- The Washington Times - Tuesday, March 8, 2005

New ‘Dreams’ time

NBC’s struggling period drama “American Dreams” tries on a new time slot for size tonight in hopes of boosting its renewal chances.

The show, now airing Wednesdays at 8 p.m., chronicles the turbulent 1960s through the eyes of a Philadelphia teenager (played by Brittany Snow) and her family. Healthy dollops of the era’s music are an integral part of each show, with today’s artists stepping back in time to portray the pop stars of the not-so-distant past.

“Dreams’” current season wraps March 30 after 18 episodes instead of the typical 22 — a sign the network is hedging its bets on the family-friendly show’s future.

King returning to TV

Actress Regina King, who began her career on the NBC sitcom “227” and recently dazzled moviegoers in “Ray,” is returning to her TV roots.

She’ll co-star on “The Unit,” a CBS pilot about the members of a Special Forces unit and their families, according to Reuters News Agency.

Miss King next appears in “Miss Congeniality 2: Armed and Fabulous,” which stars Sandra Bullock.

Parker, HBO reunite

Sarah Jessica Parker and HBO are renewing their ties.

The “Sex and the City” star has inked a two-year deal to develop and produce series and other programming for the premium cable channel through her production company, Associated Press reports.

Miss Parker earned an Emmy, Golden Globes and Screen Actors Guild awards playing swinging single Carrie Bradshaw on the revered HBO sitcom.

The deal between HBO and Miss Parker’s Pretty Matches Productions was announced yesterday by Carolyn Strauss, president of HBO Entertainment.

Miss Parker is shooting “The Family Stone” for director Thomas Bezucha and has a number of other upcoming film projects, including the romantic comedy “Failure to Launch,” due out next year.

McMahon heads home

Former “Tonight Show” sidekick Ed McMahon headed home yesterday after spending a few days in the hospital recovering from a fall in his Beverly Hills home, Associated Press reports.

The man with a laugh that launched a legion of imitators received several stitches for a gash in his forehead and suffered a mild concussion when he tripped and fell Friday afternoon, publicist Susan DuBow said.

He spent his 82nd birthday Sunday in the hospital.

“I feel great, and now I’m going to celebrate my 82nd birthday properly,” Mr. McMahon said in a statement.

The Catholic University alumnus is best known for serving as Johnny Carson’s sidekick for 30 years on NBC’s long-running “Tonight Show.”

Immortality TV

Reality television has covered just about every situation — from mating and dating to eating all manner of vile insects on a dare.

Now Fox is banking on a new program that will confront the biggest issue facing us all, our life expectancy.

The upcoming “Who Wants to Live Forever?” is described by the network as a series in which “everyday people are confronted with their mortality, motivating them to make surprising and dramatic changes in their lifestyles,” Reuters News Agency reports.

Fox Broadcasting Co. has given a production commitment to Fox Television Studios and U.K.-based Zig Zag Productions for the show. Specifics of the program are still sketchy.

Associated Press reports that it’s generally believed that “Live Forever” will focus on doctors and others as they provide advice to contestants about making lifestyle changes that can prolong their lives. Part of the show will involve medical screenings that will enable the panel of experts to offer an educated guess on just how long that contestant will live.

The series is expected to premiere soon on British Sky Broadcasting’s Sky One in the United Kingdom. Fox Television Studios has acquired distribution rights to Zig Zag’s format in all territories outside the United Kingdom.

Compiled by Christian Toto from staff and wire reports.

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