- The Washington Times - Monday, December 26, 2005

Ricci goes ‘Grey’

Movie actress Christina Ricci is turning to television on its biggest night of the year.

Miss Ricci will guest star in a special episode of the ABC hit “Grey’s Anatomy,” slated to air Feb. 5 after the network’s broadcast of Super Bowl XL, Reuters news agency reports.

The plot for the episode of the medical drama is being kept under wraps. However, ABC describes Miss Ricci’s character as someone who’s coming to Seattle Grace Hospital “not as a patient but in a life-and-death situation.”

Miss Ricci’s rare TV credits include a recurring role on Fox’s “Ally McBeal” and a guest shot on NBC’s “Joey” last season, in which she played Joey Tribbiani’s sister.

On the Net

Joining the trend of TV shows migrating to the Internet are a pair of episodes from the CBS sitcoms “Two and a Half Men” and “How I Met Your Mother.” Both are being offered for free video streaming this week from the Yahoo! Web site.

Available through Monday, the half-hour shows, which aired earlier this season, can be seen in their entirety and without commercials, CBS and Yahoo! announced.

It’s the first time that Yahoo! is streaming episodes of a CBS television series in their entirety.

The episodes of “Two and a Half Men” (starring Charlie Sheen, Jon Cryer and Angus T. Jones) are “We Called It Mr. Pinky” and “Madame and Her Special Friend.”

The episodes of “How I Met Your Mother” (a freshman entry whose stars include Alyson Hannigan, Neil Patrick Harris and Josh Radnor) are “The Pineapple Incident” and “The Sweet Taste of Liberty.”

Both shows are regularly broadcast Monday nights on CBS.


NBC makes a ‘Deal’

NBC wants more Howie on its schedule.

The network has ordered additional episodes of the Howie Mandel-hosted “Deal or No Deal” following its five-night run last week, Reuters reports.

The game show will likely return in March, although the number of segments to be shown is unknown right now.

“Deal,” which challenges contestants to win a $1 million prize by guessing which of 26 sealed briefcases contains the largest cash cache, aired Monday through Friday last week.

Since its Dec. 19 premiere, the show — based on a successful international format — has dominated the 8 to 9 p.m. hour in all major rating categories, growing to 14.1 million viewers on Wednesday from 11.6 million on opening night.

Leno, O’Brien rule

NBC’s late-night talk shows are enjoying a ratings surge as 2005 winds down.

“The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” scored its biggest weekly margin victory over CBS’ “Late Show with David Letterman” among adults 18 to 49 in more than a year and a half, Reuters reports.

Meanwhile, “Late Night with Conan O’Brien” hit season highs in total viewers and adults 18 to 49.

Mr. Leno’s show won the week of Dec. 12 by eight-tenths of a rating point among adults 18 to 49 (2.2 rating vs. 1.4), the show’s biggest win against Mr. Letterman originals since the week of the “Friends” finale in May 2004.

Mr. Leno also averaged 6.5 million viewers, compared with Mr. Letterman’s 4.5 million.

The Dec. 13 episode, in which Mr. Leno hosted Steve Martin, drew the show’s largest audience in more than two years. Must be all those “Cheaper by the Dozen 2” fans.

Seacrest’s E-lation

“American Idol” host Ryan Seacrest is about to expand his media empire.

After striking out with his afternoon gabber,”On Air with Ryan Seacrest,” the TV and radio personality may have struck out with his afternoon gabber but he’s about to join the E! Entertainment news division.

E! Online reports Mr. Seacrest is close to signing a three-year deal to co-host “E! News” with returning host Giuliana DePandi.

The deal, also discussed in Variety and TVweek.com, would have him working the red carpet for the network’s award show coverage. But Mr. Seacrest, 31,isn’t exactly scratching for work these days. In addition to his “Idol” chores, he has a weekday morning radio show in Los Angeles and a weekly syndicated radio show, “American Top 40.”

Compiled by Christian Toto from staff and wire reports.



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