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Television news briefs
[December 29, 2006]

Television news briefs

( (KRT) Via Thomson Dialog NewsEdge) `STAR TREK' ACTOR TAKEI IN DISNEY'S `HOUSE'

George Takei, who appears on "Heroes" in January, will make another guest appearance for the Disney Channel's Washington D.C.-set series "Cory in the House."

The sitcom is a spinoff of "That's So Raven" and follows the adventures of Cory (Kyle Massey) in the nation's capital when his father Victor Baxter (Rondell Sheridan) gets hired as the personal chef to the newly elected president (John D'Aquino). Not only does Cory have to adjust to living in the White House, but he also learns to deal with the bratty first daughter and his new classmates, who are all the rich and privileged children of world leaders or high-ranking government officials.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Takei will portray Ronald, the rather snooty head steward on Air Force One. That same episode will also guest star Don Stark _ known for playing Donna's dad on "That `70s Show" _ as Russian Prime Minister Schuzoff.

Lupe Ontiveros ("Desperate Housewives") will make a guest appearance on another episode as the president's mother, Rosalinda "Mama" Martinez, who challenges Victor to a cookoff. The airdates for the two episodes have yet to be announced.

"Cory in the House" premieres Jan. 12.

In 1966, "Star Trek" introduced Lt. Hikaru Sulu, who later revealed in the "Star Trek IV" movie that he was born in San Francisco. By the sixth film, Sulu was promoted to captain of his own starship.

Takei has also appeared on "General Hospital" and "The Young and the Restless." He's loaned his voice to "The Simpsons," "Batman Beyond," "Futurama," "Samurai Jack," "Jackie Chan Adventures," "Kim Possible" and "Mulan." He was also hired as the official announcer for the "Howard Stern Show" on Sirius Radio, on which he occasionally discusses details about his private life with his partner of 19 years, Brad Altman.

On NBC's hit drama "Heroes," Takei will play the father of Hiro Nakamura (Masi Oka), the hero who can bend space and time.



Chad Michael Murray and Sophia Bush can now legally move on with their lives, and so can "One Tree Hill" fans.

The divorce between the CW co-stars is now final, reports People.

According to court documents, both sides waived spousal support. They have no children together.

Bush, 24, and Murray, 25, began their romance on the set of their first season of the WB (now CW) drama "One Tree Hill," on which Bush plays cheerleader Brooke Davis, and Murray plays the brooding Lucas Scott. They wed in a seaside ceremony at the Casa del Mar Hotel in Santa Monica, Calif., in April 2005, but split in September.

At the time, Bush had petitioned to annul the five-month marriage on the grounds of "fraud," which is legally difficult to prove in California. With such a brief marriage, there's no telling what fraud could mean, although popular theories are infidelity or closeted homosexuality. One of Bush's friends hinted at the former: "Sophia went into the marriage believing in the sanctity of marriage, and Chad simply did not share that vision."

Murray is currently engaged to "One Tree Hill" extra Kenzie Dalton, who was only 17 when she started dating the actor. Dalton, who appears as a Ravens cheerleader on the show, was the runner-up in the Miss North Carolina Teen USA pageant in 2005.

Murray has also appeared on "Gilmore Girls" and "Dawson's Creek." His big-screen credits include "Freaky Friday," "A Cinderella Story," "House of Wax" and "Home of the Brave," currently in theaters.

On the big screen, Bush has appeared in "Van Wilder," "Supercross," "Stay Alive" and "John Tucker Must Die." She next stars in the remake of "The Hitcher," which opens nationwide Jan. 19.



Fox is taking college football's Bowl Championship Series to your the small screens of your iPod and laptop as well as to the big screen in your living room.

The network says it will offer downloads of the four BCS games it will air, including the national championship game between Ohio State and Florida, as part of a sizable online-video package for the close of the bowl season. Fox Sports will also offer live streaming video of its Cotton Bowl coverage on Jan. 1, which it says is the first live stream of a New Year's Day bowl.

"Sports fans are consuming content on new and different platforms every day, and our goal is to expand the reach of Fox Sports and the BCS to as many of those media platforms as possible," Fox Sports president Ed Goren says. "By working with great distribution partners both within the Fox family and externally, we have given college football fans an incredible amount of choice when looking for official BCS content online.

