- - Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Discovery’s ‘Frozen Planet’ zeros in on polar regions

Discovery Channel’s documentary series “Frozen Planet” will premiere March 18, and will include a program on climate change hosted by David Attenborough, the Associated Press reports.

On the last of the seven episodes, the famed British naturalist will investigate what rising temperatures might mean for the planet and life on it.

The network made the announcement Tuesday.

“Frozen Planet” is described as “the ultimate portrait of our Earth’s polar regions.” A co-production of Discovery Channel and the BBC, it was four years in the making and comes from the team behind “Planet Earth,” the acclaimed series that aired on Discovery in 2007.

The “Frozen Planet” team filmed in every nation inside the Arctic and Antarctic circles during 2,356 days in the field, 1 1/2 years at sea, more than six months on the sea ice and 134 hours beneath that ice, Discovery said.

Among the sights: the birth of an iceberg bigger than the largest building on Earth, a caterpillar with antifreeze in its veins and tiny baby polar bears, which at birth are 25 percent smaller than human babies.

“Frozen Planet” is narrated by Alec Baldwin.

Discovery and TLC networks chief Eileen O’Neill calls the series remarkable “because it’s so surprising. You see sequences that have never been captured on film before - a world you would expect to see in a ‘Narnia’ film, not on this planet.”

She adds, “You see an environment that’s changing, if not disappearing, in our generation.”

Rosie O’Donnell announces engagement on show

Rosie O’Donnell and her girlfriend, Michelle Rounds, are engaged, the Associated Press reports.

Ms. O’Donnell told the studio audience about the engagement Monday during a commercial break on “The Rosie Show,” her publicist and a spokesman for the Oprah Winfrey Network said. The Emmy Award-winning talk show host’s new program debuted in September. She tapes in Ms. Winfrey’s former Chicago studio.

Ms. Rounds 40, is a headhunter for an information technology company. Ms. O’Donnell is a mother of four and was married previously. She and former partner Kelli Carpenter publicly wed in San Francisco in 2004, two weeks after the mayor authorized granting marriage licenses to same-sex couples. The licenses later were voided by the California Supreme Court.

Ms. O’Donnell’s publicist said a wedding date hasn’t been set.

‘X Factor’ singer tells fans to stop threatening judges

It has become one of the most charged controversies Fox’s “The X Factor” has had to weather in its inaugural season. Judges Paula Abdul and Nicole Scherzinger have been receiving death threats from viewers because of their votes eliminating Drew Ryniewicz from the singing competition, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

“That’s not what I represent, and that’s not what I want my fans to represent,” the 14-year-old singer told TMZ. “No one deserves death threats.”

Drew’s fans have been very vocal about the elimination that sent her packing and kept Marcus Canty in the competition. Many of them feel she was the victim of the rivalry between the judges. Fans have accused Ms. Abdul and Ms. Scherzinger of voting to spite girls team mentor Simon Cowell rather than voting for the most talented performer.

As for the blame, Drew already has said she thinks her survival song performance “sucked.” And Mr. Cowell said he failed the singer as her mentor.

Girls credit ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ in saving woman’s life

ABC’s medical drama “Grey’s Anatomy” presents interesting and strange medical cases every week for viewers, but it turns out the show also may have taught two girls in Wisconsin how to save a real life.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, two girls saved a Sheboygan mother’s life by using CPR, which they say they learned from watching “Grey’s Anatomy.”

When Kandace Seyferth, 36, suffered a severe asthma attack and became unresponsive, her 10-year-old daughter Madison Kestell and a friend, Katelynn Vreeke, called 911 and then administered CPR.

“Me and my mom watch the show every Thursday, and I learned it from there,” Madison told the Sheboygan Press.

Madison performed mouth-to-mouth resuscitation, while Katelynn, 12, pounded on Ms. Seyferth’s chest.

Sheboygan Fire Department personnel arrived about four minutes after the 911 call to take Ms. Seyferth to the hospital. “[The emergency response officials] pretty much said if Maddie didn’t do - remain calm and call 911 and do what she did - I wouldn’t even be here to talk about it,” Ms. Seyferth said.

German broadcaster attacked for allowing on-air smoking

Antismoking groups have attacked German public broadcaster ARD for allowing former German chancellor Helmut Schmidt to smoke throughout an interview on one of the country’s leading talk shows. The 92-year-old politician, chancellor of Germany from 1974 to 1982, is a notorious chain smoker and is rarely seen without a cigarette on his lips.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, Mr. Schmidt cheerfully puffed his way through an interview broadcast by ARD Sunday night. He even commented on his habit, attributing his mental fitness at such an advanced age to “lots and lots of cigarettes.”

For Germany’s antismoking lobby, that went too far. The group Forum Rauchfrei has filed a formal complaint against ARD director Monika Piel, accusing her and her channel of violating antismoking legislation, which forbids smoking in the workplace. The group claims Mr. Schmidt’s puffing put the health of the studio crew and audience at risk.

ARD has said that it fully supports Germany’s antismoking legislations and that the interview with Mr. Schmidt was a one-time exception.

Compiled from Web and wire service reports.



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