- The Washington Times - Thursday, June 2, 2005

‘Fear’ at home

“Fear Factor” is mounting a home invasion to spice up its sixth season.

The gross-out reality show — absent from NBC’s fall lineup, though likely to return at some point — will shoot upcoming episode segments in the homes of a few lucky contestants, according to Associated Press.

Its new “Home Invasion” segment is just one of several planned changes. Instead of pitting six contestants against one another, two-person teams will duke it out for the $50,000 prize.

The series will visit some exotic locales as well, including an aircraft carrier, a South American country and the “Psycho” house on the Universal back lot.

“Fear Factor” typically films around the Los Angeles area. Those willing to put their fears to the test can apply online at www.nbc.com/fearfactor or through in-person open casting calls that will be held nationwide.

Griffin’s ‘List’

Bravo’s marriage to comic Kathy Griffin is bearing fruit.

Come August, the channel will premiere the one-hour special “Kathy Griffin Is… not Nicole Kidman,” the follow-up to last year’s Bravo special “Kathy Griffin: The D-List.”

That will help launch a six-episode series, “Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List,” to debut the same night.

The unscripted series will show viewers how Miss Griffin transforms episodes of her life — some of which paint her in an unflattering light — into material.

Among the moments captured for the series: Miss Griffin scoring free furniture — but only after correcting the salesperson that she is indeed Kathy Griffin, not Kathy Lee Gifford, and implying that the couch in question would satisfy a dying aunt’s wish.

The comic previously starred on NBC’s “Suddenly Susan” with Brooke Shields.

Family planning

ABC Family is prepping three new dramatic series with hopes that all can join its 2006 schedule, Reuters News Agency reports.

The first show, “Kyle XY,” centers on a suburban family that takes in a mysterious 16-year-old boy who appears to have just been born. The second series, tentatively titled “Balancing Act,” centers on a young cop who moves his family back to the inner-city neighborhood where he was raised in the hopes of making a difference. “Three Moons Over Milford” revolves around a quirky Massachusetts town whose residents seize the day because they think a comet could destroy the world at any time.

All three shows are designed to appeal to the network’s target demo of adults 18 to 34, Kate Juergens, senior vice president of programing and development at ABC Family, told Reuters.

Miss Juergens adds that ABC Family is especially interested in luring more men, as it has already with reruns of the WB’s “Smallville,” which it acquired last year.

All three pilots are shooting in the summer.

‘Arcadia’s‘ army

Fans of the CBS show “Joan of Arcadia” are praying for a miracle after its cancellation.

The Lord helps those who help themselves, so “Arcadia’s” fans are peppering CBS and anyone who will listen with e-mails trying to find some way to keep the series alive, Associated Press reports. The show starred Amber Tamblyn as a young woman who saw God through a series of average people.

A revival is a long shot, but fans will do what they can to bring back a show that they said addressed spiritual matters without being preachy.

Several parents wrote that “Joan” was one of the few quality shows on television that they felt comfortable watching with their children, AP reports.

“I liked that it gave my daughter and I ethical things to talk about without having to bring them up, things like premarital sex and spirituality,” Dawn Richards, 44, who watched regularly with her 14-year-old daughter at home in Boca Raton, Fla., wrote to the network. “It’s a great springboard.”

CBS contends that the move didn’t come easily.

“It was one of the toughest programming decisions we have had to make in the last couple of years because qualitatively, everyone here loved the show and was proud of the show,” Chris Ender, CBS entertainment spokesman, told AP.

CBS is replacing “Joan” with “Ghost Whisperer,” featuring Jennifer Love Hewitt as a young wife who communicates with the dead.

Compiled by Christian Toto from staff and wire reports.

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