- The Washington Times - Monday, April 21, 2008

‘Gossip’ skips Web

Defying the conventional wisdom in TV land these days, the CW has decided to hype the upcoming return of “Gossip Girl’ without streaming episodes of the show on the Web, Variety reports.

Though most networks have been hyping Internet streaming as a key component of the marketing and monetization of a series, CW execs seem to be worried that “Gossip Girl” may be too popular online. The series (which returns at 8 tonight after the long hiatus imposed by the writers strike) is regularly among the most downloaded shows on iTunes and is off the charts in terms of Web buzz.

Despite those signs of success, CW suits — as well as execs at its parent companies, CBS Corp. and Warner Bros. — have been frustrated that the show’s Nielsen ratings haven’t been higher, Variety says. There’s also concern that the show’s sidelining by the strike as well as its new time slot will put a dent in its numbers.

“Gossip” won’t be disappearing from the Net completely. The show still will be available for download on iTunes, but segments don’t usually post to the Apple site until about a week after their initial broadcast.

Moyers gets Wright

PBS’ “Bill Moyers Journal” snagged an interview with the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, according to the United Church of Christ Office of Communications.

Rev. Wright is Democratic presidential hopeful Sen. Barack Obama’s former pastor, whose fiery preaching about race relations at his Trinity UCC church in Chicago forced the candidate to distance himself from those comments.

Mr. Moyers is a member of the Riverside UCC/American Baptist Church in New York, the church pointed out in announcing the interview.

Rev. Wright will appear on Friday’s program, airing locally at 9 p.m. on WETA-Channel 26.

Prez makes a ‘Deal’

President George W. Bush has made surprise visits to Iraq, Afghanistan and now …”Deal or No Deal.” That’s right, the president of the United States is appearing on the NBC game show hosted by Canadian comedian Howie Mandel. In tonight’s special two-hour episode (8 p.m.), the commander in chief shows up to thank contestant Capt. Joseph Kobes, a Purple Heart and Bronze Star recipient, for his three tours of duty in Iraq and to wish him luck in the game. Capt. Kobes is from Sumner, Wash., and hopes to win $1 million to pay off his parents’ home.

Short takes

• Sen. Barack Obama will appear as a guest on Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show With Jon Stewart” tonight at 11, TVWeek.com reports. It’s the third time the front-runner in the race for the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination has appeared on the program. Last Thursday night, Mr. Obama, Sen. Hillary Clinton and former candidate John Edwards all appeared on “The Colbert Report” on Comedy Central.

• Little Rudy from “The Cosby Show” all grown up and playing a lady of the night? Yes indeed, thanks to Tyler Perry. According to the Hollywood Reporter, Keshia Knight Pulliam will star as an imprisoned prostitute in “Tyler Perry’s Madea Goes to Jail.” Filming in Atlanta is set to begin next month for a tentative early 2009 release. Miss Pulliam, 29 — who played Bill Cosby’s lovable daughter Rudy Huxtable in NBC’s ratings smash “The Cosby Show” — recently appeared in Mr. Perry’s TBS series “House of Payne.”

• On Thursday, Brett Favre, the recently retired Green Bay Packers quarterback, will make his first appearance on the “Late Show With David Letterman” (11:35 p.m., CBS) since announcing his retirement, says MediaWeek.com. Mr. Favre first appeared on the Letterman show in February 1997, after he had led the Packers to a Super Bowl victory over the New England Patriots.

On tap tonight …

• Eatin’ Crabs Chesapeake Style (9 p.m., Maryland Public Television Channel 22) — The region’s tastiest treat is explored in all its glory — from dockside to table and steamed or molded into savory, deep-fried golden brown cakes. The 30-minute special whisks viewers through various crab-lovin’ locales, including Baltimore’s busiest harbor and side districts filled with some of the area’s most famed crab shacks. Yum.

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

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