- The Washington Times - Monday, May 30, 2005

‘Star’ search

“Seeing Stars,” the latest series from the TV Guide Channel, hopes to tap into the celebrity it believes is inside us all.

The new program, debuting at 8 tonight, features hypnotist Ricky Kalmon attempting to convince people on the street that they’re either TV stars or appearing on a major show. In tonight’s episode, two men will be hypnotized into thinking they’re trying to woo reality television’s “Bachelorette” — when, in fact, they are professing their undying love to a nearby tree. Later, another luckless stranger is hypnotized into thinking he’s William Shatner and tries to sign autographs for passers-by.

“Seeing Stars” will feature new episodes in this time slot through the summer, TV Guide Channel reports.

Nails bails out

Nine Inch Nails is dropping out of the MTV Movie Awards show because the network won’t let the band attempt an anti-Bush protest, Associated Press reports.

The group wanted to play its new song “The Hand That Feeds” with a picture of President Bush hanging behind them. The song criticizes the war in Iraq, featuring such lyrics as: “What if this whole crusade’s a charade/ And behind it all there’s a price to be paid/ For the blood on which we dine/ Justified in the name of the holy and the divine.”

MTV, in a statement to its news division, said it was disappointed the industrial rock band would not perform but added the network had been “uncomfortable with their performance being built around a partisan political statement.”

The Foo Fighters, who like NIN are no friends of the president, will perform in place of the Trent Reznor-led band at the awards ceremony, which will be taped Saturday in Los Angeles. The program will air June 9 on the cable music channel.

Mr. Reznor, responding to MTV’s comments, posted an acerbic comment on his band’s Web site. “Apparently, the image of our president is as offensive to MTV as it is to me,” the posting read.

In related but less contentious news, the awards show will feature a “Breakfast Club” reunion with several cast members from the 1985 film.

Emilio Estevez, who played Andrew Clark, has not confirmed his appearance to date, but fellow cast members — including Molly Ringwald (Claire Standish), Ally Sheedy (Allison Reynolds), Anthony Michael Hall (Brian Johnson) and Judd Nelson (John Bender) — are expected to attend.

“The Breakfast Club” was directed by John Hughes, who had a string of hit films in the 1980s centered on the trials and tribulations of young people. The list includes “Sixteen Candles” (1984), “Weird Science” (1985) and “Pretty in Pink” and “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” (both from 1986).

Yellowcard, the Florida punk-pop quintet, will perform the film’s theme song, “Don’t You Forget About Me.” The song originally was recorded by Simple Minds.

Not the retiring kind

The answer is: Not anytime soon.

The question: Is “Jeopardy!” host Alex Trebek considering retirement?

The Canadian-born game-show host, who turns 65 in July, says he hopes to model his career after a certain fellow game-show legend.

“Who knows? I may want to go on like Bob Barker into his late 70s and beyond,” he said in a recent interview with Associated Press.

Mr. Trebek is under contract for two more seasons on “Jeopardy!” This fall will be his 22nd season, and he wants to shoot for 25, at least. Meanwhile, the 81-year-old Mr. Barker is gearing up for his 33rd season on his long-running game show, “The Price Is Right.”

“As long as I can do the job and do it at a level that satisfies me, I’d like to keep going,” Mr. Trebek told AP.

Desperate’ reversal

Cosmetics giant Mary Kay won’t be cruising down Wisteria Lane after all.

The company was to have bought ad time on the ABC hit “Desperate Housewives,” but it changed course following criticism from a conservative Christian group, according to E! Online.

Donald E. Wildmon, leader of the American Family Association, posted a commentary on its Web site (www.afa.net) questioning how Mary Kay — whose company philosophy is “God first, family second and career third” — could buy into a show he says promotes infidelity, seduction and promiscuity, E! Online reports.

Associated Press quotes a Mary Kay corporate spokesperson as saying the company has adjusted its forthcoming advertising plan, in part based on calls from concerned employees and Mary Kay customers, and the revised buys won’t include “Desperate Housewives.”

Aside from placating its base, Mary Kay’s move also will save the Dallas-based company some serious dollars.

Advertising Age magazine reported the asking price for a 30-second spot on “Housewives” jumped from an initial $150,000 to $300,000 once the show became a runaway hit. That figure is expected to climb again for the fall season, advertising experts said.

Compiled by Christian Toto from staff and wire reports.

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