- - Tuesday, August 21, 2012

“The Office” will be closing next year. Producer Greg Daniels said Tuesday that the NBC comedy will end its run after the upcoming ninth season.

He said the final year will be exciting and memorable and will take creative chances — and it will reveal who has been making the mock documentary that has given the show its format.

Will former regional manager Michael Scott return as a guest? Mr. Daniels said he hopes Steve Carell will reprise his role as the socially inept boss, but he isn’t counting on it. Mr. Carell left the show in 2011.

“The Office” was adapted from its British predecessor and premiered on NBC in March 2005. While its ratings have slipped, it’s still NBC’s highest-rated scripted series.

Colombian brewers battle over ‘Simpsons’-inspired beer

Two Colombian businessmen are engaged in a legal battle with 20th Century Fox over their right to produce beer inspired by the long-running animated series “The Simpsons.”

Originally named Duff Beer — like the beer Homer Simpson drinks on the show — the company has since changed it to DuH Beer, as the stylized f’s on the bottle label also could be seen as a capital H.

The beer is the brainchild Alvaro and Oscar Ballesteros, brothers who in 2006 decided to produce a real Duff Beer. The following year they founded Duff Sudamerica in Bogota, and in 2008 they registered the trademark. The microbrewed golden ale has no additives and costs between $4 and $6, Oscar Ballesteros, 26, told Agence France-Presse.

“In 2009 we sold our first beers to bars in Bogota, and now we are in seven other Colombian cities, with a national production of 24,000 units a month,” said his brother Alvaro, 31.

20th Century Fox, a subsidiary of Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp., was not amused. It sued the brothers for copyright infringement in Colombia — only to see the Ballesteroses claim that it was no longer “Duff,” but “DuH” beer.

“The fact that 20th Century Fox does not have such a product in the market does not mean [the Ballesteroses] can take advantage of a brand,” said Alicia Lloreda, a Colombian attorney with the local affiliate of News Corp.

“What does 20th Century Fox want? Simply that the product is taken off the market because the brand doesn’t belong to them,” Ms. Lloreda said.

Government regulators agreed with 20th Century Fox last week and ordered the brothers to cease production, distribution and sales of the beer in Colombia.

Duff Sudamerica attorney Santiago Mora vowed to appeal.

“We are not going to let ourselves be frightened by a multinational,” Mr. Mora said. “We are going to fight a battle that is just starting. We will defend our rights.”

Alvaro Ballesteros insists his company is not usurping, copying or taking advantage of 20th Century Fox’s brand, “simply because they, in reality, do not have it. It appears only in cartoons, in a fictional world.”

‘Sopranos’ actors reunite for children’s TV movie

Nickelodeon is reuniting four members of the classic mob drama “The Sopranos” for a children’s TV movie.

The new film, “Nicky Deuce,” stars Michael Imperioli and Steve Schirripa. They played gang members Christopher and Bobby on the HBO show. Also starring are Tony Sirico and Vincent Curatola, who played fellow mobster Paulie and rival boss Johnny “Sack.”

It’s the first time they have performed together since “The Sopranos” ended five years ago.

The cast of the new film also includes veteran actress Rita Moreno and Cristine Prosperi of “Degrassi: The Next Generation.”

“Nicky Deuce” is based on the children’s book of the same title authored by Mr. Schirripa and Charles Fleming. It’s currently in production in Montreal. It’s set to premiere next year on Nickelodeon, the network said Monday.

Former owner wants ‘M*A*S*H’ hot dog eatery

A former owner of an Ohio hot dog eatery made famous on the TV series “M*A*S*H” is serving up another attempt at regaining control of the company.

He’s asking an appeals court in Toledo to nullify the sale of Tony Packo’s.

Robin Horvath is one of two cousins who have fought for more than a year over the ownership of Tony Packo’s after a bank foreclosed on its loans and a court-appointed third party was put in charge.

Representatives of a private restaurant group in Toledo finalized their purchase of the chain in February.

Tony Packo’s became a household name in the 1970s when actor Jamie Farr portrayed a homesick U.S. soldier in the Korean War who longed for Packo’s hot dogs.

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