- The Washington Times - Wednesday, September 12, 2007

TLC is L.A. bound

Discovery Communications is moving operations for its TLC cable channel to Los Angeles from Silver Spring, Broadcasting & Cable magazine reports.

Staffers were told of the decision on Monday. About 50 employees from the network’s programming, production, marketing, research and communications teams will be affected. It will be the first time any Discovery channel will have been headquartered in Los Angeles.

According to B&C;, by early 2008, about one-third of the employees will move from Discovery headquarters in Silver Spring to the West Coast, another third will leave the company, and the remaining third will be reassigned to other cable networks in Discovery’s portfolio — such as the flagship Discovery Channel and new environmental network Planet Green.

The change follows the July 1 takeover of the cable network’s new President and General Manager Angela Shapiro-Mathes. The industry veteran, formerly chief of Fox TV Studios and ABC Family, has always been based in Los Angeles and had begun hiring her senior team there.

TLC has been strong for Discovery from a ratings standpoint for the past 18 months, growing in audience delivery to an average of 904,000 total viewers during August.

Short takes

Tracey Ullman is moving from HBO to Showtime, FishbowlLA.com reports.

The British comedian is returning to the small screen in a new series, “State of the Union.” As in her previous work, such as the HBO series “Tracey Takes On …” she’ll play a variety of characters. In keeping with the times, the new show promises to have a more political bent: Miss Ullman will play Nancy Pelosi and Arianna Huffington, among others. The series will begin airing in March, just before the presidential election kicks into high gear.

Oscar winner Jennifer Hudson (“Dreamgirls”) has been tapped for a role in the upcoming movie version of the hit television show “Sex and the City,” Agence France-Presse reported yesterday.

Miss Hudson, who turns 26 today, will play the assistant to central character Carrie Bradshaw, played by Sarah Jessica Parker, according to the Hollywood Reporter and Daily Variety.

“Sex and the City,” which followed the tangled love lives of four New York women, ended its run in 2004 after a successful six seasons as one of the most-talked-about series in TV history. Filming for the movie begins in New York later this month, with all four of the principal stars from the HBO hit — Miss Parker, Cynthia Nixon, Kristin Davis and Kim Cattrall — reprising their roles.

Together again

Married on “Roseanne,” Sara Gilbert and Johnny Galecki are set to reteam on his new CBS comedy, Zap2it.com reports.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, Miss Gilbert will do a multiepisode arc on CBS’ “Big Bang Theory,” which has the Monday 8:30 p.m. slot. The two-time Emmy nominee was seen most recently as a recurring guest star on “The Class.”

“Big Bang Theory” focuses on a pair of physicists (Mr. Galecki and Jim Parsons) who know an awful lot about science but very little about the normal world until a beautiful woman (Kaley Cuoco) moves into the apartment across the hall. Miss Gilbert will play a more realistic love interest for Mr. Galecki’s character, a fellow physicist.

In recent weeks, CBS’ Monday night comedies have received a decent amount of press for entertaining on-screen reunions. “Rules of Engagement,” for example, will team reputed former couple David Spade and Heather Locklear, while “Seinfeld” vets Jason Alexander and Julia Louis-Dreyfus reunite on “The New Adventures of Old Christine.”

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

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