- The Washington Times - Sunday, March 11, 2007

Lipton chats up Rock

From “Beverly Hills Cop II,” his first film nearly 20 years ago to his turn hosting the Oscars, Chris Rock tells all to host James Lipton in tonight’s two-hour edition of “Inside the Actor’s Studio” (at 8 on Bravo).

The 42-year-old funnyman, whose latest film, “I Think I Love My Wife,” opens Friday, also discusses his comedic influences and his successful sitcom “Everybody Hates Chris” — which, in part, is based on his upbringing in New York’s Crown Heights and Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhoods.

His take on other topics:

On meeting Eddie Murphy: “Eddie is my idol. I met Eddie Murphy in 1987, Eddie is cool now, but in ‘87 it was really Eddie Murphy, with the leather suits, gloves and diamond rings. I met the guy from ‘Raw,’ I didn’t meet ‘Dr. Dolittle.’ ”

On what makes a good comedian: “It’s really about listening. Just shut up and let the people do what they do.”

On “Saturday Night Live:” ” ‘Saturday Night Live’ was the best time of my life. It was like X-Men School for comedians. When Lorne Michaels [SNLs’ executive producer] shook my hand, I haven’t been broke since. I never smelled broke again since I met Lorne Michaels.”

On hosting the Oscars: “I am proud of it. It is the most pressure you will have in your whole life. The opening monologue for the Oscars is harder than playing in the World Series.”

‘Pirates’ on ‘Dancing’

The trailer for “Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End” will make its worldwide debut during the “Dancing with the Stars” season premiere on March 19 — and simultaneously on popular shows in 61 other countries, Associated Press reports.

It’s big-screen/small-screen synergy, said Mark Zoradi, president of Walt Disney Motion Picture Group, which will release “Pirates” in the United States on May 25.

“Broadcasters were anxious to get the trailer because they knew it would be supportive of driving viewership to their particular shows,” he said, adding that unveiling the trailer during popular programs will allow it to reach “in excess of 200 million people.”

ABC, which airs “Dancing with the Stars,” is owned by the Walt Disney Company.

Cosby out at MSNBC

Rita Cosby is leaving MSNBC at the end of the month, reports Broadcasting & Cable magazine.

Her contract was due to expire April 1 and was not going to be renewed, according to sources familiar with the matter.

MSNBC canceled Miss Cosby’s 10 p.m. show, “Rita Cosby Live and Direct” last summer.

The network also dumped Tucker Carlson’s 11 p.m. show to make way for documentary programming.

At the time of her show’s cancellation, Miss Cosby was named head of a new specials unit, but she has been featured sparingly ever since, B&C; noted. The former Fox News personality gained notoriety for her celebrity pieces, most recently a story on Anna Nicole Smith’s private funeral in the Bahamas.

“I am committed to devoting my attention full-time to my work and obligations at the network,” Miss Cosby said. “I intend to continue doing so until I leave at the end of the month. I wish all of my MSNBC and NBC colleagues the best for the future. As of April 1st, I will begin to explore the new opportunities.”

Showtime renews ‘L’

“The L Word” will be back for a fifth season.

Showtime has ordered 12 new episodes of the drama series, which centers on a group of lesbians in Los Angeles. Production is set to begin in the summer for an early 2008 debut, and deals are in place with the principal actors to return for Season 5, notes the Hollywood Reporter.

Recently nominated for the GLAAD (the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation) Media Award for outstanding series, “The L Word” kicked off its fourth season Jan. 7 with new episodes airing Sundays at 10 p.m. To date, the show — which featured Cybill Shepherd in a guest-starring role this season and also has added Oscar-winner Marlee Matlin to its cast — is averaging 310,000 viewers per first-run episode (off slightly from Season 3’s 370,000), though the network does give every episode multiple plays throughout the week and offers them on-demand.

Compiled by Robyn-Denise Yourse from Web and wire reports

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