- The Washington Times - Sunday, February 20, 2005

Push on to save ‘Trek’

Trekkers are setting their phasers on “reprieve.”

Fans of the long-running “Star Trek” franchise are trying to convince UPN not to cancel “Star Trek: Enterprise,” Associated Press reports.

The show, now in its fourth season, is slated for cancellation in May.

A full-page “Save Star Trek” ad appearing in the Los Angeles Times called on fans to find a new TV home for the show through a rally and petition campaign.

“Captain Archer and the crew of the NX-01 need your help to continue their journeys!” the ad read, calling the “Star Trek” franchise a “cultural icon.”

The ad contained clip-and-mail pledges addressed to the channel, to Paramount Network Television, which produces the series; and to its parent company Viacom Inc.

A rally is planned for Friday outside the Paramount lot in Los Angeles, according to the ad, which says it was paid for by worldwide fan donations.

The ad also asked viewers to commit to watching the show — if the Sci Fi Channel, “its logical home,” agrees to pick it up.

A call by AP requesting comment from the New York-based channel was not immediately returned.

“Star Trek: Enterprise,” which debuted in 2001 as a prequel to the original 1960s “Star Trek” series, stars Scott Bakula as Capt. Jonathan Archer. It begins reruns in syndication this fall.

The show’s anticipated demise means that no first-run “Star Trek” series will air for the first time in 18 years.

Brand new ‘Tales’

Emmy and her fire-breathing pals are back for a third season of “Dragon Tales.”

The PBS children’s series, airing at 4 p.m. today on WETA (Channel 26) , promises a greater emphasis on cultural diversity this time around — but not in the manner of the controversy surrounding a family headed by a lesbian couple on a recent episode of “Postcards from Buster.” Instead of focusing on sexual preferences, “Dragon Tales” will expand its diversity by adding Enrique, a new Hispanic character to the show’s lineup.

Designed for preschoolers, “Dragon Tales” follows 6-year-old Emmy and her extended family of friends and dragons as they tackle a variety of adventures.

This season’s episodes will offer folk stories, music and street games to better showcase our cultural experiences, PBS says.

Martin’s ‘Journey’

The Biography Channel continues its observance of Black History Month with a look at the man who helped free boxer Rubin “Hurricane” Carter.

“Biography: The Journey of Lesra Martin” debuts at 9 p.m. tonight on the cable channel

Mr. Martin — who befriended and helped free Mr. Carter after he was imprisoned for a triple murder he didn’t commit — grew up in a rugged Brooklyn neighborhood to become a successful lawyer and motivational speaker.

Other Black History Month biographies scheduled on the channel this week include profiles on tennis ace Arthur Ashe, comedian Chris Rock and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

Franken extended

The Sundance Channel hasn’t had enough of the Franken factor.

The indie network is bringing back liberal talker Al Franken and his Air America radio show in June.

“The Al Franken Show” can be heard on various radio stations nationwide as part of the left-leaning Air America network. Mr. Franken’s show, like those of fellow radio stars Don Imus and Howard Stern, invites cameras into the broadcast booth so listeners can see the goings on inside the studio.

Mr. Franken’s show will return to Sundance on June 6, although his time slot is not yet known.

More than basketball

We’ve come to know the Harlem Globetrotters for their infectious b-ball tricks and its snappy “Sweet Georgia Brown” theme song, but the team once helped snap the racial chains surrounding the sport.

“The Team that Changed the World,” a new documentary premiering at 10 tonight on WETA-TV, looks back at two Globetrotters’ events and their fateful repercussions.

Narrated by Public Enemy’s Chuck D, the hourlong special recalls the Globetrotters’ upset of the champion Minneapolis Lakers in 1948. It also details the group’s 1951 trip to Berlin, where more than 75,000 fans cheered them, along with Olympic track great Jesse Owens — who had been shunned in that very spot by Adolf Hitler 15 years earlier. Both events led to basketball’s integration.

Compiled by Christian Toto from staff and wire reports.

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