- The Washington Times - Thursday, May 18, 2006

‘Housewives’ havoc

Sunday’s two-hour second-season finale of “Desperate Housewives” (9 p.m. on ABC) journeys back to the not-so-distant past to discover how Bree (Marcia Cross), Lynette (Felicity Huffman), Gabrielle (Eva Longoria), Susan (Teri Hatcher) and Edie (Nicollette Sheridan) all wound up on Wisteria Lane, thanks to the murdered Mary Alice Young.

The present may be even more explosive, with several juicy story lines hanging fire.

According to ABC.com, a lid is about to be blown off Tom’s (Doug Savant) secret life, and there’s frightening news for Bree and more trouble in the Solis household.

Series creator Marc Cherry has promised surprises and fireworks — on the show, we presume.

Earlier this month, the Hollywood Reporter broke news of a behind-the-scenes power struggle between Mr. Cherry and executive producer Tom Spezialy. Several unnamed sources also told the Los Angeles Times that Mr. Spezialy will leave the series after this season and that other writers allied with him — including co-executive producers Chris Black and Kevin Murphy — also may be exiting.

Both Mr. Cherry and Mr. Spezialy declined comment. Charissa Gilmore, a spokeswoman for Touchstone Television, downplayed talk of a rift. “This is a non-story,” the Times quoted her as saying.

Weekend fare

While “Housewives” heats up, both on-screen and off, other shows on the dial also are worth noting:

On Nickelodeon: As if the real “American Idol” isn’t enough, the daytime ‘toon favorite “Fairly OddParents” pays homage tonight at 8 with its own singing competition in “Fairy Idol.” The hourlong prime-time special features the singing voice of former “American Idol” runner-up Diana DeGarmo(who was bested by winner Fantasia Barrino in 2004), Associated Press reports.

In “Fairy Idol,” Norm the Genie has had enough of all the annoying masters he has served throughout the centuries, so he formulates a plan to swap his genie life for the more pleasant job of fairy godparent. He contrives to get Cosmo and Wanda to quit their jobs as fairy godparents to little Timmy Turner, then heads off to Fairy World to enter a talent competition to audition to take their place.

On NBC: The Peacock is rolling out “10.5: Apocalypse,” its two-part miniseries (Sunday and Tuesday at 9 p.m.) sequel to the 2004 seismic hit “10.5,” Scripps Howard News Service notes. The deadly seismic activities that peaked with a 10.5 earthquake that devastated the West Coast in the first film have altered Earth’s core structure. Now the whole North American continent — heck, the entire Western Hemisphere — could be in jeopardy. The cast includes Beau Bridges, Kim Delaney, Frank Langella, Dean Cain, Carly Pope, Carlos Bernard and Melissa Sue Anderson. Fasten your seat belts.

On HBO: Sunday’s installment of “The Sopranos” (an episode titled “Cold Stones” at 9 p.m.) finds Meadow (Jamie-Lynn Sigler) leaving home and Carmela (Edie Falco) and Rosalie (Sharon Angela) waxing philosophical while on a road trip. On “Big Love” (following at 10 p.m.), Barb (Jeanne Tripplehorn) is a finalist for Mother of the Year and Bill (Bill Paxton) is asked to become the newest member of the Salt Lake City Leadership League. Meanwhile, Bill’s three wives (Miss Tripplehorn, Chloe Sevigny and Ginnifer Goodwin) ponder custody scenarios in their separate wills.

Knotts landing in stone

Two fans of the “The Andy Griffith Show” have commissioned a life-sized bronze statue of Barney Fife that they plan to donate to Mount Airy, N.C., the model for the show’s fictional town of Mayberry.

According to AP, Tom Hellebrand and Neal Shelton are raising money for the $35,000 project as a tribute to Don Knotts, the late actor who portrayed the bumbling Fife on the popular show. Mr. Knotts died Feb. 24 at age 81 from pulmonary and respiratory complications.

“We felt something needed to be done about honoring Don Knotts,” Mr. Shelton said. “He was an original.”

The pair first had to get permission from CBS Corp., which owns the rights to “The Andy Griffith Show” characters, and negotiate with city leaders about whether they would accept such a statue and where they would put it. Everyone agreed it was a good idea.

“Don Knotts was a talented actor who played a memorable character on a legendary CBS show,” said CBS spokesman Chris Ender. “We salute their effort to honor Mr. Knotts.”

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

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