- The Washington Times - Thursday, October 2, 2008

‘Press’ decision near

NBC News President Steve Capus says a decision regarding Tim Russert’s permanent replacement on “Meet the Press” will come at some point between the November election and early December, TVWeek.com says, citing a report in the New York Times.

The network is considering tapping a hosting ensemble that would include NBC’s political director, Chuck Todd, and MSNBC anchor and correspondent David Gregory, the newspaper says.

Tom Brokaw has served as interim host of “Meet the Press” since Mr. Russert’s sudden death in June.

‘Partridge’ in NBC tree



“The Partridge Family” has found a new home at NBC.

The Peacock Network has picked up the contemporary take on the classic ABC sitcom, to be written by Jeff Rake, the Hollywood Reporter says.

The original “Partridge,” which starred Shirley Jones, David Cassidy, Danny Bonaduce and Susan Dey, ran on ABC from 1970 to 1974.

Mr. Rake, a fan of the original series, says he plans to “turn the premise on its head.”

“In the original, the kids actually recruited their mom to front the band, which I can’t see happening in any family on this planet,” he said.

“The new version will reflect what seems to me to be the more realistic family band scenario these days: a struggling, sort of well-meaning mom pimping her kids in order to create a wholesome-slash-sexy cash cow,” adds Mr. Rake, who describes the Fox project as “a one-hour, high-octane action dramedy.”

Boy Wonder on CW

Holy prequel, Batman!

The CW has ordered a pilot for a new series based on Batman’s sidekick, Robin, TVWeek reports.

The project, titled “The Graysons,” will follow young Dick Grayson before the days of Robin, much as the current “Smallville” does for Clark Kent and his future alter ego, Superman.

The pilot order, first reported by Variety, includes penalties if the show isn’t picked up.

“Smallville” executive producers Kelly Souders and Brian Peterson will executive produce along with “Supernatural” executive producer McG and Wonderland Sound and Visions’ Peter Johnson, the trade publications report.

‘Blush’ rush

Lifetime on Wednesday announced it will premiere “Blush: The Search for the Next Great Make-up Artist” on Nov. 11 at 10 p.m., Multichannel.com reports.

The six-episode hourlong series will be hosted by actress Vanessa Marcil (“General Hospital,” “Beverly Hills 90210”).

Contestants will compete for a contract as a professional artist with Max Factor, a cash prize of $100,000 and the opportunity to be the makeup artist for an upcoming photo shoot for InStyle magazine.

InStyle’s fashion director, Hal Rubenstein, and industry makeup artist and author Joanna Schlip will serve as judges. Makeup artist Charlie Green will act as a mentor, guiding the contestants through their challenges and offering encouragement, advice and insight.

The series is co-produced by IMG Entertainment (“Make Me a Supermodel,” “Secret Diaries of a Call Girl”) and Connectivetissue, the branded entertainment division within MediaVest, for Lifetime Television.

Lear, HBO ink pact

In his first major collaboration with HBO, TV icon Norman Lear has teamed with the premium cable network for a drama series project set in the world of 1970s pro wrestling.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, the character-driven drama, tentatively titled “Everybody Hurts,” revolves around a family running a pro-wrestling business in New York and peeks into the lives of the wrestlers and their fans.

Mr. Lear and Act III Productions’ Lara Bergthold, who are executive producing the project, had been looking for a while to do a show about pro wrestling.

“Pro wrestling is a pretty fair reflection of good and evil in our culture,” said Mr. Lear, 86, an Emmy-winning producer whose stable of shows includes “All In the Family,” “The Jeffersons,” “Maude” and “Sanford and Son.”

“Wrestling is where people turn to when they feel the government is lying to them and there are no real heroes in their lives,” Miss Bergthold added.

• Compiled by Robyn-Denise Yourse from Web and wire

reports

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