- The Washington Times - Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Freddie’ ready to roll

After starring on the big screen in “Scooby-Doo” and “I Know What You Did Last Summer,” Freddie Prinze Jr. enters the world of television sitcoms with “Freddie,” debuting at 8:30 tonight on ABC.

He plays Chicago chef Freddie Moreno, whose “bachelor pad” is also home to his grandmother, sister, niece and sister-in-law. Quarters are cramped, but Freddie manages to have some guy time with his buddy, Chris (Brian Austin Green).

Mr. Prinze, who lived with his mother after the suicide of his famous father, actor-comedian Freddie Prinze Sr. (star of NBC’s “Chico and the Man”) in 1977, says “Freddie” is a slight reflection of his own life.

“I was raised by women,” Mr. Prinze, 29, told Scripps Howard News Service. “When I had my first sort of experience with success in this business, I had a touch of tragedy in my family, and everyone was forced to move in with me. I quickly lost my bedroom and would just sort of go on the 405 (a freeway in Los Angeles) to unwind and relax at rush hour.”

Still, he says he has no regrets about that time in his life.

“I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world,” says Mr. Prinze, who is married to actress Sarah Michelle Gellar. “That’s what I was raised with — my mother, my grandmother and my god-sisters. Maybe I’m a glutton for punishment, but I can’t have it any other way.”

Twin blessings

“The Parkers’” Mo’Nique has two new reasons to be grateful this week — their names are Jonathan and David.

The Baltimore-born actress-comedian gave birth to twin boys Oct. 3, her sister Millicent Imes told Associated Press Friday.

“She’s doing well. She’s still recovering in the hospital,” Miss Imes said.

The boys’ father is Mo’Nique’s fiance, Sidney Hicks, AP reported.

Mo’Nique — full name Mo’Nique Imes-Jackson — gained popularity as single mother Nikki Parker on the sitcom “The Parkers,” which ran for five seasons on UPN. This summer, she hosted “Mo’Nique’s Fat Chance,” a beauty pageant for full-figured women.

Mo’Nique, 37, also appears in the new film “Domino,” which opens Friday.

‘Chief’ soars for ABC

If the early polls are an indication, Mackenzie Allen has replaced Jed Bartlet as TV viewers’ favorite fictional president.

ABC’s “Commander in Chief,” in which Geena Davis portrays Allen, landed in Nielsen Media Research’s top 10 last week with just under 17 million viewers. It was the only new series to increase its audience between the first and second weeks this season, Associated Press reported yesterday, citing data from Nielsen Media Research.

Meanwhile, NBC’s “The West Wing,” where Martin Sheen’s Bartlet is winding down his term of office, is fading in its seventh season after shifting to a new Sunday time slot. In its first three episodes this season, “The West Wing” has seen viewership tumble by 37 percent from last year, even more among young viewers, Nielsen said.

The series is in the midst of a presidential campaign involving characters played by Alan Alda and Jimmy Smits. The show will have a live episode Nov. 6 featuring a debate between the two fictional contenders.

Without an improvement in the ratings, the campaign’s winner might not serve too long. “The West Wing” was seen by just under 8 million people last week; competitors “Cold Case” on CBS and “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” on ABC both drew nearly double the audience.

Overall, results were the same for the third week of the TV season as they had been for the first two: CBS was the most popular network, and ABC won among the 18-to-49-year-old viewers that advertisers seek.

CBS averaged 12.8 million viewers for the week, ABC had 10.9 million, NBC 9.7 million, Fox 8.4 million, the WB 3.8 million, UPN 3.3 million and Pax TV 570,000.

For the week of Oct. 3 through 9, the top five shows, their networks and viewerships were: “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation,” CBS, 28.8 million; “Desperate Housewives,” ABC, 26.1 million; “Lost,” ABC, 22.4 million; “Without a Trace,” CBS, 21.2 million; and “CSI: Miami,” CBS, 18.7 million.

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

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