- The Washington Times - Monday, January 31, 2005

House’ call

Actor Harry J. Lennix, who’s featured in the Oscar-nominated film “Ray,” steps into a guest-starring role as a patient who believes he’s dying from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease) on tonight’s episode of “House.”

The hospital drama airs Tuesday evenings at 9 on Fox.

Mr. Lennix will guest-star as John Henry Giles, a celebrated jazz musician who requests a “do not resuscitate” agreement from the staff at the show’s Princeton Plainsboro Teaching Hospital to avoid a protracted death. However, Dr. House (Hugh Laurie) doesn’t agree with the self-diagnosis and attempts to go around the DNR to save Giles’ life — a decision that lands the physician in court.

Pop star Brandy also appears in tonight’s episode.

Spacek scrubs out

Oscar-winner Sissy Spacek won’t be checking into NBC’s “ER” after all.

The actress was scheduled to appear in the Feb. 10 episode of the drama, but the proverbial “scheduling conflict” ended the plan.

Her role will be filled by Frances Fisher ( “Titanic,” “House of Sand and Fog”), Clint Eastwood’s ex-flame and a respected character actress in her own right.

Miss Fisher will play an important person from Dr. Weaver’s (Laura Innes) past, the network says.

Sister act

Jamie Lynn Spears, Britney’s kid sister, appears to be as innocent as her superstar sibling once pretended to be.

The younger Spears, all of 13, says she’s just another teenager — albeit one who has her own TV show, Associated Press reports.

“I thought, ‘Oh my gosh, that would be so cool,’” Jamie Lynn recalls thinking when veteran TV producer Dan Schneider told her he wanted to take her out of the ensemble cast of the children’s variety show “All That” and put her in the spotlight.

The result, “Zoey 101,” airs Sundays at 8 p.m. on Nickelodeon. The sitcom, which debuted Jan. 9, features Jamie Lynn as Zoey Brooks, the only coed in a previously all-male school.

Zoey, not to be intimidated by her swaggering 13-year-old male counterparts, quickly begins to take charge, something Jamie Lynn says she doubts she would be as eager to do in real life.

“Zoey’s kind of like a leader,” she reflects. “I guess I could say I lead in some ways, but Zoey is so good at that. I’m a little more shy than Zoey, I’d say.”

Jamie Lynn has never been far from show business. By the time she was walking, her famous older sister had made her debut on TV’s “The New Mickey Mouse Club.” She was just 8 when Britney’s first album came out in 1999.

She’s hoping “Zoey” does well enough to stay on the air for a few seasons. After that, she would like to look into making movies and attending college.

“I want to go to Louisiana State University if I can,” she says.

‘Medium’ well done

NBC’s midseason drama “Medium” has been given a 22-episode renewal, although we’re sure Patricia Arquette’s clairvoyant crime-fighter character saw this coming weeks ago.

The supernatural drama, airing Mondays at 10 p.m., finds Allison Dubois (Miss Arquette’s character) cracking tough cases through her dreams and visions.

The show, which debuted Jan. 3, is slated to run through the full 2005-2006 season, NBC says.

“Medium” has earned an average of 6.2 in the ratings since its debut, double what the network was earning in that time slot earlier this year.

Wonder’ no more

Audiences didn’t get much of a chance to explore “Wonderfalls,” a quirky Fox dramedy that was yanked last year after just four episodes.

The show’s few fans were left in the lurch when the remaining nine episodes never aired.

Now the DVD market is righting that wrong, with the full 13 episodes of “Wonderfalls” hitting the market this week, AP reports.

“Wonderfalls” starred the delightful Caroline Dhavernas as a Niagara Falls tourist-shop clerk who hears voices coming from animal figurines (and other inanimate objects) that direct her to intervene in the lives of other people.

The DVD format will provide some creative closure — and “Wonderfalls” co-creator and executive producer Bryan Fuller couldn’t be happier.

“With the DVD available, fans don’t have to hunt down bad copies at a comic-book show or on EBay or something,” Mr. Fuller told AP.

He also cites the success of fellow axed-show-turned-DVD hit “Freaks and Geeks” for the drive to package all the “Wonderfalls” episodes on disc. He gives most of the credit to fans, however.

“I think the people who were really responsible are the lovely people behind the Save Wonderfalls Web site and the Save Wonderfalls petition,” Mr. Fuller says. “Those people’s response and passion for the show go beyond anything we could’ve done. They had like over 23,000 signatures.”

Compiled by Christian Toto from staff and wire reports.

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