- The Washington Times - Thursday, May 1, 2008

Elizondo joins ‘Monk’

In the wake of the untimely death of “Monk” co-star Stanley Kamel — aka Dr. Kroger, the psychiatrist for the neurotic title character played by Tony Shalhoub — comes word that veteran actor Hector Elizondo (“Pretty Woman,” “The Princess Diaries”) is joining the Emmy-winning USA Network show as its new shrink.

There’s no word on how his character will be introduced, but he’ll first turn up in “Monk’s” seventh season premiere on July 18, TVGuide.com reports.

On a related note, Mr. Elizondo’s hiring would seem to signal that CBS’ “Cane” is a goner. The series, which featured Mr. Elizondo as the patriarch of a large Cuban-American family that owns a rum-and-sugar empire in South Florida, premiered last fall.

Divided over Jerry

Talk-show host Jerry Springer accepted an invitation to give the commencement address at Northwestern University School of Law, despite student-generated petitions and blogs claiming he is an unsuitable choice.

According to Associated Press, a group of law students chose Mr. Springer for the May 16 event, and faculty approved the decision last week. Mr. Springer, a former Cincinnati mayor who hosts the syndicated “The Jerry Springer Show,” is a 1968 graduate of the law school.

“As always, I am honored to have been asked, flattered that the students invited me,” Mr. Springer said Monday in an e-mail to AP. “And as for those who didn’t want me, it just shows they have good taste.”

Mr. Springer has spoken at numerous universities, including 15 in the past few months, publicist Linda Shafran said.

The controversial talk-show host is a former Cincinnati mayor and news anchor. He was also a Cincinnati councilman in the 1970s but resigned in 1974 after admitting he wrote personal checks to prostitutes. However, he’s best known for his television show, which often features scores of bleeped-out obscenities and spirited sparring matches broken up by security guards.

Northwestern law school administrators, including Dean David Van Zandt, defended the choice, stressing Mr. Springer’s history in public office.

“Mr. Springer is an alumnus who has held public office as a city council member and mayor of Cincinnati,” Mr. Van Zandt wrote in a statement posted on the legal blog Above the Law. “He has had a very successful career in the news and entertainment industries.”

QVC goes HD

Now all that jewelry on QVC will really glitter: The cable network yesterday launched a high-definition version of its domestic cable shopping channel, according to Multichannel.com.

“As HD programming becomes increasingly more in demand, we’re thrilled to offer our customers an enhanced shopping experience through QVCHD,” said Al Ulozas, the senior vice president of affiliate sales and marketing for the channel.

QVC officials said they are in negotiations with potential affiliates for the enhanced service.

The shopping channel reaches 166 million cable homes in the U.S. and abroad.

‘Premiere’ event

The TV Guide Network is touting its “Big Movie Premiere,” an hour-long TV special on the summer’s most anticipated films — “Iron Man,” “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull” and “Sex and the City: The Movie.”

The program, premiering at 8 tonight, will feature cast interviews, behind-the-scenes set visits and a sneak peek at never-before-seen film clips.

Tonight’s “Iron Man” segment will offer a look at the making of the film with host Marc Istook, inside information on the Marvel comic book that inspired it all and coverage of the movie’s Los Angeles premiere with its stars Robert Downey Jr., Gwyneth Paltrow and Terrence Howard. The film opens nationwide tomorrow.

The new “Indiana Jones, opening May 22, gets the same glitzy treatment on May 19, as does “Sex and the City” (arriving in theaters May 30) on May 29.

The girls are back

Speaking of “Sex and the City,” the show’s fashionable foursome who reprise their HBO roles on the big screen — Sarah Jessica Parker (Carrie Bradshaw), Kim Cattrall (Samantha Jones), Kristin Davis (Charlotte York Goldenblatt) and Cynthia Nixon (Miranda Hobbes) — chew the fat with Oprah Winfrey today on her eponymous talk show (4 p.m. WJLA-ABC7), along with co-star Chris Noth (Mr. Big).

‘Minds’ set for A&E;

A&E; Network has acquired “Criminal Minds” from CBS Television Distribution, Broadcasting & Cable reports.

The “Criminal” deal gives A&E; rights to exclusively run the FBI drama starting in September 2009. Starting in May 2009, A&E; will run episodes from the show’s first three seasons once weekly.

Compiled by Robyn-Denise Yourse from Web and wire reports

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