- The Washington Times - Wednesday, February 2, 2005

Get ‘Happy’ again

TV reunion specials give viewers the chance to catch up with their favorite characters — and also provide fodder for gossip about how they’ve prospered or faltered over the years.

The latest prime-time trip down memory lane, “The Happy Days 30th Anniversary Reunion,” airing at 8 tonight on ABC, gathers the full cast of the long-running show.

Fans can expect to see cast members Ron Howard (Richie), Henry Winkler (the Fonz), Scott Baio (Chachi), Tom Bosley (Mr. Cunningham), Erin Moran (Joanie), Don Most (Ralph), Marion Ross (Mrs. Cunningham) and Anson Williams (Potsie).

“Happy Days” began its run Jan. 15, 1974, and served up a picture-postcard version of the 1950s. The show centered on high-schooler Richie Cunningham and his family and friends, particularly the charismatic dropout Arthur “the Fonz” Fonzarelli.

Long before “Happy Days” left ABC’s lineup in 1984, viewers could recite the show in their sleep, which may be part of its charm. It’s the same with the “Happy Days” reunion special. The right ingredients are certainly in place — the original cast, blooper reels and overall schmaltz.

What more could you ask?

She’s hired

Get ready for “the Martha.”

Donald Trump’s reality-show smash “The Apprentice” is giving birth to a spinoff show set to star imprisoned domestic diva Stewart.

NBC yesterday announced that Stewart will headline a new “Apprentice” show tailored to her unique talents.

“The Apprentice: Martha Stewart” will resemble the show that made Mr. Trump a reality star, but it will be centered on Stewart’s impeccable talents for home renovation and design.

Casting for the new show begins immediately. Candidates should be “creative, entrepreneurial, versatile, media savvy and articulate,” the network says.

Stewart, who was convicted on four felony charges stemming from a federal investigation into her sale of ImClone stock, is serving a five-month sentence at a West Virginia prison. She will be released next month.

See Paris in New York

Socialite-turned-reality-show-diva Paris Hilton hopes to get the last laugh this weekend as host of NBC’s “Saturday Night Live,” airing Saturday evening at 11:30. The star of Fox’s “The Simple Life” previously appeared on the long-running sketch-comedy show for a cheeky interview with Jimmy Fallon. Now she’s front and center and will be joined by musical guest Keane.

Miss Hilton’s improbable star could rise even higher in the coming months. She plans to release an album on her own label and will be seen in the upcoming remake of the 1953 horror film “House of Wax.”

Guild’s goodies

Also on tap this weekend: TNT’s broadcast of the 2004 Screen Actors Guild awards, another way for Oscar watchers to gauge their picks for who’ll walk away with the coveted gold statuettes later this month.

SAG awards honor the usual competitions, such as best actor and actress, but also recognize overall cast achievements in films and television.

The 11th annual awards ceremony will air live at 8 p.m. Saturday on the cable network.

‘Jag’s‘ terror war

CBS’ military drama “Jag” travels to Afghanistan tomorrow night for a story inspired by America’s war on terrorism.

The “Heart of Darkness” episode finds Harm (David James Elliott) and Mac (Catherine Bell) facing hostile fire in Afghanistan while tracking down a Marine captain, played by Michael Rooker (“Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer”), who deserted his unit to fight terrorists his way.

“Jag,” which debuted on NBC in 1995, airs Fridays at 9 p.m. on CBS.

Abdul’s encore

Paula Abdul’s reed-thin voice might not pass muster with “American Idol” judge Simon Cowell, but she rode it to the top of the charts in the 1980s and hopes to do so once more.

The former Los Angeles Lakers cheerleader told Associated Press that she plans to record new music after “Idol’s” current season, its fourth, wraps.

“I miss my art,” said Miss Abdul, dubbed the “nice” judge of the often brutal competition.

She says fans should expect a different performer from the one they once knew.

“I’m different as a human being. I’m much older, and I have a lot more wisdom,” Miss Abdul said.

Compiled by Christian Toto from staff and wire reports.

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