- The Washington Times - Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Star still a star

Things are looking up for Star Jones Reynolds just two weeks after her departure from “The View.”

Miss Jones Reynolds’ recent appearance on CNN’s “Larry King Live” drew 3 million viewers, nearly triple what the show normally attracts, Associated Press reports. CNN quickly reran the interview at least twice, including less than 24 hours later in direct competition with “The View.”

Miss Jones Reynolds’ debut Monday on HGTV’s “House Hunters” also was impressive, lifting the show’s ratings 36 percent over this year’s averages. Miss Jones Reynolds, an American University graduate and former lawyer, is appearing this week as a guest host on the cable network’s top-rated show, a booking made before she left “The View.”

In Touch Weekly reported this week that CNN and Fox News Channel have approached Miss Jones Reynolds about hosting jobs. However, a Fox News spokeswoman said the network has “no interest” in hiring her. CNN said the network has had no conversations with Miss Jones Reynolds but didn’t rule out the possibility of future talks. The magazine also said Miss Jones Reynolds is being considered for celebrity judge slots on reality shows, but her spokesman and agent declined comment on her job prospects.

Miss Jones Reynolds left “The View” on June 27 because ABC wasn’t renewing her contract, angering show creator Barbara Walters with the unplanned announcement on air.

Sci Fi viewers vote

Some TV shows give viewers a voice in who appears in them. The Sci Fi channel is letting viewers decide whether a program will be produced.

Starting today, Pulse, the Sci-Fi’s Internet channel, will premiere two new shows two weeks before their broadcast debuts. Six episodes of “Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace,” a British cult favorite that offers a satirical take on sci-fi conventions, are slated to air. However, the second show, the animated “Amazing Screw-On Head,” exists only in pilot form. Viewers can fill out an online survey that will help Sci Fi executives decide whether to greenlight the pilot to series.

“Screw-On Head” is a quirky cartoon with some great voice talent, including “Sideways” star Paul Giamatti as the title character — a robot who can screw his head onto different bodies. Mr. Head (as he’s formally known) is also a Civil War-era secret agent reporting directly to President Lincoln.

“Godspeed, Screw-On Head,” the president solemnly declares upon sending Mr. Head to do battle with the evil Emperor Zombie, a debonair villain portrayed by David Hyde Pierce of “Frasier” fame. Molly Shannon rounds out the cast as Patience, Screw-On Head’s former lover, who has become a vampire in Zombie’s service.

Mr. Giamatti has a wonderfully expressive voice, and his all-American hero is sincere. The show also takes liberties with history. The pilot conjures up a different story about the 1862 Homestead Act (which provided for the transfer of 160 acres of unoccupied public land to each homesteader on payment of a nominal fee after five years of residence). “Screw -on Head” should appeal to fans of adult animation. However, for the program to continue past its July 27 premiere, those fans need to make their voices heard at SciFi.com.

‘Office’ mates to mix

The British stars of “The Office” will make cameo appearances on the NBC version of the hit comedy, the New York Post reports. Executive producer Ben Silverman said employees of the show’s Slough, England, paper company, Wernham Hogg, might share offices with its fictional American counterpart, the Dunder Mifflin paper company in Scranton, Pa. “There’s a lot of love between [the casts and crews] of the two versions of the show,” he said. “Expect some cameos from the UK paper company.”

Mr. Silverman is coy on who might appear but admits that “Office” creator Ricky Gervais, who played exasperating boss David Brent in the UK version, won’t be seen on NBC’s version anytime soon. “We’re going to save the big man for now,” he said.

‘Real’ bad scene

Paula Ann Meronek, a cast member on the MTV reality show “The Real World,” was arraigned on a misdemeanor assault charge Monday after police said she bit her boyfriend during a domestic dispute, AP reports.

Miss Meronek, 25, reportedly bit her boyfriend several times when he refused to let her into their Cromwell, Conn., home at about 3 a.m. on Sunday, police said. Miss Meronek was charged with third-degree assault, which carries a potential penalty of a year in prison. She is due back in court Aug. 11. Her boyfriend, John Alyward, was charged with disorderly conduct.

Miss Meronek graduated from Quinnipiac University in 2003 with the highest grade-point average in its business school, the university said, but MTV is marketing her as an unstable, relentless partyer.

The popular show, now in its 17th season, puts seven strangers together in an exotic locale — this time a Key West, Fla., beach house. George Cabico, a spokesman for the show’s producers, said filming is complete and the arrest will not affect the show.

Compiled by Kelly Jane Torrance from staff and wire reports.

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