- The Washington Times - Monday, July 9, 2007

A-list ‘Gathering’

“Battlestar Galactica” producer David Eick’s Lifetime miniseries “The Gathering” has assembled its principal cast, with former “O.C.” star Peter Gallagher topping the list, Zap2it.com reports.

The four-hour miniseries, scheduled to bow in October, will also feature Jamie-Lynn Sigler (“The Sopranos”) along with Kristin Lehman (“Drive”), Peter Fonda (“Ghost Rider,” “Ulee’s Gold”) and Jenna Boyd (“The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants”). Mr. Eick is executive producing the project with writer John Shiban (“The X-Files,” “Supernatural”).

“The Gathering” centers on Dr. Michael Foster (Mr. Gallagher), who wakes up one morning to find his wife (Miss Lehman) has disappeared. The police provide no help, so he’s left to puzzle out a handful of cryptic clues — a bloody circle on the wall and a dying bird — for himself.

In the course of his investigation, Michael talks with his daughter’s (Miss Boyd) teacher, a woman named Maggy Rue (Miss Sigler), who tells him that his wife may be involved with a coven of witches whose aim is to rule the world. He soon learns that a number of powerful people, including a real-estate developer (Mr. Fonda), have a vested interest in the coven’s plans.

The miniseries will be Mr. Gallagher’s first TV work since “The O.C.” ended its four-season run on Fox earlier this year, and also for Miss Sigler — who as Meadow Soprano, was last seen attempting to park her car when HBO’s “The Sopranos” ended its eight-year run last month.

New voices on ‘Boxes’

Showtime has lined up the latest group of singers to record versions of “Little Boxes,” the 1960s musical comment on conformity that is the theme song to “Weeds,” Broadcasting & Cable magazine reports.

The popular show — a dark comedy about a suburban mom who goes to pot (literally) after her husband’s death — stars Mary-Louise Parker as the weed-dealing widow, Elizabeth Perkins as her best friend, and Kevin Nealon as a pot-smoking politician.

“Weeds’ ” Aug. 13 season premiere will begin with a new version of the Malvina Reynolds song by Randy Newman. Others in the rotation will include Joan Baez, Donovan, the Shins, and Billy Bob Thornton, B&C; said.

It is the second season that Showtime has used a variety of versions of the song by Miss Reynolds, a political activist and songwriter who died in 1978. According to a Web site dedicated to the late artist, her record sales have been boosted by the “Weeds” exposure.

Last season’s eclectic lineup of those performing the tune included Engelbert Humperdinck and Death Cab for Cutie.

More time for ‘Nine’

ABC will burn off the remaining episodes of its fall bank heist drama “The Nine,” TVWeek.com reports.

The network will air the final six episodes of the critically acclaimed show starting Aug. 1. ABC aired seven episodes last fall before pulling the series. The series finale will air Sept. 5.

“The Nine”— which follows the lives of hostages who were released after a violent bank heist — stars Tim Daly, Scott Wolf, Kim Raver and Chi McBride.

‘Boston’ bound

D.C. native Taraji P. Henson is joining the cast of David E. Kelley’s legal dramedy “Boston Legal” as a regular, the Hollywood Reporter notes.

The Howard University graduate — who stars with Don Cheadle in the new film “Talk to Me,” opening Friday — will portray a corporate litigator out of the New York office whom high-powered partner Carl Sack (played by John Larroquette) brings in to help wrestle more political sovereignty within the law firm. The character will be introduced later in the season.

Miss Henson recently wrapped filming on “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” which stars Brad Pitt.

On tap tonight

Alexandria’s Heidi Ecker is front and center on ABC’s “Extreme Makeover” (9 p.m., WJLA ABC 7) , showcasing an array of cosmetic surgery procedures and a dramatic weight loss — shedding more than 100 pounds — from a size 28 to a size 4.

The 33-year-old Miss Ecker’s “extreme makeover team” included dentist-to-the-stars Dr. William Dorfman — one of the pioneers of tooth whitening — whose celebrity clientele includes Matthew Perry, Usher, Ali Landry, Brooke Burke and Melissa Joan Hart.

Compiled by Robyn-Denise Yourse from staff, Web and wire reports

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