- The Washington Times - Sunday, April 16, 2006

All about ‘Brian’

Stop us if you’ve heard this scenario before. “What About Brian,” ABC’s new dramedy, follows a single, thirtysomething guy who just wants to meet that someone special.

These days, doesn’t every other show, in one way or another, deal with decent, attractive yet desperate singles? “Brian’s” wrinkle, however, is that the title character immerses himself with pals who already are coupled with significant others.

The new series, making its official debut tonight at 10 (after a sneak peek last night) doesn’t reinvent the wheel, but at times it feels like a pleasant pit stop. Star Barry Watson of “7th Heaven” fame might be too reserved to gain mass appeal, but he’s still relatable as the baffled Brian.

His posse of coupled buddies, played by Matthew Davis and Rick Gomez, suffer their own indignities. One friend, in fact, who has been married for 13 years, is considering an open marriage to reignite the passion between him and his wife.

Yet the key story line appears to be centered on Brian’s infatuation with Marjorie (Sarah Lancaster), his best friend’s (Mr. Davis) main squeeze. Is Brian too good a guy to steal his buddy’s girl? We’re about to see.

New show is on a roll

Pro skateboarder Rob Dyrdek hired his bodyguard, Christopher “Big Black” Boykin, to protect him from the cops and security guards who hassled him as he pursued his latest challenge.

MTV will explore the bond between the two fast friends in a new reality series this fall, Reuters news agency reports.

Mr. Dyrdek started skating when he was 12 and was a professional skateboarder at 16. He lives in a Hollywood Hills home with Mr. Boykin, an odd coupling that the network hopes will create reality show sparks.

Mr. Dyrdek sure thinks it will.

“Since day one, Big Black and I hit it off,” Mr. Dyrdek says. “Life with him is all-day comedy. I can’t wait for everyone to see what we’re all about; the world doesn’t know what it’s in for.”

Fox gets Web fever

Fox is leaping aboard the Internet bandwagon with a plan to release reruns of its most popular shows online, Reuters reports, citing a story published in the Wall Street Journal.

According to Reuters, the News Corp-owned network has signed a six-year agreement with its 187 affiliated stations to make the Web showings possible. The revenue-sharing agreement allows Fox to make 60 percent of its prime-time schedule available online the morning after the shows air, the Journal reported.

The formula is complex, but stations essentially will get a 12.5 percent cut after costs, the newspaper said.

A News Corp. spokesman was not immediately available for comment.

Fox, home of hit programs such as “American Idol” and “The Simpsons,” is the latest television network to take a shot at making its programming available online as more people turn to the Internet for entertainment.

Last week, ABC announced that it will offer some of its most popular shows, including “Lost” for free on an advertising-supported Web service.

In December, NBC began offering programs for sale on Apple Computer Inc.’s ITunes downloading service.

Compiled by Christian Toto from staff and wire reports.



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