- The Washington Times - Thursday, March 17, 2005

Delayed ‘Prozac’ reaction

Christina Ricci’s much-delayed feature “Prozac Nation” has finally found a home — Starz.

The film, based on author Elizabeth Wurtzel’s famous book, premieres at 9 p.m. tomorrow on the cable network.

“Prozac Nation,” which co-stars Jason Biggs, Anne Heche, Jessica Lange and Michelle Williams, was shot in 2000 and has been resting on the Miramax studio shelf ever since because some deemed it too depressing. It follows a young woman (Miss Ricci) grappling with depression, drugs and debauchery during her freshman year at Harvard University.

‘Dragons’ ‘ tales told

You will believe dragons really did once roam the earth and skies, so good are the visuals behind the new Animal Planet feature “Dragons: A Fantasy Made Real.”

The program, which airs at 8 p.m. Sunday, depicts a world in which these mythical creatures truly existed. The special leverages computer-generated wizardry to wondrous effect, and those curious how those images became reality can watch the 9:30 p.m. special on the making of the digital dragons.

‘Great Balls’ of hype

Unlike “Ray,” not every musical biopic goes on to win Oscars.

Back in 1989, the life of Jerry Lee Lewis seemed poised for box-office glory. Hot actor Dennis Quaid looked every inch the sinful rocker, and few musicians led as theatrical a life as Mr. Lewis.

So why did “Great Balls of Fire” fizzle with critics and audiences alike?

Viewers can give the film a fresh look at 7:30 p.m. tomorrow on Country Music Television. Mr. Quaid gives a full-bodied performance as the restless rocker, and Winona Ryder plays his youthful bride.

The film is worth seeing for the music alone, lip-synced by Mr. Quaid. And those who feel today’s rockers should be publicly stigmatized for their foul behavior can watch society do just that after Mr. Lewis marries his 13-year-old cousin.

CMT repeats the film at 2 p.m. Sunday.

‘ER’ still on call

NBC has more than just the umpteenth variation on “Law & Order” on its schedule. There’s a little show called “ER,” a ratings workhorse in its 11th season.

Add to that 12th, 13th and 14th, if NBC keeps its word.

The network is set to extend the show’s lease on life for an additional two seasons, according to the Reuters News Agency. NBC’s current contract for the show runs through the upcoming 2005-06 season. The new pact would cover the 2006-07 and 2007-08 seasons, sources said.

An NBC spokeswoman declined comment on the matter late last week, as did a representative for Warner Bros. TV, which produces the show.

“ER” has been a stalwart for NBC during what has so far been a rocky season. The Thursday 10 p.m. drama is tied with “The Apprentice 2” as the peacock’s top show in the 18 to 49 demographic, averaging a 7.8 rating and 20 share for the season. It is also NBC’s most-watched program overall by a considerable margin, averaging 16.5 million viewers for the season.

The “ER” pickup raises questions about the show’s ever-changing ensemble cast. Noah Wyle, the only original cast member to stay with the show through its entire run, has said he is considering leaving the series at the end of this season. The show has weathered the losses of many key stars, including George Clooney and Anthony Edwards, without losing too many viewers.

Compiled by Christian Toto from staff and wire reports

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