

Ad-vantage for ‘Wives’

Advertisers who distanced themselves from having the stars of “Desperate Housewives” hawk their products during the show’s rookie season have changed their minds now that the racy antics of Wisteria Lane have produced a solid hit.

With “Housewives” scoring 15 Emmy nominations and constant rankings near the top of the Nielsens in last year’s regular season, advertisers are wooing the stars of the ABC hit to pitch everything from soda pop to satellite radio, E! Online reports.

Nicollette Sheridan and Marcia Cross (who play Edie Britt and Bree Van De Kamp, respectively) are the latest cast members to snag a lucrative ad deal. The two were tapped to shill 7-Up Plus in a spot called “Shopping Showdown,” now airing nationwide. Miss Sheridan also endorses Di Modolo jewelry.

There’s also Teri Hatcher (Susan Mayer), a veteran of Radio Shack spots, who has appeared recently in ads for Variety, wearing nothing but a copy of the entertainment trade publication.

Meanwhile, Eva Longoria (Gabrielle Solis), who appeared with Sean “Diddy” (formerly P. Diddy) Combs in the “Truck” ad for Diet Pepsi during Super Bowl XXXIX, has new deals with L’Oreal and Sirius Satellite Radio.

“The fact she’s in more than 20 million households each week is not a bad thing to have,” Carol Hamilton, president and general manager of L’Oreal Paris, said of Miss Longoria in the New York Times.

The “Desperate Housewives’” men are equally in demand. Ricardo Antonio Chavira (Carlos Solis) and James Denton (Mike Delfino) have been cast in a print campaign for the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation sponsored by Lee Jeans, according to the New York Times.

Other advertisers, though, are less enthralled. Direct-sales cosmetic giant Mary Kay pulled out of a planned ad buy on “Housewives” following criticism from a conservative Christian group in May.

Donald E. Wildmon, head of the American Family Association, openly questioned how Mary Kay, whose company philosophy is “God first, family second and career third,” could buy into a show that he says promotes “infidelity, seduction and promiscuity.”

Still, ABC is far from desperate for advertisers. Advertising Age reports the asking price for a 30-second spot jumped from an initial $150,000 to $300,000 once the show became a runaway hit.

“Desperate Housewives” kicks off its second season Sept. 25.

Compiled by Thomas Walter from Web and wire reports.

Copyright © 2019 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

The Washington Times Comment Policy

The Washington Times welcomes your comments on Spot.im, our third-party provider. Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.


Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide