- The Washington Times - Friday, May 8, 2009

‘Jewels’ sparkles again

A&E Network will begin shining up the fourth season of “Gene Simmons Family Jewels” next month, Multichannel.com reports.

The show centers on the Kiss frontman and his mate, 1982 Playboy Playmate of the Year Shannon Tweed, and their brood. The new season is scheduled to begin June 7 at 10 p.m.

The 15-episode season begins with Sophie’s sweet-16 party. When a case of sibling rivalry spirals out of control, Nick pulls on dad’s heartstrings and his sense of theatrics to escalate the low-key party she wanted into the blowout of the century — much to the dismay of the shy Sophie.

In addition to Sophie’s soiree, the fourth season will give viewers a behind-the-scenes look at the entire family’s many adventures. Among the segments addressed in the reality series: Mr. Simons’ appearance on Fox’s “Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?”; his role in a Japanese monster flick; Miss Tweed’s preparation for a role in a roller derby exploitation film; Nick getting his own apartment; and Sophie fending off an ill-intentioned teenaged boy.

Oprah’s chicken flap

Customers at a Manhattan KFC hoping to redeem coupons for a free meal were disgruntled when the fast-food restaurant ran out of its new grilled chicken Wednesday, but Internet rumors of a riot were unfounded, a Kentucky Fried Chicken spokeswoman tells Associated Press.

The coupons were touted on “The Oprah Winfrey Show” and available on Oprah.com for 24 hours beginning Tuesday. Each downloadable coupon could be redeemed for two pieces of grilled chicken, two sides and a biscuit.

“Some customers were upset because they couldn’t get their chicken, but there was no riot,” said Laurie Schalow.

Miss Schalow said the restaurant planned to begin honoring the coupons again Thursday after supplies were replenished.

KFC introduced its new Kentucky Grilled Chicken about three weeks ago. The new menu item is being touted as lower in fat, calories and sodium than the traditional deep-fried chicken for which KFC is known the world over. Its secret recipe is kept under lock and key near the original 11 herbs and spices recipe for fried chicken created by KFC founder Colonel Harland Sanders.

Miss Schalow said the grilled chicken has been a huge success, and the combination of a bad economy and Miss Winfrey’s popularity created a “perfect storm.”

However, Miss Schalow also said customers have until May 19 to redeem their coupons — Mother’s Day excluded.

A spokeswoman for Miss Winfrey’s Harpo Productions in Chicago said they were not aware of any problems with the coupons, AP reports.

Cable hits on broadcast

“Curb Your Enthusiasm” and “Entourage” will soon be available on broadcast TV.

HBO, in conjunction with Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution, has sold the off-network syndication rights to two of its most popular sitcoms to Tribune stations, Variety reports.

Episodes will air anywhere between 4:30 p.m. and 12:30 a.m. Monday through Friday, with one weekend broadcast, on Tribune’s 23 stations in 17 markets. Telecasts will begin in fall 2010.

Because of the language and content of the shows, both series will be edited to accommodate broadcast standards, Variety says.

Tribune has worked with HBO before, airing “Sex and the City” beginning in 2005.

Weekend watch

Mother’s Day is Sunday, and choices abound — on cable and broadcast — to pay tribute to mom on her special day.

Cable’s Turner Classic Movies, for instance, plans a daylong block of films. The lineup of films, and the year they were released includes:

7:30 a.m. Lady by Choice (1934) — To improve her image, a fan dancer “adopts” an old woman to be her mother. Carole Lombard, May Robson and Walter Connolly star.

9 a.m. None but the Lonely Heart (1944) — A young ne’er-do-well tries to get his life on track to help his ailing mother. The cast: Cary Grant, Ethel Barrymore and Barry Fitzgerald. Playwright Clifford Odets directs.

11 a.m. Mildred Pierce (1945) — Joan Crawford — who in real life would be vilified by her adopted daughter in a scathing tell-all book — won the best actress Oscar for her portrayal of a saintly businesswoman who sacrifices all for her selfish daughter (Ann Blyth). Jack Carson, Eve Arden also star.

1 p.m. Pocketful of Miracles (1961) — A good-hearted gangster (Glenn Ford) turns an old apple seller (Bette Davis) into a society matron so she can impress her highfalutin daughter (Ann-Margret). Frank Capra directs.

3:30 p.m. I Remember Mama (1948) — Norwegian immigrants face the trials of family life in San Francisco about 1910. Irene Dunne, Barbara Bel Geddes and Oscar Homolka star.

6 p.m. Freaky Friday (1976) — A mother and daughter switch bodies for one strange day. With Barbara Harris, Jodie Foster and John Astin.

8 p.m. Bunny Lake Is Missing (1965) — A distraught mother searches for her seemingly nonexistent daughter, bringing her sanity into question. Carol Lynley, Keir Dullea, Laurence Olivier star. Directed by Otto Preminger.

Also Sunday:

Sunday Best (BET) — The search for the nation’s next gospel star looks back on past episodes with an all-day marathon beginning at 10:30 a.m. There’s a break in the action at 6:30 p.m. with the 2006 feature film, “Madea’s Family Reunion” (starring, written and directed by Tyler Perry). “Sunday Best” returns at 9 p.m. for its season finale and the crowning of the winning contestant.

The Celebrity Apprentice (8 p.m., WRC-NBC4) — It may be the mother of all reality show season finales when arch enemies — comic Joan Rivers and poker champ Annie Duke — go one-on-one for the top prize. Their task is to produce a VIP pre-theater party featuring a silent auction before a performance of Cirque du Soleil’s hit show “Wintuk.”

The Alzheimer’s Project (9 p.m. HBO) — This multiplatform series in four parts is from the award-winning team behind HBO’s acclaimed “Addiction” project. It opens with “The Memory Loss Tapes,” a 90-minute film that takes viewers into the world of seven Alzheimer’s patients, each in an advancing state of the disease.

Written and compiled by Robyn-Denise Yourse

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