- The Washington Times - Thursday, January 19, 2006

Nation’s No. 2 on PBS

John Adams, the nation’s second president, played a critical role in many of the pivotal events of his era — and all the more effectively so when teamed with Abigail Adams, his remarkable other half.

That’s the message of “John & Abigail Adams,” a joint biography Monday evening at 10 on WETA-Channel 26 that sheds light not only on these two outstanding Americans, but also on their transformative times, notes Associated Press.

He was brilliant, argumentative, even irascible; a vociferous participant at the Continental Congress; a wartime emissary to France; and the nation’s first vice president before taking office as president in 1797.

She was a savvy observer of the tumultuous political scene, not afraid to speak her mind in an age when women were excluded from politics. Meanwhile, she steadfastly tended the home fires, often facing hardship and even danger.

Together they forged one of the greatest partnerships in American history. Relying heavily on their extraordinary correspondence (with illustrative dramatic re-enactments), the story of John and Abigail Adams provides a strikingly intimate look inside a marriage of companions who helped change the world.

Springer staying put

After deciding not to seek a return to political office, Jerry Springer has signed a new multiyear deal to continue hosting his daily TV talk show, according to Reuters news agency and the Hollywood Reporter.

“I truly enjoy doing it, [and] people seem to enjoy watching it,” Mr. Springer said in a statement issued by the show’s syndicator, NBC Universal Domestic Television Distribution.

The company said it has also renewed “The Jerry Springer Show” in more than 85 percent of the country through the 2006-07 season, including 45 of the top 50 markets.

Mr. Springer, a former mayor of Cincinnati, recently pondered seeking the office of U.S. senator from the state of Ohio.

Micro to the max

CBS will launch a micro-series titled “The Courier” on Tuesday during the first-act commercial break of “CSI: Miami,” airing at 9 p.m.

According to MediaWeek.com, the first “Courier” episode will be 60 seconds, with subsequent installments running for 40 seconds. After its Tuesday premiere, “The Courier” will run in the first-act break after 9 p.m. on seven nights over the next nine days (excluding Jan. 28 and Jan. 31). The finale will air during the Feb. 1 first-act break for “Criminal Minds.”

Created by producer and animator Pete Pepe, “The Courier” is described by the network as a serialized drama about a mystery man named iiro risking his life to rescue his kidnapped wife.

The micro-series is being sponsored by Pontiac, which will feature a commercial for the Pontiac Torrent at the end of each micro episode. The Torrent also will be integrated into three of the seven “Courier” broadcasts.

After each “Courier” broadcast, viewers will be able to delve deeper into the series via CBS.com, where they can discover more information about iiro and review each episode. “The Courier” will also be available for streaming on cell phones on the Verizon Wireless V CAST Service after each network broadcast.

Pacino feted on AMC

Actor Al Pacino — aka Michael Corleone, Tony Montana, Shylock and Lt. Colonel Frank Slade, when recalling just a few of his most memorable roles — will be honored with an hourlong special, “Al Pacino: An American Cinematheque Tribute,” Sunday evening at 10 on cable’s AMC.

The program will revisit highlights of Mr. Pacino’s celebrated career and also will feature celebrity friends and colleagues (including Charlize Theron, Bruce Willis, Colin Farrell, Robert De Niro, Meryl Streep, Keanu Reeves, Andy Garcia, Marisa Tomei and James Caan) sharing humorous personal stories about the Oscar-winning star. Jeremy Piven, of HBO’s “Entourage,” will host.

The American Cinematheque is a nonprofit, viewer-supported organization dedicated exclusively to the public presentation of the moving picture in all its forms. Previous honorees have included Steven Spielberg, Mel Gibson, Tom Cruise, John Travolta, Denzel Washington, Nicole Kidman and Steve Martin.

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

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