- The Washington Times - Monday, September 14, 2009

Daytime debuts

Although “The View” and “Tyra” returned last week, Monday seems to be the kickoff day for syndicated talk shows, old and new.

The big news here is the addition of “The Dr. Oz Show,” hosted by New York cardiothoracic surgeon and author Dr. Mehmet C. Oz, a frequent contributor to “The Oprah Winfrey Show.” His health-centered series kicks off at 3 p.m. on WUSA9. Miss Winfrey’s Harpo Productions is co-producing the show with Sony.

Meanwhile, another former Winfrey associate, Dr. Phil McGraw, is moving his “Dr. Phil” chat fest from his longtime home on WRC-NBC4 to a new spot on Fox5-WTTG. The show will remain in its familiar 3 p.m. slot.

The addition of “Dr. Phil” is yet another change in the Fox5 weekday lineup. “The Wendy Williams Show” holds down the noon spot, followed by an hour of “Judge Pirro” at 1 p.m. and back-to-back episodes of “Judge Alex” at 2 p.m. Gone are “Judge David Young” (formerly seen at 2 p.m.) and “Tyra,” which has moved to the CW.

Elsewhere, there’s also the start of Miss Winfrey’s 24th season (4 p.m., WJLA-ABC7), which opens with the long-touted interview with Whitney Houston — proclaimed by Miss Winfrey as “the best interview I’ve ever done.”

Apparently, no topic is off-limits. And one day just isn’t enough. Part two of the tete-a-tete airs Tuesday.

According to the New York Daily News, Miss Houston discusses her often-turbulent marriage to ex-husband Bobby Brown, her past drug problems, her treatment in rehab and how her family saved her.

“My approach to this interview was to not be judgmental in any way and not to go in trying to get her to say things to make a ‘moment,’” Miss Winfrey says in comments released by the show.

Norton on ‘Family’

“Modern Family,” ABC’s upcoming new comedy, has scored one of the fall season’s biggest casting coups: Oscar-nominated actor Edward Norton.

According to EWOnline.com, the Columbia, Md., native has closed a deal to guest-star on ABC’s uproarious mockumentary.

In the November episode, Mr. Norton will play the bassist for a famous band whom Claire (Julie Bowen) hires as an anniversary surprise for husband Phil (Ty Burrell).

What’s Mr. Norton’s “Family” connection? He and Mr. Burrell are longtime friends. (The two co-starred in an off-Broadway revival of Lanford Wilson’s “Burn This” and in the second reboot of “The Incredible Hulk,” released in movie theaters in summer 2008).

Rumor has it Mr. Norton watched the “Modern Family” pilot and loved it to the point of obsession, EW said.

Epps to host awards

Actor and comedian Mike Epps has been named host of the fourth annual BET Hip-Hop Awards, slated to air at 8 p.m. Oct. 27, the Hollywood Reporter notes.

The awards show will be taped Oct. 10 at the Boisfeuillet Jones Atlanta Civic Center in Atlanta.

In addition to his hosting duties on the Hip-Hop Awards, Mr. Epps will star in Showtime’s one-hour stand-up comedy special “Under-rated and Never Faded: Live From Detroit,” premiering Oct. 3.

Mr. Epps’ first hip-hop comedy album, “Funny Bidness,” featuring collaborations with Snoop Dogg, Kid Rock and Slim Thug, is scheduled for release Oct. 27.

‘T.O. Show’ back

Despite lackluster ratings, VH1 has renewed “The T.O. Show,” a reality show centered on NFL wide receiver Terrell Owens, TVWeek.com says, citing a report from TVbytheNumbers.com.

In a press release, VH1 said it was happy with the 1.5 million viewers each episode averages, but it’s more likely that the network is hoping the start of the NFL season will generate more interest in the unscripted series, TVWeek notes.

The show follows the off-season life of the football player, whose antics often make headlines.

Fox on ‘Melrose’

Speaking of athletes, Los Angeles Lakers-star-turned-actor Rick Fox has been tapped for a recurring role on the CW’s new series, “Melrose Place.”

On the show, a contemporary take on the popular 1990s soap, Mr. Fox will play the owner of the restaurant where all the aspiring actors on the show work, the Hollywood Reporter says.

Mr. Fox, former husband of “Ugly Betty” co-star Vanessa L. Williams, has appeared on that show as well as “One Tree Hill” and “The Game.”

Perhaps his presence will help. The CW’s newest tenant drew 2.3 million viewers, a number typical for the CW, but no doubt below expectations for a buzzed-about series premiere, TVGuide.com notes. (Last year’s “90210” premiere, for example, drew 4.9 million viewers.)

The “Melrose” reboot did, however, hold onto most of “90210’s” second-season premiere audience.

The high school drama was watched by 2.6 million viewers, the show’s highest ratings since January, TV Guide said.

More ‘Big Brother’

CBS has ordered a 12th edition of “Big Brother” to air next summer, Variety reports.

The show has been a solid player for CBS this summer, growing 7 percent in viewers over the summer-2008 incarnation to an average of 7.1 million viewers for its three weekly installments, Variety said.

The reality series’ current season ends Tuesday with a live two-hour finale.

Compiled by Robyn-Denise Yourse from Web and wire reports

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