- The Washington Times - Thursday, February 26, 2009

Wives’ back for No. 4

Lifetime is bringing back its biggest hit, “Army Wives,” for a fourth season, Variety says.

The cable network has ordered 18 more episodes of the ABC Studios-produced drama series, a top draw on cable for women 18 to 49.

The fourth-season renewal comes even before the premiere of the third season, which kicks off production in June in Charleston, S.C.

“Wives” stars Kim Delaney and Sally Pressman and tracks the struggles of military families.

The most successful show in Lifetime’s 25-year history, its second-season finale in November produced the network’s highest-ever rating among adults 18 to 34.

Season four of “Army Wives” will bow next year.

NCIS‘ for LL Cool J

Rapper-actor LL Cool J has been cast to star in CBS’ planned spinoff of “NCIS.”

According to Variety, he’ll play a tough but charming former Navy SEAL who works undercover for the NCIS unit in L.A. and is an expert on the Middle East.

The spinoff of CBS’ durable drama will air as one half of a two-part episode of “NCIS” later this season.

LL Cool J (real name James Todd Smith) has logged a host of film and TV roles in recent years, including recent guest spots on NBC’s “30 Rock” and Fox’s “House.”

Poppa in the ‘House’

The “Real Housewives of Atlanta” just started filming again - and there may be more than one new cast member.

The New York Daily News reports that cast member Kim Zolciak’s secret married boyfriend - referred to on-camera by the buxom blond as “Big Poppa” - may appear on the next season of Bravo’s hit reality show, an insider tells the Daily News.

Why? He’s living with her.

Poppa has left his regular residence to shack up with his lady love and her two daughters, we’re told.

Miss Zolciak came under fire from her fellow “Housewives” stars during season one’s after-show for dating Poppa, who she freely admits is legally married. However, she told Essence magazine in November that “he has been going through a divorce for years.”

Miss Zolciak called off her engagement to her married man after season one of the show wrapped, but the twosome has apparently since rekindled their romance.

The 30-year-old aspiring country-music singer also was lambasted for her vocal skills and labeled a “gold digger” for her affair with Big Poppa.

If he appears on the show, Big Poppa will join another new cast mate, rumored to be Miss Zolciak’s pal Cori Davenport, who sporadically appeared on season one. Miss Davenport would replace housewife DeShawn Snow, who was dropped from the show in January, the Daily News says.

‘Girls’ finale on ABC

ABC Family will air the final season of the WB series “Gilmore Girls” as part of a deal announced Wednesday with Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution, Multichannel.com reports.

The agreement, terms of which were not revealed, gives the Walt Disney Co.-owned channel the complete seven-season, 153-episode collection of the drama series. ABC Family, which currently runs the series’ first six seasons, is tentatively set to begin airing the final season’s episodes in June.

On tap tonight:

In Performance at the White House (8 p.m., WETA-Channel 26) - President Obama and first lady Michelle Obama will be on hand for a celebration of Stevie Wonder’s life and music. Among the performers: Mr. Wonder, India.Arie, Tony Bennett, Wayne Brady, Anita Johnson, Diana Krall, Mary Mary, Martina McBride, Rickey Minor, Paul Simon.

• Compiled by Robyn-Denise Yourse from Web and wire reports

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