- The Washington Times - Sunday, November 13, 2005

Oprah notches 20

Oprah Winfrey isn’t likely to forget today’s star-laden tribute (4 p.m. on WJLA- Channel 7) celebrating her show’s 20 years and its storied history — and she’s seeing to it that you won’t either.

Arriving just in time for the watershed event is “The Oprah Winfrey Show — 20th Anniversary DVD Collection,” due in stores tomorrow.

The six-disc set chronicles Lady O’s formidable success from her early years (which included a brief stint at Baltimore’s WJZ-TV in 1976), her struggles with weight, her epiphanies— known in Oprah-speak as “light-bulb moments” — plus her most memorable interviews and celebrated philanthropy. Also included are behind-the-scenes and bloopers reels, the inside story of Oprah’s Book Club, excerpts from her “Wildest Dreams” segments and footage of her 50th birthday bash in 2004.

All proceeds from the special DVD package will benefit Miss Winfrey’s Angel Network, a charitable foundation that, according to its Web site, is “dedicated to inspiring people to make a difference in the lives of others.”

Viva Las Vegas

What happens in Vegas not only doesn’t stay there but also becomes fodder for a new PBS series, debuting tonight.

The network’s “American Experience” series heads west for “Las Vegas: An Unconventional History,” airing in two 90-minute segments tonight and tomorrow at 9 p.m. on WETA-Channel 26.

The film from producer Stephen Ives and writer Michelle Ferrari chronicles the city’s growth from its founding in 1905 to its present-day status as an entertainment mecca. The two segments, titled “Sin City” and “American Mecca,” will examine the players behind the desert oasis (including mobster Bugsy Siegel) and the forces that have kept Vegas ahead — or out of — the American mainstream, notes the Associated Press.

The city was the first to legalize gambling and one of the first to dissolve the color line that discriminated against minorities, according to the film.

More ‘Freddie’

ABC has given the go-ahead for a full-season order of 22 episodes for its new comedy “Freddie,” reports Zap2it.com.

The sitcom, along with new dramas “Commander in Chief” and “Invasion,” becomes the network’s third season pickup. However, ABC has yet to decide the fate of its other new comedy, “Hot Properties,” which has drawn mediocre ratings on Friday nights, and the drama “Night Stalker,” which is struggling on Thursdays.

“Freddie,” loosely based on show star and executive producer Freddie Prinze Jr.’s life growing up in a house full of women, has enjoyed some modest success in its Wednesday time slot (at 8:30 p.m.), regularly building on its lead-in, “George Lopez,” in the adult demographics advertisers love to target.

Cattrall’s back

After a six-year run as ultra-chic vamp Samantha Jones on HBO’s “Sex and the City,” movie audiences couldn’t quite buy Kim Cattrall’s turn as a dowdy skating instructor in this year’s box office flop “Ice Princess.”

However, a whiff of the sultry Samantha returns tomorrow when Miss Cattrall hosts “Kim Cattrall: Sexual Intelligence,” an HBO documentary based on her new book of the same name.

The show, which airs at 10:30 p.m. and has earned a TV-MA rating for its mature content, will examine what turns us on — and why — as explained by Miss Cattrall and several experts on human sexuality.

Arrest’ development

The world will have to wait for reputed mobster Chris Colombo’s small-screen debut.

HBO canceled today’s press screening for Mr. Colombo’s “House Arrest” because of what it called “insufficient turnout,” reports the New York Daily News.

But the announcement, made Friday, came one day after Manhattan federal prosecutors said they want the son of legendary mob boss Joe Colombo to be restricted to his Orange County home 24 hours a day while he awaits his racketeering trial.

“Arrest,” a reality show that tracks Mr. Columbo’s attempts to live up to his court-imposed conditions, reportedly showed him visiting a Reiki therapist, a Bronx tailor, a church confessional, a Chinese restaurant and frolicking with topless dancers at a strip club before racing home to meet his curfew and play poker with friends, according to reports from CNN and Reuters news agency.

Prosecutors said Mr. Columbo abused the conditions of his bail by “gallivanting” around town with cameras in tow for the series. The first episode is scheduled to air on HBO Nov. 24.

Neither attorneys for Mr. Colombo nor a spokesperson for HBO could be immediately reached for comment, Reuters reported.

Compiled by Robyn-Denise Yourse from staff, Web and wire reports.

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