- The Washington Times - Monday, February 27, 2006

One last whack

David Chase, creator of HBO’s “The Sopranos,” swears he’ll whack the series from the cable network next year, Associated Press reports.

But that may not be the end.

He hasn’t ruled out moving the mob series to the big screen at some point, offering renewed hope to the show’s faithful fans.

“It may be that in two or three or four years I could be sitting around and get an idea for a really great ‘Sopranos’ movie,” Mr. Chase told the New York Times in a joint interview with actor James Gandolfini, star of the acclaimed HBO hit.

Both Mr. Chase — who also serves as the series’ executive producer — and Mr. Gandolfini reflected on the show and the trajectory of its central character, mob boss Tony Soprano, in an article appearing in Sunday’s editions. The pair discussed the mob family’s twisted morality, particularly when it comes to who lives or dies in its dangerous line of work.

Tony Soprano, for instance, never crossed the line into killing family members, with one exception: He fatally shot a cousin to spare him a far more gruesome death by his enemies.

“I think there’s a place Tony knows that if he goes to, he’s not coming back, and that’s the place,” Mr. Gandolfini said. “If you start killing family members, what’s next?”

“The Sopranos” begins its sixth and final season March 12.

Brad’s ‘Death’ wish

Former “Everybody Loves Raymond” co-star Brad Garrett seems to have given up plans to spin off his Robert Barone character into a new series.

The actor, stymied in his attempts to keep the Emmy-winning character alive, is in negotiations to join the cast of Fox’s comedy pilot “‘Til Death,” Reuters news agency reports.

The project centers on a newlywed couple who move next door to a long-married couple. Mr. Garrett will play the long-married husband. Eddie Kaye Thomas of “American Pie” fame was previously cast as the newlywed guy.

“‘Til Death” was written by Cathy Yuspa and Josh Goldsmith, creators of CBS’ long-running comedy “The King of Queens,” which for years ran in the same CBS Monday comedy block as “Raymond.”

Mr. Garrett announced the pending “Raymond” spinoff shortly after winning his third Emmy for portraying Raymond’s brother at last September’s awards ceremony, but plans for the new series fell through in November.

‘Southern’ charm

Film actress Madeleine Stowe has landed the lead role in Fox’s drama pilot “Southern Comfort,” Reuters reports.

The “12 Monkeys” star will play the wife of a Southern mobster who takes over the business when her husband goes to prison.

In other casting tidbits:

• Erstwhile “Single Guy” Jonathan Silverman is joining “In Case of Emergency,” an ABC sitcom centering on four high school friends (one of them played by Mr. Silverman), who unexpectedly reunite during a crossroads in their lives. Jon Favreau will direct the pilot.

• Christine Taylor of “The Brady Bunch” films has been cast in ABC’s comedy pilot “52 Fights,” based on the book about a newly married couple’s transition from dating to marriage. Miss Taylor, recently seen in a multiepisode arc on Fox’s “Arrested Development,” will play the wife.

• Adam Baldwin has joined Taye Diggs in ABC’s new drama pilot “Day Break.” The thriller revolves around a cop (Mr. Diggs) on the run after being framed for murder. Mr. Baldwin will play a grizzled veteran of the force.

• Tia Mowry has landed a role in the new CW network’s comedy pilot “The Game,” a sitcom about professional football players and the women in their lives. Miss Mowry, best known for starring opposite her twin sister, Tamera, in the WB sitcom “Sister, Sister,” will play the role of Melanie.

Compiled by Christian Toto from staff and wire reports.

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