- The Washington Times - Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Prison Break‘ axed

This will be the final season of “Prison Break,” the Hollywood Reporter says.

Fox will shift the show to Fridays this spring for its final run of episodes, taking over for “Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles” once the science-fiction drama finishes its run. “Prison” will air Friday nights at 8 p.m. starting April 17.

Fox also will also seat its Mitch Hurwitz animated comedy “Sit Down, Shut Up” on April 19, filling in the “King of the Hill” slot on Sundays at 8:30 p.m. after “The Simpsons.” “Sit Down” will take over after “King” has its series finale.

The announcements were made Tuesday morning at Fox’s executive session at the Television Critics Association winter press tour.

Ball order for MTV

MTV will be broadcasting from President-elect Barack Obama’s Youth Inaugural Ball on Tuesday, Associated Press reports.

Mr. Obama is scheduled to speak at the event, one of 10 official inaugural balls. The Presidential Inaugural Committee has said the ball for people ages 18 to 35 will celebrate “the role young Americans can play to serve their communities.” Tickets cost $75, half the price of most inaugural ball tickets.

MTV said the program will also include performances by “top recording artists,” although the inaugural committee has yet to announce them. The broadcast also will feature “footage from service activities around the country on Martin Luther King Day, in addition to showing young people imparting change real-time through major service projects taking place in the United States and in Kenya,” MTV said.

ServiceNation, a campaign to get more Americans involved in public service, is teaming with MTV to produce the broadcast, called “Be the Change: Live From the Inaugural.”

MTV, owned by Viacom Inc., had planned to host an inaugural ball at the Ronald Reagan Building in Northwest on Tuesday. That event has been canceled.

Romano returns

TNT has added Ray Romano to its burgeoning slate of original programming.

The cable network has added another hourlong series to its roster, greenlighting the Romano-produced character drama “Men of a Certain Age,” Variety reported Tuesday.

The series stars Mr. Romano alongside Andre Braugher and Scott Bakula and is focused on three fortysomething college buddies hoping to come to terms with a midlife that doesn’t live up to their previous expectations.

The show, from TNT Original Prods., was created by Mr. Romano and Mike Royce (“Everybody Loves Raymond”), who will serve as showrunner. Both will also hold the title of executive producer, along with Rory Rosegarten and Cary Hoffman.

Director Scott Winant — whose credits include “Huff,” “Californication” and “thirtysomething” — helmed the pilot. TNT has placed a 10-episode order.

Soldiering on

A partially collapsed lung isn’t stopping Mariska Hargitay.

The “Law & Order: SVU” star will continue to work even though her representative says she’s been “sidelined with a pneumothorax,” Zap2it.com reports

Miss Hargitay, 44, “will appear in all episodes for the rest of the season of ‘Law & Order: SVU,’” the rep adds.

A pneumothorax occurs when air fills the pleural cavity, the body cavity surrounding the lungs, crowding the lungs and causing shortness of breath, among other possibly life-threatening symptoms, depending on the seriousness of the condition.

A collapsed lung could occur from an injury, chronic lung disease, infections, cancer or, very rarely, spontaneously.

There’s no definitive reason given for Miss Hargitay’s condition, although her spokesperson says the injury did not occur on the set of the show since she had been on vacation. TMZ.com says the actress was sledding in the Hamptons around New Year’s Eve, but no one will confirm if a sledding accident caused the lung problem.

Miss Hargitay was nominated for a Golden Globe for playing Detective Olivia Benson on “SVU,” but did not attend Sunday’s ceremony.

On tap tonight …

Make ‘Em Laugh: The Funny Business of America (8 p.m., WETA-Channel 26, WMPT-Channel 32) - PBS unveils the first installment of its six-hour, century-spanning showcase of the nation’s leading laugh-getters. Hosted by Billy Crystal and narrated by Amy Sedaris, the series blends history with performance and taps the expertise of more than 90 comedians, writers, producers and comic scholars.

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

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