- - Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Ted Danson to hone detective skills on ‘CSI’

It’s a long way from running a bar on “Cheers,” but Ted Danson this fall will join the cast of “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation,” CBS announced late Tuesday.

Mr. Danson will play the new supervisor for the Las Vegas CSI team, the Associated Press reports. It’s the position originally held by William Petersen and then filled by Laurence Fishburne, who had been on the show since its 2008-09 season.

Besides his “CSI” duties, Mr. Danson will remain a regular on the HBO comedy series “Bored to Death,” CBS said.

Mr. Danson, 63, found TV stardom nearly 30 years ago by playing Boston bar owner Sam Malone on “Cheers,” a comedy hit on NBC that ran for 11 seasons.

“CSI” will begin its 12th season with Mr. Danson aboard on Sept. 21.

‘Dancing’s‘ Karina Smirnoff wants Stamos on dance card

Attention, John Stamos: Are you getting the message?

Last year, “Dancing with the Stars” regular Karina Smirnoff told People magazine that the actor, 47, is her dream partner for an upcoming season of “DWTS.”

According to People.com, it looks like she is relaunching the campaign. Asked recently about whom she wants as a dance partner, Miss Smirnoff, 33, was abundantly clear.

“Definitely John Stamos,” she told Hollyscoop. “I think he’s got the looks, he’s got the experience of being onstage, doing Broadway.”

The “ER” and “Full House” star most recently spent some time singing — and dancing — as Dr. Carl on Fox’s “Glee.”

Miss Smirnoff has appeared on nine seasons of “DWTS” and most recently partnered with actor Ralph Macchio.

NBC adds Juliette Lewis to cast of ‘The Firm’

“Natural Born Killers” and “Cape Fear” star Juliette Lewis is joining the cast of NBC’s new legal drama “The Firm,” according to Entertainment Weekly. “The Killing’s” Callum Keith Rennie also will star.

They join previously announced star Josh Lucas in the NBC update of John Grishams novel, with Mr. Lucas playing lawyer Mitchell McDeere, the role originated by Tom Cruise in the 1993 movie.

Miss Lewis will play Tammy, described by NBC as Mitch’s “feisty, sexy receptionist, whose work life is made all the more tumultuous by her on-again, off-again relationship with Mitchs brother.”

The brother, Ray, will be played by Mr. Rennie and is described as a “charming yet volatile older brother whose work as an investigator in Mitch’s office is uniquely informed by his past stretch in prison for manslaughter.”

“The Firm” starts shooting in the fall and will join NBC’s schedule midseason.

Mr. Rennie reportedly will continue to guest-star on the second season of AMC’s “The Killing.”

Frustrated Netflix customers lash out over rate hike

Some Netflix customers have expressed outrage after the online video service boosted the price of its DVD and streaming video rental plans Tuesday, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

User comments on a Hollywood Reporter story about the price hike included such lines as “Hey Netflix, you’re canceled” and “Redbox, here I come!”

A positive reaction said: “I remember going to the video store to rent one movie and it cost $3.50. For one movie. This month on Netflix I watched half a dozen movies and a bunch of TV episodes and it cost me $7.99. What are you whiners complaining about?”

As part of its new pricing structure, Netflix is ending a popular $9.99-a-month plan, which included unlimited streaming and a one-disc-at-a-time rental. That has been replaced by a $15.98 offer that combines a $7.99-a-month streaming-only plan and a $7.99-a-month DVD-only, one-disc-at-a-time rental plan.

Some frustrated customers lashed out at Netflix CEO Reed Hastings, dubbing him “Greed Hastings” on Internet message boards, according to the New York Post.

“You guys better up your instant streaming selection big time,” customer Rush Falknor said on Netflix’s Facebook page, according to the paper.

Others commenting at Engadget.com threatened to switch to rival video services, such as Amazon Prime and Hulu Plus, and supplement streaming video with $1 DVDs from Coinstar’s DVD rental kiosk Redbox.

Mark Valley, Jean Smart join cast of ‘Harry’s Law’

“Harry’s Law” is ramping up its cast for the second season.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, the hourlong NBC drama starring Kathy Bates has snagged “Human Target” and “Boston Legal” alum Mark Valley as a series regular.

Mr. Valley, who also appeared in several episodes of “Fringe” and “Keen Eddie,” will play Oliver Richard, one of two lawyers joining the firm of Harriett “Harry” Korn, played by Miss Bates. The other addition to Harry’s team is Karen Olivo as Cassie Reynolds.

In addition to Mr. Valley, “24” and “Hawaii Five-0” veteran Jean Smart will appear in the first three episodes of the new season as Roseanna Remmick, a defense lawyer prosecuting the high-profile murder case of Eric Sanders (guest star Alfred Molina). Eric’s case is being handled by Harry and her team.

“Harry’s Law” returns for its second season at 9 p.m. Sept. 21.

Ferrell, McConaughey return to ‘Eastbound’

While Jason Sudeikis has signed on for a recurring role on HBO’s “Eastbound & Down,” a few familiar faces are returning to the fold as well.

The Hollywood Reporter has confirmed that Matthew McConaughey will be back for the third — and possibly final — season of the hit show. Reps also confirm that the story will circle back to Will Ferrell’s character, Ashley Schaeffer.

Mr. Ferrell, who is an executive producer on the show, appeared twice during the first season in a blond, feathered wig for his role as a BMW salesman. As for Mr. McConaughey, he guest-starred once during season two as the openly gay Texas scout Roy McDaniel.

Season two left Kenny Powers (Danny McBride) to deal with impending fatherhood as love interest April Buchanon (Katy Mixon) announced her pregnancy. The show shoots this summer.

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