- The Washington Times - Wednesday, May 4, 2005

Potter peek

ABC gives viewers a peek at the upcoming Harry Potter film this weekend during a broadcast of “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.”

Viewers will see film clips, cast interviews and behind-the-scenes footage from “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire,” the fourth film in the series, during Saturday’s showing of “Chamber” at 7 p.m. The broadcast will be hosted by “Harry Potter” stars Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint and includes 13 minutes of additional footage from “Chamber of Secrets.”

The new “Potter,” scheduled for a November release, is under the direction of Mike Newell (“Four Weddings and a Funeral”).

Ferrell ‘Live’ again

Comic actor Will Ferrell returns to his roots later this month as host of the show that vaulted him to national stardom.

Mr. Ferrell will host “Saturday Night Live” on May 14, Associated Press reports. Queens of the Stone age will appear as the musical guest.

Mr. Ferrell appeared on the show for seven seasons. He left it in 2002 for a film career and proved a major draw with two hit movies, “Elf” and “Anchorman.”

The funnyman, 37, is best remembered by “SNL” fans for his impersonation of the current President Bush, as Craig the Spartan cheerleader and as half of a loony married musical duo who massacre pop hits.

His latest film, “Kicking and Screaming,” opens May 13.

Warnings wanted

Americans generally agree that television shows should feature warnings when unsavory content is headed their way. What we can’t agree upon is whether to ban such content, reports Reuters News Agency, citing a poll released this week.

The survey of 1,002 participants was commissioned in March by TV Watch, a new coalition formed to counter a crackdown on what’s being aired on broadcast radio and television or cable and satellite services.

Nearly 90 percent strongly agreed or somewhat agreed that there should be advisories and ratings about potentially offensive content they may want to avoid, according to the survey, done by pollsters Frank Luntz and Peter Hart. However, while 48 percent either strongly or somewhat agreed that television stations should not air such shows, nearly 50 percent said they somewhat disagreed or strongly disagreed, the survey found.

A large majority, 85 percent, said they preferred to have parents rather than government exercise control over what children watch. The margin of error was plus or minus 3.1 percentage points.

Additionally, 89 percent said parents would do a better job protecting their children from indecent material on TV and radio, compared to 10 percent who said the government would better protect them.

TV Watch includes media companies as well as organizations that may not always find common ground on policy issues, such as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the Center for Creative Voices in Media, which seeks media independence.

French connection

Legendary actress Catherine Deneuve made one of her first appearances at the Cannes Film Festival with “Les Parapluies de Cherbourg.”

The acclaimed 1964 feature, also known as “The Umbrellas of Cherbourg,” airs tonight at 10:25 p.m. on TV5 USA. The French cable channel is available to Comcast subscribers.

The film, which co-stars Nino Castelnuovo, Anne Vernon and Marc Michel, is set in 1957 and follows a 17-year-old girl (Miss Deneuve) who must marry a wealthy gem dealer to help her raise her child from a previous relationship.

The tragic saga is sung, not spoken, one reason the film remains a standout today.

TV5 is the only all-French channel available nationally in the United States.

CMT’s soldiers

Cable’s Country Music Television is developing “American Soldier,” a new series that will follow a small-town National Guard brigade headed to Iraq.

The series, according to CMT, will take what the network calls a “courageous and patriotic” look at the soldiers as they hit the ground running in Operation Iraqi Freedom. The network, to date, has ordered six episodes of the series.

Compiled by Christian Toto from staff and wire reports.

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