- The Washington Times - Monday, November 3, 2008

Fox over ‘The Hill’

Fox has canceled long-running animated comedy “King of the Hill,” TVWeek.com reported Friday.

The show’s most recent order of 13 half-hour episodes will be its last, a Fox spokesman said. Given the lead time for animation, it’s likely the series will air its final episode during the 2009-10 season.

News of “Hill’s” death isn’t a surprise. The show has cheated death several times in the past few years, with Fox coming close to pulling the plug more than once.

In early October, Gary Newman, co-chairman of 20th Century Fox TV, told TVWeek that renewals for “American Dad” and “The Simpsons” were imminent, but he wasn’t so sure about “Hill.”

“It’s probably time [for Fox to make a decision],” Mr. Newman said. “I don’t know if the network will be ordering more seasons or not. That show has had its last rites read to it several times, and keeps rearing its head again.”

Meanwhile, as previously mentioned, there was better news for “American Dad.”

On Friday, Fox announced it had sealed new deals with the show’s executive producers, Mike Barker and Matt Weitzman.

According to Variety, the pacts come as the network officially greenlights a fifth season of “Dad.” The show is in its fourth year, but the lengthy timetable for animated series usually requires an early pickup.

Created by Seth MacFarlane, “Dad” revolves around Stan Smith, a conservative CIA agent, and his family.

More ‘Samantha’

ABC has given a full-season order to its sophomore comedy “Samantha Who?” Variety says.

That would normally mean a “back nine” order, but ABC has shortened “Samantha’s” pickup to seven installments. The trade publication says the network cited several new half-hour sitcoms slated to bow midseason - “Scrubs,” “The Goode Family,” “Better Off Ted,” “Single With Parents” and “According to Jim”(which returns to the schedule Dec. 2) - as its reasons for shortening “Samantha’s” full-season order.

“Samantha,” which stars Christina Applegate in the title role, has aired three episodes so far this season. Seen Monday evenings at 9:30, its most recent episode attracted 10.5 million viewers, Variety reports.

E! plans a ‘Party’

E! has given the go-ahead to “Party Monsters: Cabo,” a reality-competition series pitting party planners in a contest to see who can throw the biggest celeb bash on the Mexican Riviera.

The show, set to launch Dec. 12 at 10 p.m., will transport nine party pros to the exclusive LG Villa oceanfront resort. Once there, they’ll have 24 hours each week to put together festivities for such big name celebrities as Sean “Diddy” Combs, Carmen Electra and rapper Lil Jon.

One planner will be eliminated each episode with the line, “The party is over.” The last one standing will win an event-planner gig at the resort.

A celebrity guest will serve as judge for each show. Michele Merkin will host, along with “in-house expert” Brian Worely.

E! has commissioned eight episodes of the weekly hourlong to kick things off.

Series for ‘Bee’ star

Fifteen-year-old Keke Palmer (“Akeelah and the Bee,” “The Wool Cap,” “Madea’s Family Reunion”) makes her television series debut as True Jackson, a teenager-turned-fashion-executive in the network’s new original comedy series, “True Jackson, VP” premiering Nov. 8.

The series, which will air on Saturdays at 8:30 p.m., centers on True, who is tapped to head the youth division of Mad Style, a major fashion label. She soon learns that navigating the grown-up corporate world has the same highs and lows as high school, complete with cliques, mean girls and crushes - but with cool perks like designing for international icons and casting supercute models. Keke also co-wrote and sings the pop-rock series theme song.

The new series was created by sitcom veteran Andy Gordon (“NewsRadio,” “Just Shoot Me!” “Mad About You”) who also is serving as executive producer.

On tap today…

Cristina’s Court (3:30 p.m., Fox5-WTTG) - A reality show meets reality on today’s episode of the syndicated court series. The defendant will be familiar to many: Janice Dickinson, the self-proclaimed “world’s first supermodel” and host of “The Janice Dickinson Modeling Agency.” Instead of the catwalk, she’ll stride to the witness chair to face Brian Kehoe, a 22-year-old Los Angeles model who claims Miss Dickinson damaged his career by falsely accusing him of being an alcoholic. Miss Dickinson responds by saying that she has battled addictions herself and only wanted Mr. Kehoe to get help. Judge Cristina Perez presides.

• Compiled by Robyn-Denise Yourse and Kelly Jane Torrance

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