- The Washington Times - Sunday, February 18, 2007

Diana talks

Host James Lipton chats up Motown diva and one-time Oscar nominee (for “Lady Sings the Blues”) Diana Ross during a special two-hour edition of Bravo’s “Inside the Actor’s Studio,” tonight at 8.

The 62-year-old star and mother of five, who’s been making the rounds of late thanks to the success of the Oscar-nominated film “Dreamgirls” (loosely based on the backstage drama surrounding her days as an original member of the Supremes), will discuss the highs and lows of her four-decade career, and will perform a compilation of past hits — including “Baby Love,” “Do You Know Where You’re Going To” (from the 1975 film “Mahogany”) along with selections from her new CD, “I Love You.”

She also addresses questions about her relationship with Motown founder Berry Gordy Jr. — the father of her oldest child, actress Rhonda Ross Kendrick — and its impact on the Supremes

“As time went on, it was expressed that it did put a strain on the group,” Miss Ross says. “At the time I didn’t think that it did. I felt like we were all growing in different directions. I don’t really know if it was Berry’s focus on me, think it was just time, it was part of growing.”

Will Mr. Lipton ask her about the comparisons being made between “Dreamgirls” and the real-life Supremes?

As Bravo says in its tagline, watch what happens.

Nowhere near final

While some may be undecided about how they’ll spend the holiday, Trekkies probably already know what they’ll be doing tonight — watching a new documentary about their favorite series.

“Star Trek: Beyond the Final Frontier” premieres at 9 p.m. on the History Channel, with Leonard Nimoy, who played Spock on the original series, hosting this two-hour look at the 40-year-old franchise.

The special, which examines the sci-fi series as a global cultural phenomenon and offers behind-the-scenes tidbits, also features interviews with Patrick Stewart, Kate Mulgrew and Avery Brooks. No word, though, on whether the most famous Enterprise captain — William Shatner, who played Capt. Kirk — will appear.

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

Chill with ‘Hill’ day

It’s a holiday today — Presidents Day — and you know what that means: television marathons.

So if you’re lucky enough to have the day off, why not spend it laughing with FX’s “King of the Hill” marathon?

Back-to-back episodes of the animated hit — beginning with the pilot and ending with an installment featuring the voice of tabloid favorite Lindsay Lohan — air from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Miss Lohan, in fact, is just one of the many celebrity voices that have been featured on nearly every episode (with the exception of the pilot).

Grammer, Heaton back

After a much-anticipated bidding war, Fox has snagged next fall’s highest-profile comedy project: “Action News,” starring Kelsey Grammer and Patricia Heaton as broadcast journalists who reunite at a local TV station.

Fox made a 13-episode commitment to the multi-cam sitcom, from Steve Levitan and Christopher Lloyd, who teamed up last July, reports MediaWeek.com.

Prior to their partnership, both Mr. Levitan and Mr. Lloyd were prolific comedy producers. Mr. Levitan, producer of NBC’s “Just Shoot Me,” also produced Fox’s “Stacked,” “Oliver Beene” and “Greg the Bunny.” Mr. Lloyd, who oversaw NBC’s “Frasier,” in which Mr. Grammer starred, was executive producer on CBS’ “Out of Practice” last season.

In other prime-time casting news:

• Louise Lombard (of CBS’ “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation”) has landed the title role in ABC’s drama pilot “Judy’s Got a Gun,” the Hollywood Reporter notes. Produced by Touchstone TV, the series centers on Judy (Miss Lombard), a suburban woman who balances being a single mother with being a detective investigating bizarre suburban crimes.

• Sarah Clarke (best known for her role as Nina Myers on Fox’s “24”) has been cast in NBC’s untitled Shore/Blake drama pilot. The project, from NBC Universal TV Studio, is a light ensemble drama with procedural elements that centers on a policewoman (Famke Janssen). Miss Clarke will play her younger sister and best friend who sometimes gives her advice about cases.

• Lucy Lawless (“Xena: Warrior Princess”) has been tapped for one of the leads in ABC’s drama pilot “Football Wives,” based on the British soap about the partners of professional soccer players.

• Indie queen Parker Posey is making her first appearance on series television with “The Return of Jezebel James,” Reuters reports. The Fox comedy pilot from “Gilmore Girls” creator Amy Sherman-Palladino will star Miss Posey as a newly single children’s book editor who asks her estranged younger sister to carry a baby for her. Miss Posey, who recently starred in “For Your Consideration,” has turned down every other pilot she’s been offered in the past.

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