- The Washington Times - Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Prime-time Flavor

After saturating VH1 as the star of three reality series (“The Surreal Life,” “Strange Love” and “Flavor of Love”), rapper Flavor Flav brings his buffoonery to MyNetwork TV (WDCA-Channel 20) as the star of a new sitcom premiering at 8 tonight.

“Under One Roof” — not to be confused with CBS’ excellent but short-lived 1995 drama of the same name (starring James Earl Jones) — features the 49-year-old Flav (sans his trademark gigantic clock) as Calvester Hill, an ex-convict who moves in with his wealthy, conservative brother, Winston (Kelly Perine, formerly of UPN’s “One on One”).

In a well-worn plot, Calvester, as the fish out of water, turns Winston’s life upside down. He parades his old prison cronies through the house, teaches his nephew Winston Jr. (Jesse Reid) to be a gangsta rapper and butts heads with Winston’s snooty wife, Ashley (Canadian-born actress Carrie Genzel). Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Terrell Owens (T.O.) also has a guest-starring role in tonight’s premiere.

MyNetworkTV, which did not provide a review copy to critics, has ordered 13 episodes of the new half-hour comedy.

Bravo boosts sked

Bravo has added Monday nights to its schedule, and the fourth night of original programming was just part of the happy news announced yesterday, Zap2it.com reports.

The network also touted a dozen returning shows, including “Project Runway,” “Top Chef,” “Millionaire Matchmaker” and “The Real Housewives of New York City” along with several new series currently in production — including a New Jersey edition of its “Real Housewives” franchise and the launch of MoviesWithoutPity.com.

The new and returning shows will increase the cable network’s programming hours by a whopping 45 percent.

Returning for a sophomore season: “The Real Housewives of New York City” (which concluded its first season last night), “Millionaire Matchmaker” featuring Patti Stanger, “Tim Gunn’s Guide to Style,” “Million Dollar Listing,” “Top Design”(back this fall) and both “Shear Genius” and “Flipping Out,” returning this summer.

Meanwhile, the fifth seasons of “Top Chef” and “Project Runway” will continue the reality-competition trend. Viewers can look forward to a fourth season of “The Real Housewives of Orange County” and “Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List.” The latter premieres June 12. The return of “Work Out” also was announced previously.

New programming in production includes the reality dating series “Date My Ex,” the docu-drama “The Rachel Zoe Project” (about the celebrity hairstylist) and Bravo’s “A-List Awards,” premiering June 12 after “Kathy Griffin.”

But wait, there’s more. Bravo also is developing “Tabatha’s Salon Takeover,” featuring the charismatic and sometimes scary Tabatha Coffey from the fledgling season of “Shear Genius”; “Miami Social”; and “Donatella,” which focuses on successful New York restaurateur Donatella Arpaia.

Short takes

m First lady Laura Bush will be “guest host” for an hour of NBC’s “Today” show next week, Associated Press reports. The network says she’ll host the 9 a.m. hour on Tuesday, the morning of the Pennsylvania primary. Mrs. Bush also will participate in several segments and interviews, NBC said yesterday. Earlier in the broadcast, she will be joined by her daughter Jenna to talk about their new children’s book, “Read All About It!”

m TVGuide.com says “CSI” co-star Gary Dourdan (Warrick Brown) — whose contract is set to expire next month — reportedly is leaving the show. A CBS spokesperson was quoted on the Web site as saying, “We can’t confirm or deny this information.” This is the second major departure for “CSI” this season. Jorja Fox (Sara Sidle) made her final appearance in November.

m Lifetime has made a deal with best-selling author Patricia Cornwell to adapt two of her novels — “At Risk” and its sequel “The Front” (which hits stores in May) — into movies. According to Zap2it.com, the agreement marks the first time Miss Cornwell’s novels will be adapted for the screen. The author will serve as an executive producer.

‘A.I.’ still No. 1

According to Nielsen Media Research, the top five shows for the week of April 7 through 13, along with their networks and viewerships were: 1)”American Idol” (Tuesday), Fox, 24.6 million; 2) “American Idol” (Thursday), Fox, 20.1 million; 3) “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation,” CBS, 20 million; 4) “Dancing With the Stars” (Monday), ABC, 19.6 million; and 5) NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship: Kansas vs. Memphis, CBS, 19.5 million.

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

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