- The Washington Times - Thursday, July 21, 2005

TLC’s mixed bag

TLC, the network that hopped aboard the reality show bandwagon before the rest of the channels on the dial, is bringing two disparate talents to the small screen this summer.

First up is Tanya Tucker, who will appear as the main focus of “Tuckerville,” a 26-episode series that will follow the country music star and her family as she records an album while looking after her two children, Reuters News Agency reports.

“Tanya Tucker can’t have it all, and invites viewers along as she faces heartfelt decisions about making a career comeback and being a single mom,” said David Abraham, executive vice president and general manager of TLC, while speaking to reporters last week at the Television Critics Association’s summer press tour in Beverly Hills.

The network’s second new series will feature “Loveline” co-host Adam Carolla as the star of a new fix-it program.

Mr. Carolla, who worked as a carpenter before entering comedy, recently bought his North Hollywood boyhood home. During the course of the series, dubbed “The Adam Carolla Project,” he remodels that house with a handful of nonactor friends — with the goal of selling the upgraded digs.

The 13-episode series begins Oct. 5 at 10 p.m.

But “Tuckerville” and the “Carolla Project” aren’t the only reality offerings on TLC’s plate. Also on tap is “Going Hollywood,” a show that will highlight three young people who struggle to survive the often cutthroat entertainment industry while interning at various Hollywood companies. The reality series trailed three participants during their time at the Robert Evans Co., Method Man Enterprises and Kevin Spacey’s Trigger Street Productions.

The show’s surprise element will be finding out whether any of the interns received job offers after their five-week internships. None of the three is discussing the outcome at this point.

Evolving ‘Situation’

The word “situation” is suddenly getting a workout in cable news circles.

First, MSNBC hires Tucker Carlson and titles his show “The Situation With Tucker Carlson.”

Now, CNN is promising a hard-news experience for viewers of its three-hour afternoon news show “The Situation Room,” according to Reuters.

The show will debut Aug. 8.

“It’s old-fashioned, good, solid, serious journalism, which I’m dedicated to,” CNN veteran Wolf Blitzer said. Mr. Blitzer will anchor the show from a new studio in the District that will feature many of CNN’s top correspondents, contributors and analysts in a revolving format.

The show, which replaces “Inside Politics” and “Crossfire” as well as Mr. Blitzer’s 5 p.m. broadcasts, will focus on the breaking and developing stories that seem to pop between 3 and 6 p.m. — just before the nightly network newscasts and prime-time cable news shows.

The new studio will have several video screens that will enable Mr. Blitzer to take viewers to a number of locations here and abroad (including Baghdad, New York, London, Paris and anywhere news breaks) while walking around the set. It will also feature blogs, podcasts and other high technology.

” ‘The Situation Room’ is emblematic of where we’re taking CNN,” said Jon Klein, president of CNN-U.S.

“Situation Room” is one of Mr. Klein’s newest initiatives that has — in the seven months he’s led CNN’s domestic channel — focused on both hard news and storytelling.

Carpenter on ‘Mars’

After years of playing a high school student, Charisma Carpenter is becoming a trophy wife.

The former “Angel” and “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” star will join the cast of UPN’s critically acclaimed “Veronica Mars” this fall, reports Associated Press.

“Veronica Mars” stars Kristen Bell as a smart, fearless, 18-year-old apprentice private investigator who’s dedicated to solving the toughest mysteries within her wealthy seaside community of Neptune, Calif.

Miss Carpenter will play Kendall Casablancas, a sexy trophy wife and stepmother to brothers Dick and Cassidy “Beaver” Casablancas, two of Veronica’s rival, affluent schoolmates, according to UPN.

The 34-year-old actress, who played the character Cordelia Chase on “Angel” and “Buffy,” will appear in at least six episodes of “Mars.”

Also joining the cast is Steve Guttenberg, who will appear in at least seven episodes as a charismatic major league baseball team owner and leading candidate in the race for mayor of Neptune, the network said.

The versatile actor, 46, will also star in “The Poseidon Adventure,” a miniseries adaptation of the hit 1972 feature film that will air next year. His other screen credits include the “Police Academy” films plus “Three Men and a Baby” and its sequel, “Three Men and a Little Lady.”

Compiled by Christian Toto from staff, Web and wire reports.

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