- The Washington Times - Wednesday, November 12, 2008

HBO lands Obama doc

HBO has picked up the rights to a documentary on President-elect Barack Obama’s run to the White House, Zap2it.com reports.

The film, produced by actor Edward Norton and directed by Amy Rice and Alicia Sams, has been a couple years in the making. Miss Rice and Miss Sams started following the Illinois senator in 2006, before Mr. Obama announced he would run for president, and received what HBO calls “unprecedented access” to Mr. Obama and those around him during the campaign.

“Sen. Obama’s history-making race for the White House has given our film a perfect framework to explore the pulse of the country at this vital moment in our history,” Mr. Norton says. “We believe this film will capture a tipping point in American history when a new generation of leadership emerged and old prejudices were finally vaulted over.”

The co-directors will continue shooting through Mr. Obama’s inauguration in January. The currently untitled film will premiere sometime later in 2009, Zap2it.com says.

Fox unveils new lineup

Fox has unveiled its first-quarter 2009 prime-time lineup, which will kick off with the two-hour return of the long-awaited “24” on Jan. 12.

According to MediaWeek.com, the network will introduce two new dramas (Joss Whedon’s “Dollhouse” and “Lie to Me” from the producers of “24”) while rolling out new seasons of “American Idol,” “Hell’s Kitchen” and the aforementioned “24.” Four current series (“House,” “Bones,” “Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles” and “Hole in the Wall”) will move to new time periods, with changes impacting six nights of the week (excluding Saturday’s long-running combination of “Cops” and “America’s Most Wanted”).

The medical drama “House” will anchor Mondays, leading into “24” at 9 p.m. “American Idol” will return to its established Tuesday 8 p.m. time period (including a two-hour season opener on Jan. 13) leading into the recently introduced “Fringe.” However, the live “American Idol Results Show” on Wednesday will move into the 8 p.m. hour and will lead into “Lie to Me.” The new drama, which follows a deception expert and his team as they assist law enforcement and government agencies in exposing the truth behind cover-ups, premieres in the 9 p.m. slot Jan. 21.

Thursday will feature the relocated “Bones” and a new season of “Hell’s Kitchen,” which opens Jan. 29. Friday nights will consist of the relocated “Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles” and “Dollhouse,” with “Buffy the Vampire Slayer’s” Eliza Dushku as a member of an illegal underground group whose personalities have been wiped clean in place of any number of new personas. The new Friday lineup begins Feb. 13, replacing “Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?” and “Don’t Forget the Lyrics,” which will return at a later time.

Meanwhile, two episodes of the nonscripted “Hole in the Wall” will air in the Sunday 7 p.m. hour ahead of the 8-to-10 p.m. animation block of “The Simpsons,” “King of the Hill,” “Family Guy” and “American Dad.” “Prison Break” and “‘Til Death,” which also are not in the lineup, will return at a later time, MediaWeek notes.

Full order for ‘Rita’

Lifetime has ordered a full season of the original comedy “Rita Rocks,” TVWeek.com reports.

The comedy, which stars Nicole Sullivan as an overworked wife and mother, airs Tuesdays at 8:30 p.m. and has enjoyed good ratings since its Oct. 20 premiere.

‘60’ tops Nielsens

For the week of Nov. 3 through 9, TV’s top five shows, their networks and viewerships were: 1) “60 Minutes,” CBS, 18.4 million; 2) “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation,” CBS, 18.1 million; 3) Sunday Night Football: New York Giants at Philadelphia, NBC, 17.5 million; 4) “Dancing With the Stars,” ABC, 17 million; and “Desperate Housewives,” ABC, 15.8 million.

On tap tonight…

42nd Annual CMA Awards (8 p.m., ABC) - Country-music superstar Brad Paisley and season-four “American Idol” winner-turned-country-star Carrie Underwood host the star-studded event live from the Sommet Center in Nashville, Tenn. Previously announced performers include Brooks & Dunn, Kenny Chesney, Alan Jackson, Miranda Lambert, George Strait, Sugarland, Taylor Swift and Keith Urban.

— Compiled by Robyn-Denise Yourse rom Web and wire reports

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