- The Washington Times - Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Clinton visits Dave

Former President Bill Clinton will drop by the “The Late Show With David Letterman” tonight for his first visit since undergoing quadruple bypass surgery last September. Mr. Letterman underwent a quintuple bypass himself back in 2000, so the pair could swap medical stories in between talking up Mr. Clinton’s autobiography, “My Life,” now out in paperback.

“The Late Show” airs weeknights at 11:35 on CBS.

Best of the ‘Best’

The Military Channel is giving viewers a peek at a contest as grueling as any marathon or eco-challenge with “Best Ranger,” a three-part series beginning tonight at 8.

The U.S. Army’s Best Ranger competition, established in 1982 and held at Fort Benning, Ga., puts Army Rangers through a series of 16 endurance events held over a 60-hour period.

The show follows the Rangers both in action and in their personal lives to capture the complete story. The channel uses night-vision technology to cover competitions held after dusk. Among the events included in the competition are the Day Ranger Stakes, which challenges contestants with such activities as grenade tossing, rope climbing and machine-gun assembly, and the Helocast/Swim, in which Ranger teams must drop from a helicopter into water and then swim to shore with their equipment.

The Rangers, it should be noted, are active-duty military personnel who can be called to war at any moment.

Of the 23 teams that started this year’s Best Ranger competition, just 11 finished.

Rivera re-ups

It’s been a good week for Geraldo Rivera.

First, he learned he wouldn’t have to shave off his signature mustache because the Michael Jackson jury acquitted the pop star, a decision on which he had bet his famous facial hair. Now he has renegotiated a deal for another four years with the Fox News Channel, Associated Press reports.

Mr. Rivera serves as a war correspondent and host of his own weekend show on the network.

He failed to discuss specifics about the new deal, only telling AP that he “got a promotion” and will keep his Saturday evening show, “At Large.”

Mr. Rivera quit his CNBC legal affairs show and joined Fox News as a war correspondent shortly after the September 11 terrorist attacks, saying he didn’t want to be on the sidelines during a big story.

In a recent article in the Atlantic Monthly, he was quoted as questioning whether he should stay at Fox or try to start a more high-profile show at another network.

“Fox has first dibs, but the problem with Fox and me is they’re wildly successful,” he told the magazine. “Where are you going to put me? Who are you going to knock out? Every single slot is filled. From 3 o’clock to 11 o’clock, they’ve got a hit show.”

He likened himself to a franchise ballplayer at the end of his career.

“I’m like Randy Johnson or Roger Clemens,” he told Atlantic Monthly. “That’s who I identify with: old guys who still can throw 95-mile-an-hour fastballs.”

More ‘Reality’ at MTV

After mining reality-show gold with such fare as “The Real World” and “Road Rules,” it’s no surprise that MTV will offer more of the same.

Cable’s music channel has given the go-ahead to a slew of new series, including the MTV U.K. import “Bad Dads, Phat Mums”; “The Reality Show,” which seeks competitors for MTV’s reality show; and “Parental Control,” a new dating program, Reuters News Agency reports.

“The Reality Show” hopes to find MTV’s next reality TV star by featuring viewers who think their lives are interesting enough to make it onto TV. “NewsRadio’s” Andy Dick, who previously hosted a comedy series for MTV, and other comedians will make regular appearances on the show.

“Bad Dads, Phat Mums” (the show’s working title) marks the first MTV U.K.-developed series format that MTV has picked up. The show will feature two fans competing to re-create a shot-for-shot music video from their favorite artist. The catch? The stars of the productions must be the fan’s mother and father.

“Parental Control,” which will air daily, features parents who are fed up with their teens’ current love interests and attempt to replace them with “suitable” dates. The children then must decide which person to continue dating.

The new shows will debut this fall.

The announcement follows MTV’s earlier decision to renew several existing series, including Ashton Kutcher’s celebrity prank show “Punk’d,” the auto-centric series “Pimp My Ride,” and “Meet the Barkers” — the reality show featuring Blink 182 drummer Travis Barker, his new wife, Shanna Moakler, and their children — and the dating show “Next,” which also will return this fall.

MTV also has given the green light to the improv comedy project “Nick Cannon Presents Wild ‘N Out,” which is set to premiere July 21 at 10 p.m. Mr. Cannon has starred in such films as 2002’s “Drumline” and “Love Don’t Cost a Thing” in 2003.

Compiled by Christian Toto from staff and wire reports.

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