- The Washington Times - Thursday, May 19, 2005

Kudrow’s ‘Comeback’

Art will imitate life at HBO.

The cable network is prepping “The Comeback,” a new comedy series starring Lisa Kudrow as an aging actress looking for a career renaissance, Reuters News Agency reports.

The “Friends” star will need a strong vehicle to prove she’s more than a one-sitcom wonder. Her work in “Analyze This” proved she has the comic chops, but much of her other film work, particularly “Marci X,” fell flat.

Her new show, bowing June 5, is a mockumentary collaboration with Michael Patrick King about a former sitcom star who stumbles into a dual second act: a role on a rancid sitcom while a reality show follows the process.

The second episode of “Comeback” features a painfully funny sequence depicting a “network upfront presentation” (in which networks trot out their latest projects to advertisers).

Miss Kudrow’s Valerie Cherish character realizes how much network TV has changed when her new show is introduced after the executives have gushed over the prospects for two new reality offerings: “Take That” — in which newly married couples are challenged to bash each other with pipes, shovels and boards — and “The Search for America’s Next Great Porn Star.”

E! adds 13

E! Entertainment Television isn’t taking a vacation this summer.

The network announced earlier this week that it’s adding 13 series and specials to its lineup in time for the dog days of summer, Reuters News Agency reports.

“Fight for Fame,” to debut June 5, is a nine-episode series that features five aspiring actors competing to get signed with a major Hollywood talent agency. “Party at the Palms,” premiering June 15, is a six-episode series that takes viewers inside exclusive parties at Palms Casino Hotel in Las Vegas.

“Kill Reality” goes behind the scenes as former reality stars get the chance to act in a feature film while also living together. The show is slated to debut in July.

The network’s “Cattle Drive” sounds like a knockoff of Fox’s “The Simple Life.” The eight-episode reality series follows celebrity offspring as they leave their privileged lives and head to the open range.

The most ironically titled new show is “The Girls Next Door,” which will bow in August. “Girls” takes viewers into the Playboy Mansion through the eyes of the women who live there and party with Hugh Hefner.

Meanwhile, professional party girl Tara Reid is in talks with E! to become the next host of its travelogue show “Wild On.” Cindy Taylor was the most recent host.

The specials gearing up for summertime include “Totally High” (June 12), a look at the best and worst celebrities from 1993-97 using high school superlatives, and “That Was Huge” (June 19), a retrospective of past pop-culture phenomena.

Coldplay’s ‘Leak’

MTV rewards Coldplay fans with an advance spin of the British band’s new album next month with an extension of its online “Leak” series.

“The Leak” is MTV’s Internet series that gives Net surfers an early taste of upcoming music. Now, the channel is spinning the series off into a broadcast program, using the new Coldplay album as a selling point.

The first “Live Leak” program, to air June 5, will feature the band premiering music from their new album “X&Y.” The rockers will perform in MTV’s Times Square studio for the hourlong concert.

Prior to the show, MTV will air a half-hour Coldplay special bringing fans up to speed on the new album.

“X&Y” hits the street June 7.

Compiled by Christian Toto from staff and wire reports.

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