- The Washington Times - Sunday, May 6, 2007

‘Girlfriends’ say bye-bye

The CW’s “Girlfriends” ends its seven-season run with a special hourlong finale airing at 9 tonight.

The sitcom, a wannabe “Sex and the City” that was limited by the restraints of broadcast television, centered on four successful black professional women played by Tracee Ellis Ross, Golden Brooks, Persia White and Jill Marie Jones (who left the show in 2006) as they searched for love and happiness in Los Angeles.

Last fall, the show, which began life on the now-defunct WB network, lost millions of viewers when it was moved from its familiar Monday night slot to Sunday evenings prompting the network to eventually return it to its familiar berth.

Tonight’s series’ finale, titled “To Be Determined … /It’s Been Determined,” finds Joan (Miss Ross) struggling with a marriage proposal. Actor Malik Yoba (“New York Undercover”) guest stars.

‘Farmer’ set for fall

After shedding long-running shows “Girlfriends” and “Gilmore Girls” (a move announced late last week) the CW has picked up the FremantleMedia reality series “Farmer Wants a Wife,” TVWeek.com reports.

The dating series is based on a concept that’s aired in 10 overseas territories matching women from big cities who long for a laid-back small-town lifestyle with successful farmers.

The fish-out-of-water series will begin shooting eight, one-hour episodes this summer, sources familiar with the program told TVWeek.com.

“Farmer” will be the CW’s first original dating reality show. The network also airs “Beauty and the Geek,” which it picked up from WB. Since its debut last fall, CW’s reality shows which include the Tyra Banks-created “America’s Next Top Model” tend to be the highest-rated programs on the network.

“Farmer Wants a Wife” is produced by FremantleMedia North American. The series originated in Britain, where it premiered in 2001.

J.T. to rock HBO

HBO wants to hear the “LoveSounds” of Justin Timberlake.

The pay-cable network has struck a deal with Mr. “SexyBack” that will have him headlining his first solo concert special late this summer, reports Zap2it.com. The Grammy-winning singer has previously appeared on HBO as a member of ‘NSync in 2000.

The special will be taped during Mr. Timberlake’s Aug. 16 performance at New York’s Madison Square Garden and is scheduled to air on Labor Day. Fans at that performance can expect to see some new wrinkles in his stage show, which is in support of the multi-platinum “FutureSex/LoveSounds” album.

Mr. Timberlake won two Grammys earlier this year for the songs “SexyBack” and “My Love,” a collaboration with rapper T.I. His first solo album, “Justified,” also netted two awards.

Sci-fi’s best

Science fiction fans aren’t faring too badly these days, if a new poll is any indication.

Two current television series made Entertainment Weekly’s list of the best sci-fi movies and TV shows of the past 25 years.

At the peak of the top-25 list, which is in the EW issue hitting newsstands today, was the 1999 feature film “The Matrix,” starring Keanu Reeves and Laurence Fishburne, Associated Press reports.

Second is the Sci Fi Channel cult hit “Battlestar Galactica.” Another current series, NBC’s “Heroes,” was at No. 18. “Heroes” cast members also are featured on five different covers of EW.

Rounding out the top five are the 1982 Ridley Scott film “Blade Runner,” the cult TV hit “The X-Files” and another 1982 film, “Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan.”

The 1985 movie “Brazil” ranks No. 6, and is trailed in the top 10 by the films “E.T.,” “Star Trek: The Next Generation,” “Aliens” and “The Thing,” starring Kurt Russell.

Briefly …

“The Sopranos” co-star Steven Schirripa has signed a development deal with Nickelodeon for an original TV movie based on his book “Nicky Deuce: Welcome to the Family,” notes the Hollywood Reporter.

The book, which Mr. Schirripa wrote with Charles Fleming, centers on a suburban teen who unexpectedly is shipped off to Brooklyn to live temporarily with his grandmother Tutti, who tries to fatten him up with Italian cooking, and Uncle Frankie, who might be a gangster.

Mr. Schirripa, who served as entertainment director at the Riviera in Las Vegas before taking on acting as a full-time job, is best known for his role as mobster Bobby “Bacala” Baccalieri on HBO’s “Sopranos.”

Compiled by Robyn-Denise Yourse and Kelly Jane Torrance from staff, wire and Web reports.

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