- The Washington Times - Sunday, March 6, 2005

New ‘Party’ slot

The Discovery Channel’s “Party Planner” program has a new time slot starting today.

The series, which stars party design expert David Tutera, can now be seen weekdays at 11 a.m.

Each “Party” episode finds Mr. Tutera transforming staid affairs into ones to be remembered.

Today’s installment features a party for daytime soap diva Susan Lucci (concocted by Mr. Tutera) to celebrate her receiving a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Bob gets ‘Desperate’

Comedy icon Bob Newhart is moving to Wisteria Lane.

The star of the beloved sitcoms “Newhart” and “The Bob Newhart Show” is joining the cast of ABC’s “Desperate Housewives” on a recurring basis, according to ABC.

The comic actor will play Morty, the estranged boyfriend of Susan’s mom, Sophie (guest star Lesley Ann Warren), on the Sunday night hit.

Mr. Newhart’s first appearance will be sometime next month.

The dry comic’s profile has been higher than it’s been in over a decade. He co-starred in the TNT original film “The Librarian: Quest for the Spear” and recently appeared in “Legally Blonde 2: Red, White and Blonde” and “Elf” on the big screen.

Mr. Newhart earned the Mark Twain Prize for Humor in 2002 and will be honored with TV Land’s Icon Award for “The Bob Newhart Show” on Sunday.

The classic sitcom’s first season will land on DVD shelves next month.

‘Shore’ leave

The cast and crew of Fox’s “North Shore” are saying “aloha” to Hawaii — and to their fans.

Show producer Harry Bring told Associated Press Fox isn’t ordering new episodes of the hotel drama, which shut down in December two episodes short of its planned 22-episode season.

“There was no reason given yet,” he told AP. “I don’t know if it was cost, ratings or whatever.”

The hour-long drama, which premiered last summer, was about the young staff at a posh Hawaiian hotel. It was savaged by critics and failed to attract big ratings.

War’ stories renewed

The Discovery Times Channel has commissioned a full season of the network’s original limited series “Off to War,” which follows the citizen soldiers of the Arkansas National Guard both at home and in Iraq.

The show’s first three episodes aired last year. An additional seven installments will air this year under the new deal.

The unit filmed for the series is slated to return home soon and the filmmakers — brothers Brent and Craig Renaud of Little Rock, Ark.— will trail them with their cameras all the way.

Cursed no more

If Jason Alexander can last an entire season (and maybe longer) on CBS’ “Listen Up,” perhaps the much ballyhooed “Seinfeld” curse will have been broken.

The “Seinfeld” supporting cast has struggled to find steady work in the show’s aftermath. Mr. Alexander (who starred as George Costanza on the long-running NBC sitcom) bombed with the 2001 comedy “Bob Patterson” while Michael Richards (Kramer) suffered a similar fate with his self-named sitcom back in 2000.

However, Mr. Alexander’s sitcom is close to wrapping its first season and a renewal could be in the offing.

Julia Louis-Dreyfus —who played Elaine on the landmark comedy — will be the next among the “Seinfeld” cast to put the curse theory to the test when she stars in the upcoming CBS comedy pilot “Old Christine,” Reuters News Agency reports.

She’ll play a thirtysomething divorced mom who tries to keep pace with everyone around her.

Miss Louis-Dreyfus’ “Watching Ellie” hung on for a spell before being mercifully canceled in 2002. But she redeemed herself with some stellar work on Fox’s “Arrested Development.” She also surfaced on “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” the Emmy-winning sitcom from “Seinfeld” co-creator Larry David.

Thompson remembered

The Biography Channel offers a complex portrait of the late Hunter S. Thompson tonight — complete with some of the last interviews he gave before his suicide last month.

“Biography: Hunter S. Thompson” airs at 9 p.m. on the cable channel as part of its “Rebels” week. Other cultural outlaws to be profiled include Abbie Hoffman and Jimi Hendrix.

Mr. Thompson, who was 67, pioneered the so-called “gonzo” brand of journalism in which he became an integral part of his stories. His signature work, “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas,” captured a drug-fueled trip through Sin City.

The special features interviews with Mr. Thompson and his wife and son, as well as longtime collaborator Ralph Steadman, “Fear and Loathing” editor Douglas Brinkley and E. Jean Carroll, the author of “Hunter: The Strange and Savage Life of Hunter S. Thompson.”

Compiled by Christian Toto from staff and wire reports.

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