- The Washington Times - Wednesday, March 8, 2006

Barry, Babs on MPT

Tonight, Maryland Public Television will offer an alternative to the current crop of TV’s biggest hits — Fox’s “American Idol” and “Survivor” and “CSI” on CBS — with a pair of back-to-back specials by two legendary performers.

First, a blast from the past: “Color Me Barbra,” superstar Barbra Streisand’s second solo television special, at 8 p.m.

Multiple Emmy winner Dwight Hemion directed the 1966 one-woman show, which still draws praise for its musical and visual innovation. Miss Streisand shines in both skits and songs, bringing her formidable razzle-dazzle to such memorable tunes as “Where or When,” “Gotta Move,” “It Had to Be You” and the showstopping “Starting Here, Starting Now.”

Next up is “Barry Manilow: Music and Passion,” at 9 p.m. The program celebrates the 100th performance of his Las Vegas Hilton “Music and Passion” show and features songs from the superstar’s new album, “The Greatest Songs of the Fifties.” Mr. Manilow, backed by a cast and band of 14, performs his greatest hits, including “I Write the Songs,” “Mandy” and “Copacabana.”

He’s back

After a successful run on Broadway (along with hawking Campbell’s Select Soups), “3rd Rock From the Sun’s” John Lithgow is returning to episodic television.

The actor will star in the NBC comedy pilot “Twenty Good Years,” a sitcom centered on two fiftysomething men who have epiphanies and decide to make the most of their next two decades. Mr. Lithgow will play one of the show’s leads, according to Reuters news agency.

The project reunites Mr. Lithgow with the Peacock network, where he earned three Emmys as father figure Dick Solomon in its long-running “3rd Rock.” Mr. Lithgow, a two-time Oscar nominee, is also a two-time Tony winner and recently wrapped a starring role in Broadway’s “Dirty Rotten Scoundrels.”

Hatcher’s secret pain

“Desperate Housewives” star Teri Hatcher may appear to have it all — fame, beauty and a hit TV show.

Yet the actress reveals a darker side to her past in the upcoming issue of Vanity Fair. An uncle sexually molested her 35 years ago, Associated Press reports.

The actress, 41, says she learned in 2002 that a 14-year-old victim of her uncle’s had committed suicide. Concerned that he would escape charges of molestation, Miss Hatcher approached the prosecutors.

“This is something I’ve tried to hide my whole life,” Miss Hatcher tells the magazine, which hits newsstands tomorrow with the actress on the cover.

“I was just blown away by this young girl’s pain,” she says. “I thought, ‘Boy, that’s really close to being me.’ Any day of the week I could feel that sort of pain. I haven’t tried to kill myself, but I’ve certainly thought about it.”

After Miss Hatcher came forward, her uncle, Richard Hayes Stone, then 64, pleaded guilty to four counts of child molestation in the case of the 14-year-old victim and received 14 years in prison.

“Without Teri, this case would have been dismissed,” says Chuck Gillingham, the Santa Clara County deputy district attorney in California.

Miss Hatcher says she didn’t immediately testify because she thought tabloids would suggest she was trying to resuscitate her then-languishing career. The incidents happened, she says, when she was 5 years old and living in Sunnyvale, Calif., with her family. Stone, she recalls, would manipulate situations that would leave her alone with him in his car so that he could take advantage of her.

“These are haunting things that I’ve remembered all my life,” she says.

In 2004, Miss Hatcher’s career was revived with the ABC hit “Desperate Housewives.” She was nominated twice for a Golden Globe and won last year.

“I have so much pain,” she says. “I’m a woman who carries around all these layers of fear and vulnerability. I’m trying to be my powerful me.”

Compiled by Christian Toto from staff and wire reports.

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