- The Washington Times - Thursday, June 9, 2005

Classic rock update

VH1 Classic will turn back the clock this fall for a new series capturing the architects of modern music.

“Decades Rock Live,” to bow in September, promises performances by celebrated rock and soul singers whose work made today’s music possible. Each one-hour installment will focus on a specific artist. The first episode, devoted to the Doors, will feature original band members Robby Krieger and Ray Manzarek, with ex-Cult frontman Ian Astbury given the thankless task of singing lead vocals. Offering commentary will be Perry Farrell from Jane’s Addiction, Macy Gray, legendary rock guitarist Pat Travers, the original Vanilla Fudge and hot rocking girl band Antigone Rising.

The show will be taped starting Aug. 5 at Trump Taj Mahal’s high definition television studio, the Decades Rock Arena, temporarily renamed from Mark Etess Arena for the series’ sake, in Atlantic City, N.J.

AMC’s ‘Notice’

AMC beats the networks to the punch this weekend by giving Hugh Grant’s “Two Weeks Notice” its free TV debut.

“Two Weeks Notice” is a romantic comedy starring Mr. Grant as a selfish billionaire who falls for a beautiful activist/attorney (Sandra Bullock). It airs at 8 p.m. Sunday.

The film, written and directed by Marc Lawrence of “Miss Congeniality” fame, isn’t a rom-com — as the hip new term goes — for the ages. Yet compared to recent spark-free affairs like “How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days” and “Hitch,” its minor charms make it a cozy TV appointment.

The film will repeat at 10:15 p.m. Sunday, as well as 8 p.m. Monday and Tuesday.

Going ‘Nowhere’

MTV’s sister network The N is tackling some meaty themes such as sexual and racial identity in a new made-for-cable series.

The N’s “South of Nowhere” revolves around a family that moves from Ohio to Los Angeles, where the parents find themselves unprepared for the fast-paced, metropolitan environment and the overcrowded, “anything goes” L.A. public school that their three teenagers will attend, Reuters News Agency reports.

“The idea here was for a compelling ensemble show that was provocative and looked into the real world of youths as opposed to the merchandising part of it,” creator/executive producer Tom Lynch told Reuters. “I’d like kids to see that there’s a real portrayal of their lives, one that (reflects) their thoughts on who they are, what they want to be, their dreams and successes and failures.”

Production on the show is set to begin on location in Los Angeles in July, with the series slated to premiere in November. Two of the teen roles have been cast (Mandy Musgrave, Gabrielle Christian), with casting under way for the other roles.

Mr. Lynch lists among his TV credits Disney Channel’s “Kids Incorporated” and Nickelodeon’s “The Secret World of Alex Mack” and “Romeo!”

The N targets the teen demographic (ages 12 to 17) and is available in 43 million households via cable, digital cable and satellite television daily from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. ET.

‘Dad’ delivers

“Family Guy” creator Seth MacFarlane might not want to pinch himself. His network lucky streak shows no signs of abating.

Mr. MacFarlane saw his canceled “Family Guy” resurrected on Fox just a few weeks ago, and now his second animated sitcom, “American Dad,” has earned a 13-episode extension from Fox in addition to a spot on the fall schedule, Reuters reports.

“Dad” had an original order of 19 episodes, including the pilot. Four have aired so far, with several more slated to run in the summer. Because Fox already had ordered several additional “Dad” scripts, production on the new batch of 13 episodes will start immediately, and the segments will become available in the spring. The new 13-episode order ensures that “Dad” will stay in continuous production.

“Dad,” which premiered last month after a high-profile preview after the Super Bowl, centers on a family man who works for the CIA and is on constant lookout for terrorist cells. The show follows “Family Guy” at 9:30 Sunday nights.

Compiled by Christian Toto from staff and wire reports.

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