- The Washington Times - Monday, July 25, 2005

Kudos for ‘Housewives’

Joe and Jane Sixpack aren’t the only ones who love “Desperate Housewives.”

The tawdry soap, along with the network’s “Lost,” picked up top honors from the Television Critics Association, Associated Press reports.

The dark suburban satire was named program of the year Saturday, and “Lost,” a drama about plane crash survivors marooned on a mysterious island, was honored as outstanding new program and for outstanding achievement in drama.

Both air on ABC, which also claimed an award for “Nightline.” The news program received the Heritage Award, which goes to a long-running show that has had “a lasting cultural or social impact,” according to the association.

Comedian-actor Bob Newhart received the 2005 award for career achievement.

Fox’s “Arrested Development” won its second consecutive award for achievement in comedy.

In the individual categories, Hugh Laurie of Fox’s “House M.D.” walked away with best-dramatic-actor honors, while Jon Stewart of Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show” earned accolades for his satirical work.

Other winners were BBC America’s “The Office Special” for achievement in movies, miniseries and specials, and “Degrassi: The Next Generation” on Canada’s CTV in the children’s programming category.

Founded in 1978, the TCA includes more than 200 reporters and columnists in print media from the United States and Canada.

Kelley’s real ‘Law’

Prolific TV producer David E. Kelley once cursed the dawn of reality television. Now he’s combining his legal know-how with “The Apprentice” for his very first reality affair, reports Zap2it.com.

The mastermind behind “The Practice” and “Ally McBeal” is serving up “The Law Firm,” starting Thursday evening at 9 on NBC.

Instead of real estate mogul Donald Trump, Mr. Kelley’s “Firm” features noted trial lawyer Roy Black, who puts 12 ambitious legal eagles through paces and cases, with $250,000 going to the last contender standing.

However, as Mr. Black stresses at the show’s outset, it’s not just about the money. At the Miami firm of which he is senior partner, he tells the competitors they’re expected to deal with real-life clients, judges and juries “with excellence and compassion” in cases ranging from a dispute between two people over dogs to the opposite end of the legal scale — murder trials.

Working in teams, the lawyers don’t always see eye-to-eye on strategy. But disagreements are what reality television is all about.

Don, Melanie on WB

Don Johnson and Melanie Griffith were once among Hollywood’s power couples. Today, both are trying to resurrect their careers with new shows on the WB, Cox News Service reports.

Mr. Johnson, of “Miami Vice” fame, heads up “Just Legal,” an hourlong crime show from producer Jerry Bruckheimer that features an 18-year-old attorney who is teamed with Mr. Johnson’s washed-up lawyer.

Meanwhile, Miss Griffith will play a ditzy blonde in the sitcom “Twins,” which also stars Sara Gilbert (“Roseanne”), Molly Stanton (the NBC soap “Passions”) and Mark Linn-Baker (“Perfect Strangers”).

“Melanie’s working?” Mr. Johnson cracked to reporters at the Television Critics Association gathering last week when a scribe brought up the pair’s new ties.

The “Nash Bridges” veteran quickly turned diplomatic.

“I’m delighted for her. We all wish her well. She’ll be terrific. She’s a wonderful talent,” he said.

An hour later, Miss Griffith said of her ex-husband: “I’m really happy for him. I’m even happier for our daughter. Her college fund is going to be really healthy.”

If it isn’t already flush from “Miami Vice” and “Nash Bridges” paychecks, Mr. Johnson had better get a new financial adviser.

Compiled by Christian Toto from staff and wire reports.

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