- The Washington Times - Thursday, February 15, 2007

Fremantle taps Collins

Jackie Collins has signed a deal that could bring elements of her sexy best-sellers to television.

Continuing its expansion into scripted programming, “American Idol” producer FremantleMedia North America announced Monday that it’s becoming partners with Miss Collins, whose books previously have been turned into TV projects by ABC, CBS and NBC, Associated Press reports.

Fremantle, which also produces “America’s Got Talent” and “The Price Is Right,” will develop traditional and telenovela-style dramatic programming with Miss Collins, using her original ideas and best-selling library.

“What the public wants is good stories. They like reality shows, but they love real television drama — original programs with actors and scripts,” Miss Collins told Daily Variety.

The doctor is in

Call it the “Grey’s Anatomy” effect, but doctor is the top career choice of teen-age girls, according to a new poll released Tuesday by JA (Junior Achievement) Worldwide and Verizon. Teacher was their second choice, followed by businessperson.

In the poll of 1,500 teens between the ages of 13 and 19, 10 percent of girls said being a doctor would be their ideal job, up from 8.3 percent in 2004. In 2004, businessperson was the top career choice of teen girls.

There has been a steady increase in the percentage of girls interested in careers as doctors since 2004.

“While we have no way of proving it, one might see a correlation between the rise of popularity in a medical drama like ‘Grey’s Anatomy,’ whose target audience is young adult women, and an increase in interest in the medical profession among girls,” Darrell Luzzo, senior vice president of education for JA Worldwide, said of the hit ABC series. “We saw a similar effect in 2004 when ‘The Apprentice’ was very popular during its first season. That year, businessperson was the top career choice of girls. It was the only year since we started this poll that businessperson was the top career choice of girls.”

According to the poll, businessperson is the top career choice of boys, with 14 percent responding that it was their ideal job. “Professional athlete” was their second choice at 9.4 percent and “computer field” was No. 3 at 7.8 percent.

New news parody

Fox News Channel will roll out its “Half Hour News Hour” — a parody of the evening news from a conservative perspective — Sunday at 10 p.m.

The show was developed with Joel Surnow, creator and executive producer of the acclaimed Fox hit drama “24.”

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

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