- The Washington Times - Tuesday, December 5, 2006

The time of their lives

“Dirty Dancing,” the 1987 film that made Patrick Swayze a star and introduced one of the most memorable lines in films (“Nobody puts Baby in a corner”) continues to extend its shelf life nearly 20 years after its release.

Aside from numerous showings on cable, a hit musical based on the movie is playing in London’s West End — and now “Dirty Dancing” the series is cha-cha-ing its way onto television.

The new reality show, bowing at 10 tonight on cable’s WE channel, is hosted by former backup dancer Cris Judd — better known as the ex-Mr. Jennifer Lopez, thanks to his two-year marriage to the star — and whisks female dancers off to a secluded Southern California camp where they meet the six male instructors who will turn them into dirty dancers.

On tonight’s premiere, 30 young women will receive extensive training in their respective dance styles, ranging from tango to ballroom to hip-hop. After the first grueling session, just 18 will remain, and over the next eight weeks, they will compete for a chance to become the show’s “Baby.”

Wait … there’s more.

The winner also will receive a professional dance contract from Anita Mann Productions — a Santa Monica, Calif.-based company which, according to its Web site, has produced several large-scale entertainments, including the Miss America Pageant; several children’s touring shows, including “Power Rangers Live” and “Arthur”; and revues for a chain of hotels, casinos and cruise ships.

A home for the holiday

The White House just might be the best decorated home in the country this Christmas.

Those who want to know how all the magic is made should plan on watching “White House Christmas 2006” tonight at 8 on HGTV.

Robin McGraw, a best-selling author and correspondent on her husband’s syndicated show, “Dr. Phil,” will host. The hourlong special will explore how dozens of decorators, bakers and volunteers showcase yards of garland, hundreds of wreaths and nearly two dozen trees for the more than 45,000 visitors expected to pass through the Executive Mansion during the holiday season.

CBS on top — again

As Mandy Patinkin and his crew of FBI profilers are proving on “Criminal Minds,” there’s a seemingly unquenchable thirst for a well-told crime story on television.

CBS’ sophomore drama reached its biggest audience yet of just under 18 million last week and earned a big reward. The network announced that a “Criminal Minds” episode will get the plum time slot following the Feb. 4 Super Bowl.

In their Wednesday-night competition, “Criminal Minds” beat ABC’s “Lost” the last two times they went head to head, Associated Press reports, citing data from Nielsen Media Research.

Not all the news was good for CBS: Network suits gave the medical drama “3 Lbs” a mercy killing after it drew just 8 million viewers last week.

Overall, CBS won the week, averaging 11.8 million viewers. NBC was second with 10.4 million and won among the 18-to-49-year-old audience that advertisers crave. Following were ABC with 10 million, Fox with 8.2 million, the CW with 3.8 million (2.4, 4) and the I network with 530,000 viewers.

For the week of Nov. 27 to Dec. 3, the top five shows, their networks and viewerships were: “Grey’s Anatomy,” ABC, 24 million; “NFL Post Game Show,” Fox, 21.8 million; “NCIS,” CBS, 17.9 million; “Criminal Minds,” CBS, 17.9 million; and “Deal or No Deal” (Monday), NBC, 17.7 million.

Compiled by Kelly Jane Torrance and Robyn-Denise Yourse from staff, Web and wire reports

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