- The Washington Times - Thursday, July 20, 2006

Cruise’s ‘War’ on HBO

We may have to wait a bit longer for a glimpse of Tom Cruise’s new daughter, Suri, who, despite all the hoopla, has yet to be seen in public since her birth in April.

However, those with a hankering for the on-screen moves of the action superstar can catch him tomorrow when “War of the Worlds,” his 2005 blockbuster, makes its cable debut at 8 p.m. on HBO.

Directed by Steven Spielberg, the film features Mr. Cruise as Ray Ferrier, a self-absorbed dockworker embittered by a brutal divorce. When his accustomed life in blue-collar New Jersey is shaken violently by the arrival of destructive intruders — sinister monsters intent on consuming human prey — his thinking changes, and saving his brood (including the too-cute for words Dakota Fanning as his daughter Rachel) becomes his passion.

Oscar winner Tim Robbins co-stars as creepy scientist Harlan Ogilvy.

Moving on

Former “Star Trek: Voyager” star Jeri Ryan is engaged to her business partner and boyfriend, French chef Christopher Eme, reports Zap2it.com.

The engagement was announced earlier this week during the Television Critics Association press tour in Pasedena, Calif., to promote her new TV series “Shark.”

Mr. Eme, head chef of the West Hollywood restaurant Ortolan, set up an elaborate romantic scene for the proposal.

“He brought me home, covered my eyes and took me up to the bedroom,” Miss Ryan says. “He had candles lit everywhere and champagne on ice. He had gotten this huge canvas and painted it with words that said in French, ‘And you come with me forever.’”

A photo of the couple graced the bottom of the canvas with the words “Toi et Moi” (“You and Me”).

Miss Ryan, 38, said the nuptials are likely to take place in the Loire Valley of France in June, around the time of the rugby World Cup in Paris.

The couple’s restaurant appeared in an episode of the ABC legal drama “Boston Legal.” Miss Ryan was also seen in the “Iron Chef America” audience when Mr. Eme competed on the Food Network show. Her other TV credits include Fox’s “Boston Public,” CBS’ “Two and a Half Men” and “The O.C.,” which is also seen on Fox.

Miss Ryan has a child, Alex, with her ex-husband Jack Ryan, who dropped out of 2004’s senatorial race in Illinois when details of their divorce proceedings were made public. According to court documents, Miss Ryan claimed that her ex coerced her to attend sex clubs in three different cities.

‘Chris’ snares Whoopi

Whoopi Goldberg will travel back in time this season on “Everybody Hates Chris,” reports Zap2it.com.

Miss Goldberg will appear in several episodes of the CW’s comedy in 2006-07, the new network announced. She’ll be playing a woman who moves with her granddaughter from Queens to the Bed-Stuy apartment building where Chris (Tyler James Williams) and his family live. The granddaughter will also become a love interest for Chris, or at least the latest girl in the neighborhood to ignore him.

The role on “Chris” — which moves from Thursday evening to Sunday nights this fall — adds another project to Miss Goldberg’s already crowded schedule. The star, an Oscar-winner for 1990’s “Ghost,” has a handful of films in various stages of production, including several independent projects and voice work on “Farce of the Penguins,” a spoof of last year’s documentary hit, “March of the Penguins.” “Farce” is written and directed by Bob Saget.

Good day for ‘Bad Day’

“Bad Day,” the debut single from Canadian pop singer Daniel Powter, has become the No. 1 best-selling digital single in the U.S. to date with 1,690,814 copies scanned.

The piano-driven pop track — heard each week on the most recent edition of “American Idol” when losing contestants were booted off the show — spent five consecutive weeks at No.1 on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart, and was the most played song in Europe in 2005, reaching the top spot in 12 countries, including the U.K., Australia, Japan, Canada, France and Germany.

Mr. Powter performed the song live on the May 24 “Idol” finale as well as on NBC’s “Today,” CBS’ “Late Night with Conan O’Brien,” the syndicated “Live with Regis and Kelly,” NBC’s “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” and “The Ellen DeGeneres Show.”

Next month, Mr. Powter will perform three songs on “The CBS Early Show” as part of its Summer Outdoor Concert Series.

MPT has FOW

Long before “Bad Day,” indie rock band Fountains of Wayne soared to the top of the pop charts with its 2003 hit “Stacy’s Mom.”

Fans can catch them tonight (along with the All-American Rejects) on “Soundstage,” airing at 11 on Maryland Public Television, Channel 22.

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

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