- The Washington Times - Wednesday, January 24, 2007

One crosses over

There’s often violence in the NBC crime drama “Crossing Jordan,” but it hits very close to home in tonight’s episode, airing at 10.

Riots break out in Boston after an 8-year-old black boy is shot 33 times by the police. Medical examiner Jordan Cavanaugh (Jill Hennessy) testifies that he shot at police first. However, a conversation with the dead boy’s mother leads Jordan to question her findings. She enlists her colleagues, including Tallulah “Lu” Simmons (Leslie Bibb) and Woody Hoyt (Jerry O’Connell), to help find a key piece of evidence that may settle the case.

The coroners and the cops face angry mobs wherever they go. Violence engulfs the city — and one member of the team won’t make it through the night alive.

I can’t tell you which series regular is killed off, but I can say that this episode of “Crossing Jordan” is engaging right from start to its very sad finish.

Week after week, Miss Hennessy puts in appealingly understated performances, and tonight’s episode is no exception.

Melissa sans Joan

Melissa Rivers finally is stepping out from her mom’s shadow. This weekend, she’ll be providing red-carpet coverage for the first time without her famous mother, Joan.

“Live With Melissa Rivers at the Screen Actors Guild Awards” airs Sunday night from 6 to 8 on the TV Guide Channel, with the younger Miss Rivers policing the stars’ wardrobes as they walk the red carpet at the awards show. Winners of the SAG Awards, in their 13th year, are chosen by ballots cast by their fellow actors in television and film.

The event will be broadcast live on TNT and TBS at 8 p.m.

Pilots galore

The major networks have been busy ordering pilots.

Case in point: NBC has given a cast-contingent pilot order to the drama “M.O.N.Y.,” Reuters news agency reports.

The project centers on a socially conscious New York public advocate who is thrust into the uncomfortable position of becoming interim mayor. He struggles to balance his moral center with the hardball realities of the city’s politics.

The Peacock Network also greenlighted “Area 52”— a comedy pilot about a remote location in the Nevada desert where the U.S. government houses an extraterrestrial — and six episodes of “Thank God You’re Here,” a new improvisational comedy.

The hourlong “Thank God” features celebrities competing to see who’s the best at improvising in an unknown situation. Each star is given a costume and a prop told to improvise a comedy scene already in progress after being greeted with the line “Thank God you’re here.”

David Alan Grier (“In Living Color”) will host, and Dave Foley (“Newsradio”) will judge the performances.

The show’s format was imported from Australia, where it’s in its third season.

Elsewhere, Fox picked up the comedy pilot “The Rules of Starting Over,” the story of a 35-year-old and his buddies — all newly single after years of marriage. They re-enter the dating scene and learn the painful rules of starting over.

ABC, meanwhile, has welcomed “American Family,” which centers on a chaotic clan that does whatever it takes to maintain appearances for the neighbors. The alphabet network also ordered an untitled hourlong comedy pilot about a successful female lawyer who leaves her high-powered big-city firm to reunite with her crazy family and work with her lawyer father in her hometown of Savannah, Ga. Rina Mimoun, writer and producer of the CW’s “Everwood,” is behind the series.

Compiled by Kelly Jane Torrance from staff and wire reports.

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