- The Washington Times - Sunday, February 19, 2006

‘Ugly’ casting

Eric Mabius of “The O.C.” fame is getting “Ugly” for ABC.

The actor, best known for a recurring role on the Fox teen drama, is set to star opposite America Ferrera in “Ugly Betty,” the Associated Press reports.

The title character (Miss Ferrera) is an unattractive but efficient secretary at a fashion magazine. Mr. Mabius plays the handsome son of the publisher who has been given the editor in chief job despite his lack of qualifications.

Mr. Mabius also co-starred on ABC’s “Eyes.”

In other casting news, Jaime King will play the female lead in Fox’s “The Worst Week of My Life.” The pilot is based on the 2004 BBC limited series and chronicles a young engaged couple’s horrible week leading up to their wedding. Miss King, who co-starred on Fox’s “Kitchen Confidential,” will play the bride-to-be. Charles Malik Whitfield from CBS’ “The Guardian,” will play the groom’s best friend.

In other Fox news, Julie Hagerty, who movie lovers will remember for indelible turns in both “Airplane” and “Lost in America,” is joining the cast of “Becoming Glen.”

The show centers on a successful fortysomething man who looks back at 1994, when he was a 32-year-old slacker (Rob Corddry) living with his parents. Miss Hagerty, most recently seen in “Just Friends,” will play the guy’s mom.

Baldwin’s sketch fix

Alec Baldwin proved he was more than another handsome leading man through the years with a series of comical appearances on NBC’s “Saturday Night Live.”

Now, Mr. Baldwin will draw on those experiences to bring a new sitcom based on an “SNL” style show to life.

The actor is in final negotiations to star opposite Tina Fey in Miss Fey’s untitled comedy pilot for NBC, the Reuters news agency reports.

Mr. Baldwin has hosted “SNL” a number of times, most recently in December, and also made an appearance this month.

If the pilot goes to series, it will be Mr. Baldwin’s first major series gig since his 1984-85 stint on CBS’ primetime soap “Knot’s Landing.”

Mr. Baldwin, who also had a recurring role on NBC’s “Will & Grace,” isn’t giving up on movie roles. He can next be seen in director Martin Scorsese’s crime drama “The Departed” and “The Good Shepherd,” to be directed by Robert De Niro.

Welcome back, Tony

We won’t see Tony Soprano and his fellow bada bingers until next month, but New Jersey residents already have caught an eyeful of “The Sopranos” cast in action.

The actors drew a crowd last week while filming in the hometown of the cable show’s fictional patriarch, Newark, N.J., AP reports.

Trucks and trailers lined several streets as scenes for the final episode of the upcoming season were filmed inside a downtown building, prompting curious office workers to scurry outside.

The series returns to HBO on March 12 after a hiatus of nearly two years. Twelve new episodes will start next month, and a final eight episodes will begin in January 2007.

A spokeswoman for HBO said the crew was filming scenes for episode No. 12 of the upcoming season. Later in the day, crews were expected to shoot scenes in Clifton.

“We love New Jersey. We love Newark and we shoot there all the time,” Mark Kamine, assistant unit production manager for the show, told AP.

Film crews for “The Sopranos,” which tells the story of fictional New Jersey mob boss Tony Soprano and his family, have become familiar sights in New Jersey and New York since the Emmy-winning show debuted in 1999.

Compiled by Christian Toto from staff and wire reports.

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