- The Washington Times - Wednesday, February 9, 2005

Strathmore’s debut

Maryland Public Television is giving residents who couldn’t attend Saturday’s opening of North Bethesda’s Music Center at Strathmore a chance to see what all the fuss was about.

“Opening Night at Strathmore,” airing tonight at 9 on Channel 22, features an interview with cellist Yo-Yo Ma and the four Maryland youngsters who joined him onstage for the concert hall’s gala opening. The special also includes a profile of acoustician Lawrence Kirkegaard and the team behind the center’s sound.

DVD rewind

Jamie Foxx, Will Smith and the Wayans Brothers all got their big breaks on television before heeding the siren call of cinema.

Warner Bros.’ home-video division is celebrating their comedic roots by releasing several box sets from the 1980s and 1990s featuring their earliest works, Associated Press reports.

In celebration of the company’s 50th anniversary in TV, Warner Bros. Home Video is releasing “The Jamie Foxx Show,” “The Fresh Prince of Bel Air” and “The Wayans Brothers.”

The company also is rereleasing “Malcolm X,” Spike Lee’s 1992 biography of the outspoken activist with Oscar winner Denzel Washington in the title role. The DVD marks the 40th anniversary of the fiery leader’s death; he was gunned down while speaking at a Harlem ballroom Feb. 21, 1965. The set also features 21 minutes of footage that didn’t make the final cut, plus a new making-of featurette narrated by James Earl Jones.

ABC’s funny business

ABC landed two breakout hits this season with “Lost” and “Desperate Housewives.” Now it wants to lighten its lineup with a successful sitcom or two.

The network has ordered five comedy pilots for next season, including a project starring Kevin Sorbo of “Hercules” and “Andromeda” fame, Reuters News Agency reports.

Mr. Sorbo will star in “Bobby Cannon,” a series about a pro-football quarterback nearing retirement who has to mentor his replacement while figuring out what to do with the rest of his life.

The network’s other pickups include “Joint Custody,” a sitcom about a recent college graduate who returns home to find his parents divorced, and “Crumbs,” whose story centers on two estranged brothers — one homosexual, one straight — who are forced to come together and run the family business when their parents divorce.

Also on tap is “Neighbors.” It follows the antics of dueling neighbors forced to coexist with one another when their wives and children become unlikely friends.

‘Apprentices’ sought

If you’d like to hear the Donald say, “You’re hired,” or if you long to chop salad with Martha Stewart (after her release from the pokey next month), listen up: NBC’s “The Apprentice” heads to Alexandria tomorrow in search of local contestants hoping to land a six-figure job with the two corporate dynamos.

Scouts for the popular series starring Mr. Trump and the upcoming spinoff with Stewart will begin seeing “Apprentice” hopefuls at 9 a.m. at Mercedes-Benz of Alexandria, 200 N. Pickett St.

Would-be “apprentices” should appear with resumes in hand.

For details or to download an application, visit www.nbc.com.

Spike’s ‘City’

Firebrand filmmaker Spike Lee brings his game to Showtime this weekend with an original film set on San Francisco’s gang turf.

“Sucker Free City,” debuting Saturday at 8 p.m., examines the choices made by a diverse group of young men and women connected to the city’s gang culture. The cast includes Anthony Mackie (“She Hate Me”), Ken Leung and Ben Crowley.

“Hate,” Mr. Lee’s last big-screen feature, drew withering reviews, but he scored hits with the Oscar-nominated “Do the Right Thing” (1989) and “She’s Gotta Have It,” his acclaimed feature debut from 1986.

‘Law’ nabs Noth again

Viewers may best know Chris Noth for playing the commitment-phobic Mr. Big on HBO’s “Sex and the City,” but he rose to TV fame as Detective Mike Logan on NBC’s “Law & Order” franchise.

The handsome actor is returning to “L&O;” with a cameo in Sunday’s “Criminal Intent” spinoff, a gig that might yield a recurring role. Mr. Noth’s character will take charge in half the upcoming episodes, while “Intent’s” Detective Goren (Vincent D’Onofrio) will tackle the other half.

The move lifts some of the burden from Mr. D’Onofrio, who suffered health complications in recent months, in part because of his workload, NBC says.

Sunday’s episode, airing at 9 p.m., examines the Patriot Act and its potential its misuse by government officials.

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