- - Thursday, August 23, 2012

Documentary filmmaker Morgan Spurlock is coming to CNN for a new weekend series that will take a close look at areas of American life that don’t normally get much attention.

The series “Inside Man” will look at gun lovers, marijuana growers, end-of-life caregivers and migrant farmworkers in its early episodes.

Mr. Spurlock is best known for his Oscar-nominated film “Super Size Me,” where he subsisted on only McDonald’s food for 30 days.

The show is expected to debut in April, paired with a new series from chef Anthony Bourdain.

Both series are from outside production companies and represent an experiment for CNN, which has had ratings troubles in recent years.

First lady books appearances on Letterman, ‘Dr. Oz Show’

The first lady is paying David Letterman another visit.

Michelle Obama has been booked for an appearance on CBS‘ “Late Show With David Letterman” scheduled to air Wednesday. The telecast coincides with the third night of the GOP convention in Tampa, Fla.

This will be Mrs. Obama’s third visit to the show, her last being on June 5, when she played up her green-thumb image by presenting the “Top Ten Fun Facts About Gardening.” (Examples included “Gardening was invented in 1822 by Albert Gardener” and “The largest zucchini ever grown contained a Starbucks.”)

Next week’s visit is part of the first lady’s back-to-school media tour, where she will speak about “helping parents get their children ready to return to the classroom” and “important changes to school lunch programs nationwide,” according to a statement from CBS.

Mrs. Obama also is planning on making a house call on “The Dr. Oz Show.”

According to the Associated Press, the show’s producers said the first lady will tape an appearance Wednesday to discuss new provisions of her “Let’s Move” campaign and the Presidential Youth Fitness Program.

Producers said Thursday that Mrs. Obama’s appearance will be taped at the show’s New York studio for national broadcast on Sept. 14.

The show’s host, Mehmet Oz, said he’s “honored” she has chosen to be a guest on his show.

“The Dr. Oz Show,” which airs weekdays in syndication, will be starting its fourth season next month.

‘Big Bang Theory’ promotes comic book store owner

CBS‘ “The Big Bang Theory” has locked up Kevin Sussman for its upcoming sixth season.

The actor who plays Stuart the comic book store owner has been upped from recurring to series regular.

While he becomes the comedy’s eighth series regular, he’ll likely continue to recur in the same capacity as the lovelorn sad-sack Stuart, appearing in seven to 13 episodes.

He joins series regulars Melissa Rauch and newly minted Emmy nominee Mayim Bialik, who both were promoted after recurring roles, as well as Johnny Galecki, Jim Parsons, Kunal Nayyar, Simon Helberg and Kaley Cuoco.

The deal guarantees Mr. Sussman will be available to the show on an as-needed basis. The actor, who has played a recurring character on the final season of Showtime’s “Weeds,” has dipped his toe into the development pool, teaming with former “Big Bang” co-star John Ross Bowie (Kripke) for a comedy last year that did not move forward.

“The Big Bang Theory” returns at 8 p.m. Sept. 27.

‘Chicago’ producers to team for Oscars show

The producing team that helped create such musicals as “Chicago” and “Hairspray” is overseeing the next Academy Awards ceremony.

Academy management announced Thursday that Craig Zadan and Neil Meron will produce the 85th annual Oscars that will air live Feb. 24 on ABC.

Mr. Zadan and Mr. Meron were executive producers on 2002’s “Chicago,” which won six Oscars, including best picture. They also were producers on the 2007 hits “Hairspray” and “The Bucket List” and last year’s remake of “Footloose.” Mr. Zadan also produced the 1984 original “Footloose.”

Among Mr. Zadan and Mr. Meron’s TV credits are the series “Smash,” “A Raisin in the Sun” and the upcoming “Steel Magnolias.”

On Broadway, their work includes Tony Award-winning revivals of “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying” and “Promises, Promises.”

Compiled from Web and wire reports.

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