- The Washington Times - Thursday, November 17, 2005

One night on ‘Earth’

The laughs are plentiful, but the subject matter is deadly serious in “Earth to America!,” a comedy extravaganza that hopes to foster public awareness of environmental issues.

Some of Hollywood’s funniest minds will keep the jokes flowing while giving props to mother earth during the two-hour special airing Sunday at 8 p.m. on TBS. Included in the all-star lineup: Cedric the Entertainer, Stephen Colbert, Rob Corddry, Al Franken, Christopher Guest, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Tom Hanks, Kevin Nealon, Wanda Sykes, Robin Williams, the cast of Broadway’s “Avenue Q,” Triumph the Insult Comic Dog, Will Ferrell, Martin Short, Ben Stiller Steve Martin, Jack Black and Larry David.

The “Earth to America” program was created in 2000 by Mr. David’s wife, Laurie, as a fundraiser in Los Angeles for the Natural Resources Defense Council.

By chance, “Earth’s” broadcast — filled with stand-up bits, sketches and video vignettes about protecting the Earth — comes just one week after news of an environmental spat between the Davids and their Martha’s Vineyard neighbors came to light.

The Detroit Free Press, citing a story in Radar magazine, reported that some residents are accusing the couple of endangering protected wetlands by building a concrete bonfire pit and outdoor theater on an environmentally sensitive patch of their 14-acre property — without the proper permits.

Mr. David’s response, according to the newspaper: “Imagine my surprise when I discovered that the person — actually a friend — whom I hired to oversee installing a barbecue area (among other things) on Martha’s Vineyard, was completely negligent in obtaining proper permits, which he assured us and others numerous times he had. In short, we were scammed.”

The reported “scammer” is Michael Halbreich, identified by Radar as the Davids’ former property manager. According to the Detroit Free Press, Mr. Halbreich, an attorney, declined comment, but has reportedly sworn that his clients were fully aware they lacked permission for the work, the newspaper said.

‘Housewives’ havoc

ABC’s top-rated “Desperate Housewives” has experienced drama both on and off the set in recent weeks. On screen, Susan (Teri Hatcher) and Mike’s (James Denton) romance ended in a spectacular blowout. And in real life, new cast member Page Kennedy — who played Caleb, the mysterious madman who escaped from Betty Applewhite’s (Alfre Woodard) basement — was let go for “improper conduct,” ABC said (a charge the actor denies).

What’s next?

The series revs up the action involving several characters and ongoing plot lines in Sunday’s installment at 9 p.m. The episode, titled “The Sun Won’t Set,” finds Caleb (now being played by Nashawn Kearse) still on the loose, Susan learning a shocking secret about her dad at her mom’s (Lesley Ann Warren) wedding and Bree (Marcia Cross) growing suspicious of her new fiance, George (Roger Bart).

Gee, wonder what finally tips her off? His overall creepiness? His drugging and sexually assaulting her at that quaint country inn? Or perhaps his involvement in murdering her husband — and now, it seems, her psychiatrist, too. In last week’s episode, George pushed the shrink off a bridge after the doctor advised Bree to rethink her engagement.

Talkin’ turkey

Haven’t started shopping for the upcoming Thanksgiving feast?

Then pull up a chair and block out a chunk of time for the Food Network’s nonstop lineup of programs on holiday fare, from soup to nuts.

Beginning tomorrow at 7:30 a.m., the cable network rolls out an Italian Thanksgiving on “Everyday Italian,” “All About Turkey” on “Sara’s Secrets” (8 a.m.), the “30 Minute Thankful Feast” on Rachael Ray’s “30 Minute Meals” (8:30 a.m.), “Thanksgiving Leftovers” on the “Essence of Emeril” (9 a.m.) and “Thanksgiving Made Easy” on “How to Boil Water” (9:30 a.m.).

And that’s just for starters.

Other favorite network hosts — such as Paula Deen (“Paula’s Home Cooking”), Ina Garten “The Barefoot Contessa”), Michael Chiarello (“Easy Entertaining”) and Dave Lieberman (“Good Deal”) — also talk turkey and trimmings at various times throughout the day and well into the night. The complete schedule of shows and times is available at Foodnetwork.com.

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

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