- The Washington Times - Sunday, January 14, 2007

Clooneys in Darfur

“A Journey to Darfur,” a documentary recounting a trip made by actor George Clooney and his journalist father Nick, airs tonight at 8 on the AmericanLife TV Network (Channel 121 on RCN, Channel 203 on Cox, and Channel 203 on Verizon FiOS).

The pair traveled to the border of the war-ravaged Darfur region of Sudan in April, Associated Press reports. The actor calls the conflict, which has claimed an estimated 200,000 lives and forced 2.5 million from their homes, the first genocide of the 21st century.

In an interview with AP, Nick Clooney said the idea for the film arose from conversations with his son about newspaper articles on Darfur.

“We couldn’t figure out why so few of these stories were on the front page. We were trying to think of ways that we could affect that,” he said. “George obviously has this currency of his own — his enormous celebrity — and so he said, ‘Pop why don’t we go over there.’ ”

The fighting began in February 2003 when the region’s black population revolted against the Arab-dominated government in Khartoum. The government instigated a counterinsurgency in which the Janjaweed, an Arab militia, committed widespread atrocities.

Nick Clooney said a woman he met on the trip told him of fleeing an attack on her village by government planes and militias. She was able to run with her baby in her arms, with her 13-year-old son keeping up and her 6-year-old son behind.

“She said she called to the 6-year-old as she ran, and heard his voice become more and more faint,” he recalled. The woman had not seen the child since.

Though the Clooneys had hoped to enter Darfur from Chad, they were prevented from crossing the border by threat of violence. “Everywhere we went there were trucks with kids with AK-47s.” Nick Clooney said.

Since returning, the Clooneys have campaigned energetically for international action. Nick Clooney has taken his stories to college campuses, while George Clooney has argued on two occasions at the United Nations that millions of lives are in danger. In December, he met then-U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan to brief him about a delegation he led to China and Egypt arguing for pressure from those countries on Sudan.

Rivers gals go red

The 64th Annual Golden Globe Awards air live tonight at 8 on NBC. You know what that means — the return of Joan and Melissa Rivers to praise and pan the stars on the red carpet.

Their coverage starts early, with “Joan and Melissa: Guide to the Golden Globes” at 3 p.m.

“Joan and Melissa: Countdown to the Golden Globes” starts an hour later, with a look at what trends they expect to see on the red carpet this awards season.

They start their live coverage at 6.

And if you still haven’t gotten enough of the duo, you can catch “Fashion Wrap with Joan & Melissa” tomorrow night at 8 with a repeat at 11.

Sopranos’ in April

HBO confirmed the debut date for the final episodes of “The Sopranos” late last week.

The final nine episodes of the mob drama starring James Gandolfini will air Sundays at 9 p.m. starting April 8. Series creator David Chase will write and direct the final episode of the show. Co-star Edie Falco is up for best actress in a dramatic television series at tonight’s Golden Globes.

Another Emmy-winning series returns on the same date. Eight episodes of “Entourage” will air on Sundays at 10 p.m., following “The Sopranos.” “Entourage,” starring Adrian Grenier as a hot young actor and Jeremy Piven as his aggressive agent, is up for best comedy series tonight, while Mr. Piven was nominated as a supporting actor.

• Compiled by Kelly Jane Torrance from staff and wire reports.

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