- The Washington Times - Thursday, February 14, 2008

Bratt gets ‘Cleaner’

A&E; Network has given the green light to “The Cleaner,” marking the cable network’s first original scripted drama series in six years, the Hollywood Reporter notes.

Inspired by a true story, “Cleaner”stars Benjamin Bratt (formerly of NBC’s “Law & Order”) as William “The Cleaner” Banks, who, after hitting rock bottom from his own addictions during the birth of his twins, strikes a tentative deal with God. In exchange for a second chance, he vows to kick his habit and dedicate his life to helping others get clean from their own addictions by any means necessary.

A&E; has ordered 13 hour-long episodes of “The Cleaner,” including the pilot. It is tentatively set to premiere this summer, the Hollywood Reporter says.

Short takes

• Returning — CBS is the first network out of the gate with its post-strike lineup, bringing back to the airwaves nearly all of its scripted series — from “CSI” to “How I Met Your Mother” — says Zap2it.com. The network will gradually rebuild its regular lineup, starting with the Monday comedies “HIMYM,” “The Big Bang Theory” and “Two and a Half Men,” which are set to return March 17. Dramas will move back into their spots over the following three weeks, starting with “CSI: Miami” on March 24.

• Expanded — Fox will extend its “American Idol” weekly results show from 30 minutes to one hour each week, beginning Wednesday March 12 at 9 p.m., MediaWeek.com reports. As usual, viewer votes on the contestants will be announced and the contenders with the lowest number of votes will be eliminated from the competition. The remaining finalists will perform live on “Idol” the following Tuesday.

• Beginning — The Independent Film Channel (IFC) will inaugurate its first Web-only series in March, the company announced this week. According to the Hollywood Reporter, the short-form show, dubbed “Lunchbox,” will air weekdays at noon on IFC.com and will report on new Web sites, events and trends with an independent focus. The show, which the network says will be “funny and edgy,” will present a different subject each day, including music, politics and film.

On tap tonight

NAACP Image Awards ( 8 p.m. on Fox) — Comic and actor D.L. Hugely hosts the 39th annual event honoring “projects and individuals that promote diversity in the arts.” Aretha Franklin will receive the group’s prestigious Vanguard Award, and Stevie Wonder will be inducted into the Hall of Fame. Denzel Washington, Angelina Jolie, Chris Rock, America Ferrera and Terrence Howard are among the nominees. Airing live from Los Angeles.

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

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