- The Washington Times - Monday, September 22, 2008

Poehler gets ‘Smart’

“Saturday Night Live” comic Amy Poehler is getting into Web video, TVWeek.com says.

The actress, who last week announced her departure from “SNL” at the end of this season, has created “Smart Girls,” a new digital television show for young girls that features Miss Poehler interviewing a girl who is uniquely talented, active in her community or who harbors an interesting point of view.

Miss Poehler hatched the idea of helping young girls find confidence in their aspirations and talents via a digital series with her friends.

The series creators are recording artist Amy Miles and Meredith Walker, head of talent at “Saturday Night Live” and former senior producer for Nickelodeon’s “Nick News.”

“Smart Girls,” to be distributed by the digital media company On Networks, will begin its first season in October. Episodes of the show will be available on Apple’s iTunes, Adobe Media Player and a set of targeted Web-site, digital-TV and mobile partners.

‘Insider’ out

Pat O’Brien is hanging up his mike.

The longtime TV personality is leaving his post as a correspondent on the syndicated celebrity-gossip show “The Insider” after more than four years on the job.

E! Entertainment News says no official reason for his departure was given, but a rep for the show indicated it was a mutual decision. The news comes just days after Mr. O’Brien, 60, showed up in Des Moines, Iowa, prompting speculation that he and a camera crew were on the trail of Democratic vice-presidential candidate Sen. Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s wife, Jill.

In an e-mail sent to “Insider” staffers and those at sister show “Entertainment Tonight,” Mr. O’Brien — who also anchored TV’s syndicated “Access Hollywood” from 1997 to 2004 — seemingly took issue with the show’s focus on fashion while people all over Iowa are struggling to put food on the table, TVWeek says.

Coleman charged

Former child star Gary Coleman is being charged with two misdemeanors — reckless driving and disorderly conduct — stemming from an earlier incident at a Utah bowling alley, Zap2it.com says, citing a report in People magazine.

According to witnesses, Mr. Coleman, 40, was backing out of a bowling alley around midnight on Sept. 6 when his truck hit Colt Rushton, 24, as well as another car. Onlookers said Mr. Rushton had taken photos of Mr. Coleman inside the bowling alley, which had led to an argument that continued outside. He was later treated for minor injuries at a local hospital.

Mr. Rushton’s attorney insists that the photos were very casual fan pics taken by a cell phone, not a case of paparazzi tactics. Mr. Rushton has sued Mr. Coleman and is seeking punitive damages plus damages for medical bills and pain and suffering.

Mr. Coleman is best-known for playing Arnold Jackson on “Diff’rent Strokes” in the ‘80s.

BET goes to court

Beginning today at 11 a.m., cable’s BET will air the syndicated court shows “Judge Karen” and “Judge Hatchett” in back-to-back installments.

“Judge Karen,” hosted by Judge Karen Mills-Francis of Florida’s Miami-Dade County, offers “a no-nonsense approach to resolving real-life problems in the courtroom,” BET officials told Multichannel.com. The show also will feature an interactive audience segment at the end of each episode, titled “Ask Judge Karen.”

“Judge Hatchett,” which is in its eighth year, features Judge Glenda A. Hatchett presiding over a broad range of cases that cover family issues, juvenile court matters and small claims disputes.

Another ‘Brother’

“Big Brother” will be back next summer, TVWeek.com reports.

Just days after wrapping a successful 10th season, CBS has confirmed that its long-running reality soap opera has been renewed for an 11th cycle.

The renewal doesn’t come as much of a surprise, given the solid performance of “Brother” this summer. Airing three times per week, the show regularly delivered CBS’ best ratings of the night with its Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday broadcasts. Its finale attracted nearly 8 million viewers — down from last summer’s swan song but up compared with the show’s 2008 spring finale.

Compiled by Robyn-Denise Yourse from Web and wire reports

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