- The Washington Times - Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Woodruff returns

Bob Woodruff, seriously wounded in Iraq just over a year ago, returns to television tonight to share his story about surviving the ordeal, Scripps Howard News Service reports.

On Jan. 29, 2006, Mr. Woodruff suffered severe head injuries when a bomb exploded as he was riding in a vehicle near Taji, 12 miles north of Baghdad.

Tonight, he will be a guest on “ABC World News with Charles Gibson” at 6:30 p.m., the program Mr. Woodruff was co-anchoring with Elizabeth Vargas when he was injured.

Then at 10 p.m., ABC airs “To Iraq and Back,” an hourlong documentary featuring video of Mr. Woodruff talking about his survival and how doctors, soldiers and family members helped save his life.

The ABC News correspondent will appear throughout March on a variety of news and talk shows, discussing his experiences and plugging a companion book, “In an Instant: A Family’s Journey to Love and Healing,” written by his wife, Lee. The couple have appearances scheduled with Larry King and Wolf Blitzer (CNN), Greta Van Susteren (Fox News), Charlie Rose (PBS), Chris Matthews (MSNBC) and Oprah Winfrey and Ellen DeGeneres on their syndicated shows — leading some to ask if this is interview overkill to sell lots of copies of the book.

Guest’s new show

There’s good news for fans of intelligent comedy. Christopher Guest has signed on to direct the pilot “The Thick of It” for ABC, Reuters news agency reports.

The new comedy revolves around the workers in the office of a low-level congressman here in the District. “Arrested Development” writer-producer Mitch Hurwitz created the show, which is a spinoff of a BBC series.

Mr. Guest is an actor (“This is Spinal Tap”) who began his directing career on television, with episodes of shows such as “Saturday Night Live” and “Tall Tales and Legends.” He’s best known for directing the feature mockumentaries “Waiting for Guffman,” “Best in Show,” “A Mighty Wind” and last year’s “For Your Consideration.”

Fallon wooed

Carson Daly has some tough competition. Jimmy Fallon is reportedly being courted by NBC to take over hosting duties on the “Late Night” show when Conan O’Brien moves to “The Tonight Show” in 2009, E! Online reports.

The Peacock network is apparently negotiating with the “Saturday Night Live” alumnus to sign a holding deal to keep Mr. Fallon in the network fold as a possible replacement for the 12:30 a.m. talk slot.

The 32-year-old comic actor filled in for David Letterman on CBS’ “Late Show” in 2003 and hosted the MTV Video Music Awards in 2002 and the MTV Movie Awards in 2005.

Mr. Daly has also been named a possible contender for the job. His “Last Call” show follows Mr. O’Brien at 1:30 a.m. The former MTV “Total Request Live” host has reportedly expressed interest in taking over from Mr. O’Brien.

A source close to Mr. Fallon warned against jumping to conclusions and said that “he could have a hit movie and not want to jump back into television.” But that seems rather unlikely. Since leaving “SNL” two years ago, he’s had only two modest successes, 2004’s “Taxi” and 2005’s “Fever Pitch.”

In the early ‘90s, before Johnny Carson called it quits, NBC signed another former “SNL” star, Dennis Miller, along with several other comics, among them Jerry Seinfeld, to similar holding pacts. But Jay Leno eventually succeeded Mr. Carson, and Mr. Seinfeld got his now-legendary sitcom.

Compiled by Kelly Jane Torrance from Web and wire reports.

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