- - Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Sparks to sing anthem at MLB All-Star game

“American Idol” champ Jordin Sparks sang the national anthem at the Super Bowl in 2008 and for President Obama this week, and now she’ll perform it for baseball fans.

According to the Associated Press, Miss Sparks will sing “The Star-Spangled Banner” on July 12 at Major League Baseball’s 82nd All-Star game. The game will be held at the Chase Field in Phoenix. It will air at 8 p.m. on Fox.

MLB’s All-Star week also will feature performances from Cee Lo Green, Jason Aldean, Michelle Branch and five-time All-Star and Latin Grammy nominee, Bernie Williams.

Miss Sparks, Mr. Williams and Mr. Aldean, along with Nick Jonas, “Glee” actor Chord Overstreet and others, will participate in a celebrity softball game during the week’s festivities.

Hiaasen novel ‘Skinny Dip’ to be adapted for HBO

HBO is diving into business with author Carl Hiaasen.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, the premium cable network confirmed Tuesday that it will develop the author’s 2004 caper novel, “Skinny Dip.” Michael Oates Palmer and Michael Keaton are attached to executive produce the project.

“Skinny Dip,” one of more than a dozen novels written by Mr. Hiaasen, is set in South Florida. It centers on Joey Perrone, a woman who takes revenge on her cheating husband after he attempts to murder her.

Earlier works from Mr. Hiaasen, including Demi Moore’s “Strip Tease,” have been translated to the big screen.

Lip-syncing teen backed up by stars from ‘Glee’

Lip-syncing teen Keenan Cahill is becoming the newest it-guy online and apparently also is a “Gleek,” according to the Hollywood Reporter.

The Illinois teenager, who has made a name for himself online by lip-syncing to popular songs and attracting A-listers who pop in for cameos in his viral videos, has another hit on his hands. This time it’s with the help of four members of the “Glee” cast.

Stars Harry Shum Jr., Dianna Agron, Darren Criss and Jenna Ushkowitz took a break from their recently wrapped “Glee” concert tour to provide some backup dance help for Keenan’s lip-synced version of Katy Perry’s “Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.).”

This isn’t the first time that Keenan, who suffers from Maroteaux-Lamy syndrome, has covered a Perry tune. He previously was joined by the pop star herself for a version of “Teenage Dream.”

Others who have joined Keenan include 50 Cent, David Guetta, Paul DelVecchio of “Jersey Shore” as well as San Francisco Giants players Brian Wilson and Cody Ross.

New buddy cop series ordered for USA Network

USA Network has given a series order to “Common Law,” the Hollywood Reporter has confirmed.

Eleven episodes of the buddy cop series will be produced for its freshman season, in addition to the already-shot pilot. Production begins in New Orleans next month. A premiere date has not been set.

“Common Law” follows partners Travis Marks (Michael Ealy, “The Good Wife”) and Wes Mitchell (Warren Kole), cops on the Los Angeles Police Department’s homicide team who have issues with each other. In an effort to resolve their conflicts, their captain (Jack McGee) sends Wes, a former lawyer with a passion for cars, gardening and his ex-wife, and Travis, a ladies’ man who once served time in juvenile hall, to couples counseling.

“When CBS Television Studios sent us the script of ‘Common Law,’ we immediately fell in love with the writing, the characters and the premise,” said USA co-presidents Jeff Wachtel and Chris McCumber in a release.

Currently, USA’s summer slate includes “Burn Notice,” “Covert Affairs,” “In Plain Sight,” “Necessary Roughness,” “Royal Pains,” “Suits,” “White Collar,” with “Psych” set for a fall return and “Fairly Legal” eyed for a 2012 second-season premiere. “Law & Order: Criminal Intent” recently ended its final season.

Familiar faces to return to ‘Law & Order: SVU’

Actresses Stephanie March and Diane Neal are returning to NBC’s “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” for the show’s 13th season.

The duo joins Mariska Hargitay, who is set to return for the show’s full 22-episode season.

The news comes a week after the long-running procedural added former “Cold Case” co-star Danny Pino and “Chase” actress Kelli Giddish to the cast as detectives. Miss March, who played ADA Alexandra Cabot for seven seasons, and Miss Neal, who has played ADA Casey Novak for six, will be back for an undetermined number of episodes this fall.

“SVU” star Chris Meloni announced in late May that he would be moving on after 12 seasons with the series. The actor is in talks to transition to the big screen with a role in “Man of Steel.”

At NBC’s May upfront presentation for advertisers in New York, NBC Entertainment chairman Bob Greenblatt said the network had plans to “reset the tone” of the series. With new show runner Warren Leight replacing Neal Baer this season, the stories would “still be compelling but a little more grounded,” he said.

With “Law & Order: Los Angeles” canceled this spring, “SVU” remains as the lone “Law & Order” installment in Dick Wolf’s storied franchise on network television.

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