- The Washington Times - Monday, April 30, 2007

New ‘View’ for Barr?

Roseanne Barr is being touted as the leading loudmouth to replace Rosie O’Donnell on “The View,” the New York Post reports.

With Miss O’Donnell on her way out in June, the brassy Miss Barr has emerged as the candidate to beat, the newspaper says — although Joan Rivers, Whoopi Goldberg, Kathie Lee Gifford and Connie Chung also are in the running. Miss Barr’s rep, however, said she hadn’t been approached.

With Rosie leaving, “they’re missing strong personalities, and that’s what they’re going to need if they want to keep it going,” an unnamed ABC source was quoted as saying when asked about Miss Barr.

That may be especially true given yesterday’s on-air announcement by “View” co-host Elisabeth Hasselbeck that she is expecting her second child in November.

Lot’s” got judges

“On the Lot, ” the upcoming Fox moviemaking competition, now has its first judges.

Carrie Fisher, Brett Ratner, Garry Marshall and Jon Avnet all have been signed to the series — a star-packed slate that sounds an awful lot like HBO’s “Project Greenlight”— the network announced.

Executive produced by Steven Spielberg and “Survivor” creator Mark Burnett, “On the Lot” gives aspiring filmmakers the chance to win a $1 million development deal with DreamWorks. (That’s a drop in the bucket, considering how much most movies cost to make these days.)

Each week, finalists will produce short films in a chosen genre, from comedy to sci-fi to drama, but they won’t be going it alone. Professional writers, actors, actresses and crew members will all help out.

The finished films will be critiqued by the judges in front of a live audience.

Like Fox’s juggernaut reality series “American Idol,” it’s not the judges, but the public, who will decide which films make the cut. On each results show, one director will be sent packing.

The announced judges will appear on the two audition episodes, airing at 9 p.m. on May 22 and 24. After wading through 12,000 submissions, producers will bring 50 finalists to Hollywood to screen their films, participate in a Tinseltown pitch meeting and face a “24-Hour Film Shoot” challenge. The judges then will select 18 filmmakers to continue on the show.

After the audition episodes, the regular filmmaking fun begins May 28 with a special two-hour premiere episode featuring the first films produced by the 18 finalists. Voting results will be announced the next night.

Fox said judges for additional rounds will be announced at a later date.

Miss Fisher brings dual expertise to her judge’s chair: She’s an actress (“Star Wars”) and a screenwriter (“Postcards From the Edge”). Her fellow judges are directors and producers.

Mr. Ratner’s most recent film was the record-breaking “X-Men 3: The Last Stand.” Mr. Marshall is known for romantic comedies, including “Pretty Woman” and “Beaches.” Mr. Avnet has directed and produced more than 50 motion pictures and television movies over the past 25 years, including “Risky Business” and “Fried Green Tomatoes.” On Broadway, he produced the Tony Award-winning “Spamalot” and “The History Boys.”

Expect some cross-promotion: Almost every judge has a project being released this summer. Mr. Ratner has “Rush Hour 3,” Mr. Marshall has “Georgia Rule,” and Mr. Avnet directed the upcoming cable movie “The Starter Wife.”

Adult Swim expands

Fans of Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim have something to cheer about: Thenetwork is expanding its late-night programming block.

CN is adding a seventh night of programming and three intriguingly named new series — “Fat Guy Stuck in Internet,” “Lucy, Daughter of the Devil” and “Superjail” — Reuters news agency reports.

“Fat Guy,” slated to debut this fall, is not a cartoon, though. It’s a live-action comedy about a computer programmer who finds himself chased by a bounty hunter inside the Internet. (Sounds like a Philip K. Dick novel.)

“Lucy” will begin this summer, while “Superjail,” about the universe’s most violent prison, will premiere next year.

Meanwhile, Adult Swim fans who’ve felt something missing from their Friday nights will have a change of pace starting July 6. The network will renew “Robot Chicken,” “The Boondocks,” “Moral Orel,” “Squidbillies,” “Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law,” “Metalocalypse,” “The Venture Bros.,” “Assy McGee” “Frisky Dingo” and “Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job.”

Additionally, “Aqua Teen Hunger Force,” one of its best series, will have new episodes this fall and a fifth season in 2008.

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

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