- The Washington Times - Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Say it isn’t so

Is the party over on HBO’s “Entourage”?

When last we left television’s best comedy, Vincent Chase’s (Adrian Grenier) heart was shattered when girlfriend Mandy Moore returned to her ex-fiance, and superagent Ari Gold (Jeremy Piven, your Emmy is waiting) was kicked out of his agency — with his trusty assistant Lloyd (Rex Lee) in tow — by his equally egotistical business partner Terrance (Malcolm McDowell).

Sunday’s installment caps this season’s 14-episode run, and what a run it has been. HBO finally has a new series good enough to be mentioned in the same breath as “The Sopranos” and “Sex and the City.”

“Entourage” airs Sundays at 10 p.m. on HBO.

D.C.’s ‘Taste’ test

The Travel Channel’s “Taste of America,” a weekly series that toasts the country’s regional cuisine while getting to know the people behind the recipes, wraps three days of shooting in and around the District today with a pair of samplings at two local eateries.

Host Mark DeCarlo will visit Annandale Farmers Market in Mason District Park on Columbia Pike this morning (from 9:15 to 11:45 a.m.) to shop for ingredients to make sweet pickled relish. He’ll drop by Gadsby’s Tavern on North Royal Street in Old Town Alexandria for a two-hour peanut soup cooking demonstration with Chef Matthew Richardson starting at 2:45 p.m.

“Taste of America” airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. on the Travel Channel.

‘Relief’ planned

NBC hopes to aid the victims of Hurricane Katrina with the proceeds from a star-studded telethon scheduled for tomorrow night.

“Today” co-anchor Matt Lauer will host “A Concert for Hurricane Relief,” beginning tomorrow at 8 p.m. on NBC, MSNBC and CNBC.

The hour-long telebroadcast — featuring performances by Tim McGraw, Harry Connick Jr., Wynton Marsalis and others, as well as an appearance by actor Leonardo DiCaprio — will air live on the East Coast.

Viewers will be encouraged to donate to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund through its Web site (www.redcross.org) or by calling 800/HELP NOW (435-7669).

Theron gets ‘Arrested’

Oscar-winner Charlize Theron will join Fox’s “Arrested Development” for a five-episode story arc this fall. Maybe that will finally convince audiences to give the show a fair shake.

“Development” drew tepid ratings again last season, so give Fox credit for both renewing the critical darling and landing an A-list guest star. The “Monster” actress’s first episode will air Sept. 26 at 8 p.m. She’ll play a knockout Brit who dates Michael (Jason Bateman).

“Arrested Development” kicks off its third season Sept. 19 at 8 p.m.

VH1 taps NBC castoff

“I’m a Celebrity But I Wanna Be a Pop Star,” NBC’s awkwardly titled and stillborn reality series, has been picked up by VH1 for an October premiere, reports MediaWeek.com.

The show will be renamed “Celebrity Pop Superstar” for its cable run. The NBC project closed shop in late July after the network and Granada America clashed over production costs. “Celebrity Pop Superstar” will offer viewers a mix of behind-the-scenes footage of eight nonmusical celebrity contestants as they train with vocal coaches, and will also capture their subsequent performances.

Earlier this summer, Fox announced plans for a similar show, “Celebrity Idol,” which merges the singing celebrities hook with the audience vote format of its smash hit “American Idol.”

Compiled by Christian Toto and Thomas Walter from staff and wire reports.

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