- The Washington Times - Sunday, April 8, 2007

Models make news

MSNBC, a 24-hour cable news channel, is stretching the definition of news with its latest announcement. The network has picked up “Models NYC,” a six-part reality series about the New York boutique modeling agency Q Management, FishbowlNY reports.

The series, which premieres April 16, features models and managers. Unlike “America’s Next Top Model,” some of the pretty faces are male. As a network press release says of one of the characters. “Ross also feels the pull of the city — he’s handsome, but also a deeply committed Christian. He treasures his Texas roots, but if he wants to make it, he’s got to make peace with the Big Apple — a city of sin.”

‘Idol’ loser signed

“American Idol” also-ran Lisa Tucker will be back on Fox — but not on the hit reality show.

Miss Tucker has signed to play a role in the network’s drama pilot “Born in the USA,” Zap2It.com reports, citing the Hollywood Reporter.

“Born in the USA” comes from 19 Entertainment, the company behind “American Idol.” Miss Tucker was the 10th-place finisher on the fifth season of “Idol.”

“Born in the USA” is an atypically structured half-hour soap intended for prime time. It focuses on the lives of blue collar families in Philadelphia. The Hollywood Reporter describes Miss Tucker’s character as “a smart, beautiful girl with a good sense of humor.”

The 17-year-old Miss Tucker, who was part of the Los Angeles cast of “The Lion King,” followed up her “Idol” run with a guest spot on Fox’s now-canceled prime-time soap “The O.C.” and appearances in multiple episodes of Nickelodeon’s “Zoey 101.”

On tap tonight

“The King of Queens” premieres tonight with the last part of its ninth — and final — season.

The blue-collar comedy has just seven episodes left. Tonight’s episode, its 200th, will make it one of only seven series that have reached the 200 episode milestone in the past 15 years.

In the episode, airing tonight at 9:30 on CBS, Doug (Kevin James) and Carrie (Leah Remini) face the green-eyed monster after friends Deacon (Victor Williams) and Kelly (Merrin Dungey) buy a weekend lake house.

Hell’ gets two more

In other casting news from Zap2It and the Hollywood Reporter, CBS’ comedy pilot “I’m in Hell” has added some familiar faces in supporting roles.

Erika Christensen and David Cross have signed on to the series, which stars Jason Biggs.

Picked up several weeks behind the typical development schedule, “I’m in Hell” focuses on a successful Wall Street broker who has an unfortunate BlackBerry-related accident and ends up facing eternal damnation. Unfortunately, hell is full, so he’s sentenced to hell on Earth in Manhattan.

Miss Christensen will play a possible love interest for Mr. Biggs’ character. Her other credits include “Traffic” and “Swimfan.”

Mr. Cross is set to appear as Scott, the designated emissary-from-hell for the main character. A writing Emmy winner from his time on “The Ben Stiller Show,” Mr. Cross has starred in “Mr. Show with Bob and Dave” and “Arrested Development.”

Mr. Biggs was the star of “American Pie.”

Compiled by Kelly Jane Torrance from staff and Web reports.

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