- The Washington Times - Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Riverses run wild

Sunday’s Golden Globes festivities give Hollywood stars and starlets the chance to take some fashion risks.

It’s not the Oscars, for heaven’s sake, which demand rigorous fidelity to fashion orthodoxy.

Still, should some stars cross the line from daring to dopey, Joan and Melissa Rivers will be there to make them regret it. The mother-daughter duo returns to fashion-police duties on the red carpet this weekend as part of their new gig at the TV Guide Channel.

“The Golden Globes is a dinner, and everyone’s having a couple of drinks. This is the time to wear that micromini with no underwear,” Joan Rivers cracked during a teleconference earlier this week to promote the show.

The Golden Globes live pre-show coverage begins at 6 p.m. Sunday on The TV Guide Channel.

“Is Courtney coming?” Joan Rivers asks at one point. The Courtney in question is Courtney Love, of course, one of many celebrities who often let it all hang out — fashionwise, that is.

The perpetually nipped and tucked Miss Rivers says the fashion foul-ups make their night. Yet the missteps are decreasing, in part because of the Riverses’ biting sallies.

“The tragedy is that Melissa and I have made everyone sit up and get stylists,” says Joan Rivers, who dismisses her stinging barbs as a way to liven up what essentially is one “great big photo op.”

Not everyone sees it that way.

Melissa Rivers says Emmy-winner Edie Falco barked at her for making stinging comments about the “The Sopranos” star’s fashion sense.

Others, however, take the jabs in stride.

Actor James Woods insists that the Riverses say hello to his mother every year, Joan Rivers says.

Tsunami telethon

Clint Eastwood, Renee Zellweger, Ray Romano and Morgan Freeman lead the list of celebrities slated to headline this weekend’s “Tsunami Aid” broadcast on NBC.

“Tsunami Aid: A Concert of Hope,” airing Saturday at 8 p.m. on all NBC Universal cable platforms, including Telemundo and Pax, is an attempt to inspire viewers to dig deep into their pockets to aid the worldwide tsunami-relief efforts.

Among the musicians set to appear on the live broadcast are Elton John, Annie Lennox and Nelly.

Viewers will be given contact information for the American Red Cross International Response Fund.

Imitation of life

E! Entertainment and British Sky Broadcasting have come up with a novel way to cover the upcoming Michael Jackson trial without courtroom cameras. They’re re-enacting the trial step by step.

The two broadcasting companies will offer daily re-creations of the trial, Reuters News Agency reports.

Given international interest in the pop star’s case — and the lack of cameras in the courtroom — the series will “bring the trial to life,” said Ted Harbert, president and chief executive officer of E! Networks.

The partnership calls for five daily half-hour programs to air during the course of the trial, scheduled to start Jan. 31.

Court transcripts will be used to highlight the previous day’s testimony and events, with each network packaging the re-enactments with its own hosts. The versions will be produced by E! News and, in Britain, Sky News.

E! will complement the re-enactments with legal commentary, plus a weekend wrap-up show.

Mr. Jackson, 46, has pleaded not guilty to charges of molesting a boy, conspiracy and administering alcohol to a minor.

Joyless ‘Carnivale’t

HBO’s returning “Carnivale” lost roughly two-thirds of the audience its 2003 debut attracted in its 9 p.m. Sunday time slot, Reuters reports.

The hourlong drama, which centers on a Depression-era clash between good and evil, attracted a scant 1.8 million viewers, a far cry from the 5.3 million that checked out its debut in September 2003.

The news only worsened for HBO in the 10 p.m. slot. Its new series “Unscripted” found just 814,000 viewers.

The dreary numbers may not be as disheartening as they appear, however.

The downturn is partly attributable to a new ratings system HBO adapted last year that separates the viewership of its primary channel from its digital spinoffs. Moreover, the numbers are further diminished by the fact that last year’s premiere had a highly rated original episode of “Sex and the City” as a lead-in.

“Unscripted” is the second collaboration between producers George Clooney and Steven Soderbergh for HBO, after the short-lived “K Street,” which debuted on the network with “Carnivale” in 2003.

The “K Street” premiere attracted 3 million viewers.

‘Island’ watching

Viewers who found TBS’ limp reality show “The Real Gilligan’s Island” to be a clumsy excuse for the real deal can rejoice with the genuine article.

“Gilligan’s Island: The Complete Second Season” arrived Tuesday on DVD, featuring full-color versions of the castaways’ misadventures.

The week’s other new DVD releases of TV shows include “Monk: Season Two” and “Hercules — The Legendary Journeys: Season Five.”

Compiled by Christian Toto from staff and wire reports

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