- The Washington Times - Thursday, January 8, 2009

HBO’s inaugural gig

The Presidential Inaugural Committee is tapping HBO to exclusively televise the opening celebration of the inauguration of President-elect Barack Obama, a Sunday afternoon event at the Lincoln Memorial.

The committee said HBO will work with cable and satellite distributors to make the airing of its signal for the event free, TVWeek.com reports.

Set for Jan. 18, the free Sunday event at the Lincoln Memorial comes two days before the swearing in of the new president and will feature major entertainment. Both Mr. Obama and Vice President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. are expected to attend.

Brent Colburn, a spokesman for the inaugural committee, said the committee decided to work with HBO because it offered to televise the whole 90-minute event without commercial interruption. HBO did a similar telecast in 1993 for the inauguration of Bill Clinton.

Mr. Colburn said that while HBO will broadcast the full production with multiple cameras, other media will be able to cover the event. The committee has yet to name the talent to perform.

In a statement, Bill Nelson, chairman and chief executive of Home Box Office, said the channel is “honored to be broadcasting an event of this national significance featuring some of the leading talent from the music and entertainment industry. HBO is proud to work with all of our distributors to make this event accessible to as many citizens as possible.”

Kelsey’s new sitcom

Kelsey Grammer is taking another stab at a sitcom.

ABC has given a pilot commitment to a half-hour multicam series starring Mr. Grammer as a corporate tycoon who re-connects with his family after being downsized out of his powerful job.

“Everybody Loves Raymond” alum Tucker Cawley is penning the pilot, Variety reports.

The new project comes just months after ABC passed on Mr. Grammer’s last comedy in development at the network, an adaptation of the Britcom “Roman’s Empire.”

Mr. Grammer most recently starred in Fox’s “Back to You” - alongside Patricia Heaton, who has her own comedy pilot at ABC, “The Middle” (also from Warner Bros.).

Mr. Cawley has been working on NBC’s upcoming Amy Poehler comedy. His credits also include “Welcome to the Captain” and “Out of Practice.”

As for Mr. Grammer, the “Frasier” star’s recent credits include the features “An American Carol” and “Swing Vote.” He also has been cast in the upcoming remake of “Fame.”

O’s weight gain scores

Oprah Winfrey’s first new episode of the new year, in which the talk-show queen discussed how she felt about gaining 40 pounds and what she plans to do about it in 2009, was the show’s third-highest-rated episode of the season, Broadcastingcable.com reports.

The episode marked the first of a weeklong “Best Life” series. Next week, the series goes online with live Webcasts at Oprah.com featuring Miss Winfrey and her hand-selected health experts, including personal trainer and nutritionist Bob Greene, Dr. Mehmet Oz and others. The same experts also will speak on XM Satellite Radio’s Oprah & Friends channel throughout the week.

TV doc sentenced

The plastic surgeon and TV personality who operated on Kanye West’s mother before she died has been sentenced to a year in jail for drunken driving, Associated Press reports.

Dr. Jan Adams pleaded no contest to misdemeanor drunken driving last year.

Authorities say his Jaguar was seen early June 26 traveling the wrong way on Interstate 680 near Cordelia, Calif. Dr. Adams’ blood alcohol level was .20 percent.

Solano County Court Commissioner Ray Wieser sentenced the 54-year-old surgeon, author and TV personality on Monday. He’ll get credit for the eight days he previously was jailed.

Dr. Adams performed breast reduction, a tummy tuck and liposuction on Donda West a day before she died in 2007. An autopsy blamed heart disease coupled with complications from the surgery.

Dr. Adams once was a cast member of “The Other Half,” a male-centric talk show modeled after “The View.” Hosted by Dick Clark, the program ran from 2001-03 and also featured Mario Lopez and Danny Bonaduce.

On tap tonight

Ugly Betty (8 p.m., ABC) - Betty (America Ferrera) juggles work and family without much success as she struggles to impress her idol, Jodie Papadakis (guest star Bernadette Peters), the editor running YETI magazine.

Compiled by Robyn-Denise Yourse from staff, Web and wire reports

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