- The Washington Times - Sunday, January 9, 2005

Winger’s new ‘Dawn’

Lifetime searched for and found Debra Winger.

The onetime “it” actress — whose paucity of work inspired the 2002 documentary “Searching for Debra Winger” — stars in Lifetime’s “Dawn Anna,” a new drama centering on the 1999 Columbine High School massacre.

The fact-inspired drama, debuting at 9 tonight on the cable network, finds Miss Winger playing a single mom who first battles a brain condition — then must deal with the death of her youngest child at Columbine High.

Miss Winger’s real-life husband, Arliss Howard, directs.

Usher for free

Showtime has landed the country’s hottest music star for an exclusive concert, and the cable pay channel plans to showcase him for free.

R&B; sensation Usher will perform live from San Juan’s Coliseo de Puerto Rico March 5 as part of Showtime’s upcoming free preview weekend.

Usher, who recently earned 11 Billboard Music Awards and eight Grammy nominations, will perform cuts from his “Confessions” LP as part of the 90-minute broadcast.

The weekend also will feature the debut of Showtime’s curious new reality show “Fat Actress” starring Kirstie Alley, plus the return of the channel’s Penn & Teller show.

Historical spinoff

People who watch the History Channel for the nifty military tidbits will soon have a channel to call their own.

The History Channel is planning a sister station devoted exclusively to military history, Reuters News Agency reports.

The new channel, dubbed Military History Channel, will debut this spring.

A History Channel representative said the move was spurred by the successful introduction of a military programming block on the network.

“Since the History Channel premiered in 1995, military history has always been extremely popular with our viewers,” said Dan Davids, president of the domestic cable network.

The announcement follows recent news about another new military-themed network.

Starting today, the Discovery Wings Channel will become the Military Channel, focusing on all aspects of the armed forces, military strategies and personnel throughout the ages.

Military History Channel’s programming will include documentary specials and series on such military-themed subjects as the history of warfare — featuring battles both famous and obscure — as well as the life of a soldier and the equipment that’s used.

Military History Channel is the sixth domestic network from A&E; Television Networks, which includes the History Channel, A&E; Network and the Biography Channel.

Robbins ‘Embedded’

Liberal actor/playwright Tim Robbins is bringing his anti-Bush play “Embedded” to the Sundance Channel.

The Oscar winner’s 2004 play, a satirical sendup of our military actions overseas, mocks embedded journalists, media overkill and the current administration. The play earned wildly mixed reviews during its initial run and will make its Sundance debut on March 20.

‘Dude’ makeover

Emilio “Remember me?” Estevez lends a hand to a new Discovery Channel remodeling show that even a man’s man can applaud.

The “Young Guns” star appears in today’s “Dude Room,” which airs weekdays at 3 p.m.

The show surprises men by remaking a space in their home for manly pursuits.

Today’s installment finds Mr. Estevez seeking the show’s help to create a space where he can store his wine collection and entertain guests all in one spot.

Choice’ awards show

The WB presents the 10th Annual Critics’ Choice Awards tonight, the first of many movie award shows heading our way.

Once upon a time, viewers anticipated the Oscar broadcast each year and that was about that. Now, we’re inundated with the Critics’ Choice Awards, the Golden Globes. the Screen Actor’s Guild Awards and the Blockbuster Awards, to name a few.

We’re sure it’s an honor just to be nominated for any and all of the above.

The Critics Choice presentation, representing the Broadcast Film Critics Association, will be hosted by “Will & Grace’s” Eric McCormack.

The special airs at 8 p.m. and features a special tribute to Tom Cruise for his contribution to the arts.

Compiled by Christian Toto from staff and wire reports.

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