- The Washington Times - Thursday, November 6, 2008

‘Opportunity’ lost?

When it premiered Sept. 23, the Ashton Kutcher-produced “Opportunity Knocks” series on ABC aimed to shed light on the question: How well do you know your family? Not well enough, apparently. ABC has removed the show from its schedule after three episodes. The remaining six episodes are not necessarily lost “Opportunities,” for they may appear at a later date.

The traveling game show is hosted by J.D. Roth, who, along with his production crew, head to different suburbs across America and surprise families by knocking on their door and telling them they’ve been selected for the show

The show was a disappointment during its run, averaging just a 1.9 rating and a 5 share among its target audience, adults 18 to 49. It also averaged just 6.3 million viewers, which may seem like a lot, but serving as a lead-in to the results show of “Dancing With the Stars,” which is one of TV’s most popular programs, it is lackluster, according to buddytv.com.

Meanwhile, ABC has opted for another hour of “Dancing With the Stars” as an alternative to “Opportunity Knocks,” which aired on Tuesdays at 8 p.m. Don’t get too excited: The new hour of “Dancing With the Stars” will be a recap.

‘Arab Labor’

A hit on Israeli television is now available to U.S. viewers on Link TV, where the 10-episode season begins Saturday at 10 p.m.). Associated Press says “Arab Labor” captures the same spirit of comedic truth-telling as “All in the Family” a generation ago.

In the series, Amjad is a Palestinian journalist and Israeli citizen who is tired of getting stopped at checkpoints every day on his way to work in Jerusalem.

Why is he always identified as an Arab and his car always searched?

“It’s not you,” says Meir, his Jewish-Israeli co-worker. “It’s the Subaru.” He advises Amjad to buy a more “Jewish” car, such as a Rover.

“With a Rover, you could drive with Arabic music blaring out the open windows, and the border patrol won’t say a word,” Meir says with a laugh.

Amjad takes his advice and delightedly finds Meir is right. That, however, is not the end of Amjad’s headaches. After all, he’s the hero of a sitcom, one that gives a human and humorous perspective to the pervasive Israeli-Palestinian cultural friction.

Created by Sayed Kashua, a 32-year-old Israeli-born Palestinian journalist, “Arab Labor” (which in Hebrew implies “shoddy or second-rate work”) finds Amjad in future episodes going to new and outrageous lengths to pass off himself and his family as Jewish-Israeli.

It will tickle your funny bone and maybe strike a nerve.

Link TV is available in more than 29 million U.S. homes that receive DirecTV and DISH Network service as well as through cable providers. The first episode of “Arab Labor” also will be available on the Link TV Web site for the week following the episode’s premiere.

Casts for pilots

Logan Marshall-Green, Omari Hardwick and Nicki Aycox have been cast in TNT’s drama pilot “The Line,” while Scott Tony Curran has joined TNT/Warner Horizon’s drama pilot “Bunker Hill,” according to the Hollywood Reporter.

With Jerry Bruckheimer as executive producer, Danny Cannon as director and Doug Jung and Jonathan Littman as the writers, “Line” is a character-based police drama that revolves around a squad of undercover L.A. Police Department officers as they walk the line between doing their job and being seduced by easy money.

Mr. Marshall-Green (ABC’s “Traveler”) will play Dean, a rebellious rookie. Mr. Hardwick is Ty, an undercover cop with complex criminal aliases who is a model suburban husband on the outside, and Miss Aycox plays Jamie, a LAPD officer who is eager to get out of uniform and transfer to a more challenging unit than the street patrol.

Writer Walon Green and director Jon Avnet are executive producers of “Bunker,” which explores crime, corruption and deceit in the Bunker Hill section of Boston and centers on Mike Moriarty (Donnie Wahlberg), who returns to Boston as a cop protecting the streets where he grew up.

Mr. Curran, who played in the feature “Miami Vice,” will play Joe, a homicide detective with the Boston police, THR says.

Compiled from wire and Web reports

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