- The Washington Times - Tuesday, June 6, 2006

‘Shield’ gets reprieve

Detective Vic Mackey apparently hasn’t collared his last bad guy.

“The Shield,” FX’s crooked-cop drama, got a new lease on life this week with the cable network greenlighting its seventh and final season, Reuters news agency reports.

The fate of the critically acclaimed series was uncertain as it approached the second half of its sixth season, in early 2007. Now those 10 episodes will be followed by a fresh batch of 13 installments — for a total of 23 — that will air in late 2007 or early 2008. The additional order will bring the total number of “Shield” episodes to 88 by the end of its run.

The entire cast will return for the remaining 23 episodes, including Emmy winner Michael Chiklis, who plays the corrupt Detective Mackey. Forest Whitaker, who joined the series this year, also returns on a limited basis for the remainder of the sixth season.

“The writers and I weren’t quite ready to step away from these characters just yet,” Shawn Ryan, the show’s creator and executive producer, told Reuters.

Wedding crasher

In a turn perhaps inspired by Vince Vaughn or Owen Wilson, Oprah Winfrey crashed several Tulsa, Okla., wedding receptions last weekend, collecting footage that will be seen on her show, Associated Press reports.

“When we were getting ready, we heard that Oprah was in town buying wedding gifts,” said Sarah Klein, the sister of groom Ben Klein, who married Heather Anderson. “We were all joking that she should come to the wedding.”

That’s exactly what happened.

“She came in wearing her pink dress and was all hidden under her hat,” Miss Klein said. “I knew it was her.”

According to AP, Miss Winfrey dropped off dishes for the newlyweds and posed for a picture during her few minutes at the reception. Before visiting the reception, she stopped off at another wedding party, according to television station KOTV, which airs the syndicated “The Oprah Winfrey Show” in Tulsa.

Miss Winfrey surprised Morgan and Bethany Francis at their reception, congratulating the couple and leaving a wedding gift of more dishes.

The segments from Miss Winfrey’s Tulsa wedding reception visits will air in September.

Fallen ‘Idol’ ices Fuel

Chris Daughtry’s recording career will be running on something other than Fuel.

Mr. Daughtry, the fourth-place finisher on this season’s “American Idol,” says he has turned down an offer from the band to be its new lead singer. Instead, “I’m going to be doing my own thing,” Zap2it.com quotes Mr. Daughtry as saying, citing an interview with the “Idol” finalist in the Charlotte Observer.

Mr. Daughtry, 26, was in North Carolina last weekend, where he was greeted by about 1,200 fans in his hometown of McLeansville. He also performed at a high school stadium in nearby Greensboro. He was considered a favorite to win “American Idol” this season, and his May 10 elimination was one of the biggest surprises in the show’s history. Within a day of his ouster, members of Fuel offered him the lead-singer job via the syndicated entertainment show “Extra.”

Fuel is best known for its turn-of-the-decade hits “Shimmer” and “Hemorrhage (In My Hands)” — which Mr. Daughtry sang on “Idol.” Singer Brett Scallions left the group earlier this year.

Mr. Daughtry will be part of the American Idols Live tour, which kicks off in early July and stops at the Verizon Center July 28. After that ends in September, he will be free to pursue a career apart from the show. To that end, he says he attended meetings with showbiz executives in New York last week before returning home, Zap2it.com reports.

Meanwhile, his cover of Bon Jovi’s “Wanted Dead or Alive” enters the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart at No. 43, reports Zap2it.com, while “Idol” winner Taylor Hicks’ version of the Doobie Brothers’ “Taking It to the Streets” checks in at No. 69.

Both songs are on the “American Idol Season 5: Encores” CD, which entered the Billboard 200 album chart at No. 3 this week. The compilation featuring tracks by this year’s finalists sold close to 154,000 copies, the highest first-week sales ever for an “Idol” collection. The previous record holder was the season one compilation, which sold 146,000 copies in its first week.

Donald, ‘Deal’ aid NBC

The season finales of “Deal or No Deal” and “The Apprentice” delivered strong ratings for NBC Monday, livening up an otherwise rerun-heavy summer night, Zap2it.com reports.

The Peacock’s “Deal or No Deal” dominated the 8 p.m. hour. CBS finished second with reruns of “The King of Queens” and “How I Met Your Mother.” A “Wife Swap” rerun was third for ABC.

NBC stayed on top at 9 p.m. with the final half hour of “Deal” and the start of “The Apprentice,” which saw Donald Trump declare Sean Yazbeck this season’s winner.

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

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