- The Washington Times - Thursday, May 7, 2009

Drew mulls HBO gig

A former Illinois police officer suspected in his wife’s disappearance may have a new job - on a TV reality-show set in a Nevada brothel.

According to Associated Press, Drew Peterson is considering an offer to appear as an employee at the Moonlight Bunny Ranch near Reno for the HBO adult series “Cathouse.”

Glenn Selig, Mr. Peterson’s publicist, says there would be nothing wrong with the role for the former police sergeant in the Chicago suburb of Bolingbrook.

Mr. Selig points out that Mr. Peterson hasn’t been charged in Stacy Peterson’s 2007 disappearance and that brothels are legal in Nevada.

A similar offer didn’t work out, however, for another Illinois resident - the state’s ex-governor, Rod R. Blagojevich. He faces federal corruption charges, and a judge wouldn’t let him leave the country for a reality show taped in Costa Rica.

‘Christine’ to move?

“The New Adventures of Old Christine” could end up on a new network if its old network decides it doesn’t want the show anymore, Zap2it.com reports.

The CBS sitcom once again finds itself the object of affection at ABC. According to the Hollywood Reporter, the alphabet network has made a backup deal with “Christine” producer Warner Bros. TV to pick up the series if CBS decides to pass on a fifth season.

ABC and Warner Bros. went through a similar dance last year, when “Old Christine” was on the bubble for renewal and ABC was in search of more comedy. CBS ended up ordering a new season of the show and pairing it with newcomer “Gary Unmarried” to establish a comedy block on Wednesday nights.

The deal this year came about because CBS hasn’t yet made a decision on whether to renew the show. For now, though, THR says, CBS is leaning toward bringing the show back for 2009-10.

Meanwhile, ABC is trying to make a bigger push into comedy and is sifting through more than a dozen sitcom pilots as it sets its lineup for next season.

“Old Christine,” which stars Emmy winner Julia Louis-Dreyfus (“Seinfeld”), is drawing about 7.5 million viewers a week this season, THR notes.

Big plans for Kaling

NBC has Tina Fey-style plans for “The Office’s” Mindy Kaling, signing the multitalented actress-writer to an overall deal with the network and Universal Media Studios.

Under terms of the two-year, seven-figure deal, Miss Kaling will continue to write for and appear on “The Office” next season while simultaneously developing a comedy in which she would also star.

“This is my first step in a Transformers-style way to take over the whole world,” she told Daily Variety.

Much like “30 Rock” star-executive producer Miss Fey, Miss Kaling is known for both her writing and acting skills. Behind the scenes, she is a co-executive producer on “The Office,” having written such notable episodes as “The Dundies,” “Diwali” and this season’s “Golden Ticket.”

On camera, Miss Kaling - whose film credits include “The 40-Year-Old Virgin,” “Unaccompanied Minors” and “License to Wed” - stars as Kelly Kapoor, the chatty customer-service representative at paper company Dunder Mifflin.

Harris gets ‘Mad’

Filming on “Mad Men’s” third season just began Monday, and there’s already a new face in the Sterling Cooper office.

According to TVGuide.com, Jared Harris has joined the acclaimed AMC drama for a 10-episode arc. He’ll play Lane Pryce, Sterling Cooper’s financial officer.

Mr. Harris recently appeared in a guest arc on “Fringe” and in the Oscar-winning film ,”The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.” The British actor also just signed on for an untitled CBS Films project starring Harrison Ford and Brendan Fraser, on which he will work simultaneously with “Mad Men.”

“Mad Men” is slated to return in August, although AMC has yet to confirm a premiere date.

CBS ponders games

CBS is weighing pilot orders for “Let’s Make a Deal” and “The Dating Game,” THR says.

The network wants to check out updated versions of the shows as part of its effort to fill the daytime slot to be voided by “Guiding Light,” the recently canceled soap that ends its historic run in September.

The original “Let’s Make a Deal,” hosted by Monty Hall, aired from 1963 to 1973 on ABC and NBC, followed by various syndicated versions and remakes over the years. The original “Dating Game” ran from 1965 to 1980 on ABC, followed by several syndicated versions.

Mrs. Edwards speaks

Elizabeth Edwards says that whether she still is in love with her husband, former presidential candidate and U.S. Sen. John Edwards, North Carolina Democrat, after his admitted affair is a “complicated question.”

The question is among those being asked on today’s episode of “The Oprah Winfrey Show” (4 p.m., WJLA-ABC7).

The talk-show queen visited the Edwardses at the Chapel Hill, N.C., home where the couple live with their children, Cate, Jack and Emma Claire. Miss Winfrey interviewed Elizabeth Edwards about her relationship with her husband, his affair and her battle with terminal cancer. Besides the TV interview, there will be a companion piece in the June issue of “O” magazine.

A Harpo spokeswoman said the only caveat to the interview was that Miss Winfrey could not mention Mr. Edwards’ mistress by name.

Mrs. Edwards’ memoir, “Resilience,” is to be published this month, AP reports.

In the book, she wrote that her husband admitted at the end of 2006 - soon after launching his second presidential campaign - that he’d made a mistake with videographer Rielle Hunter on a single night.

Mr. Edwards went public with the affair in August after the National Enquirer reported he was the father of Miss Hunter’s daughter. He has denied paternity.

Short takes

• “Good Morning America” is moving its concert program to Central Park from Bryant Park, where it had been located for seven years, says TVWeek.com, citing a report from the New York Post. The move will save money because the show can use Central Park’s stage setup instead of building and disassembling a stage each week in Bryant Park, the newspaper says.

• “American Idol’s” Simon Cowell said recently added judge Kara DioGuardi will “absolutely” return next season, AccessHollywood.com reports. “I think certainly next year everyone’s going to be back,” Mr. Cowell said on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show,” according to the site. Mr. Cowell also reasserted his pick to win the competition is Adam Lambert, the Web site adds.

• Huggies and Old Spice, brands that have in the past relied on television advertising, are deciding to skip the medium in favor of digital and print spots for some of their initiatives, Advertising Age reports. For Huggies, the brand is focusing on digital ads for its Pure & Natural line because new moms are frequent Internet users, the trade paper says. Procter & Gamble’s Old Spice is trying a TV-free campaign, after some funny TV ads helped the brand rebound in December, the trade paper says.

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



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