Downloads of the Fiesta, Orange and Sugar bowls and the BCS title game will be available on, iTunes, AOL Video and other portals within a day of their airing (the Rose Bowl, which airs on ABC, isn't included). The network will also offer previews (already online), highlight packages and condensed versions of the games. Full games will cost $2.99 each, while the preview shows and highlights will go for $1.99 apiece.

Fox Sports will also have free streaming audio of its BCS games on its web site.



Victoria Principal, who married into the dysfunctional Ewing family on the hit `80s show "Dallas," has ended her own real-life marriage.

As of Wednesday, the actress is officially divorced from plastic surgeon Harry Glassman, her husband of 21 years, reports People.

According to court documents, the couple will split more than $50 million in property interests, setting aside a prenup that Glassman had contested.

Principal, 56, and Glassman, 63, wed in June 1985 and made their home in Beverly Hills. She filed for divorce in May, citing irreconcilable differences.

Principal was previously married to Christopher Skinner, but divorced him in 1980.

She is best known for playing Pamela Barnes Ewing, who married oil Bobby Ewing on "Dallas," despite a feud between the two families. On the show, her loyalties were constantly tested and she was obsessed with becoming a mother. She was with the prime-time soap for nine years before moving on.

Her resume also includes "Providence," "Family Guy," "Jack & Jill" and "Titans." Principal has written books on diet and exercise and sells her Principal Secret skin-care products on QVC and worldwide.



The initial ratings for NBC's "Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip" often don't look that great. A week later, though, they generally look somewhat better.

The first-year series from "West Wing" creator Aaron Sorkin is the most "time-shifted" series on television this season, according to ratings provider Nielsen. That means a greater percentage of its viewers record the show and watch it later than anything else on the broadcast networks.

At the beginning of 2006, Nielsen started tracking two different ratings systems as a way to measure the impact of digital video recorders. "Live plus same-day" ratings _ the ones reported on Zap2it every morning _ measure the number of people who watch a given show as it airs or within the next few hours. In "Studio 60's" case, that number hovered around 8 million people for much of the fall.

Nielsen also tracks "live plus seven" ratings, which includes people who watch a recorded copy of a show within the next week. "Studio 60" adds nearly 11 percent to its total audience in those ratings; including reruns, its average is closer to 9 million viewers for the season.

All but one of the top 10 time-shifted shows air on NBC or The CW, suggesting that people may not be breaking their habit of watching higher-rated networks (CBS, ABC) live but are sampling other shows thanks to their DVRs. "Studio 60's" lead-in, "Heroes," already draws a big same-day audience, but it's second in the time-shifted ratings as well, adding 9.1 percent more viewers in the following week.

The rest of the top 10 are "Gilmore Girls," which adds 7.9 percent more viewers; "America's Next Top Model," 7.7 percent; "30 Rock," 7.5 percent; "Friday Night Lights," 7.5 percent; "The Nine," 6.7 percent; "Supernatural," 6.7 percent; and "Kidnapped," "One Tree Hill" and "Smallville," all at 6.6 percent.



This year, Fox listened to the American public and just said `no' to O.J. Simpson.

The cancellation of Simpson's interview, in which he would have hypothetically detailed how he killed his wife, made enough of an impact to become one of the American Film Institutes eight moments of significance for 2006.

A 13-person jury selected these moments, which may include accomplishments, trends, milestones, anniversaries, movements in technology and negative/positive influences on film, television and digital media.

Regarding the decision to not air the Simpson special, AFI states, "2006 marked a moment when what didn't air on television was as compelling as what did ... The cancellation showed that a moral standard still exists for television, albeit a limit that had to be pushed to an extreme to be of note. That it was self-regulated, however, and not legislated by the government, is cause to celebrate."

In another television standards arena, the networks _ ABC, CBS, NBC and FOX _ challenged the Federal Communications Commission ruling that cited several incidents of "indecent" language. AFI felt this was noteworthy since it brought free speech back to America and pushed the FCC to provide clearer and more consistent definitions of its terms of decency.

A third television moment of significance occurred when "The Colbert Report's" Stephen Colbert stayed in character to wryly roast President Bush at the White House Correspondents' Association dinner. The tense and uncomfortable atmosphere made this moment of journalism a favorite on C-Span and later on the Internet, which introduced a younger generation to the midterm elections discussion.

In a similar vein, the rise of the Internet's became a cultural phenomenon in which the audience could interact by self-producing and -distributing content. Camera phone videos and home movies gained popularity, but also allowed the world to get in on political "broadcasts" such as George Allen's senatorial race-ending statement, calling a man of Indian descent "macaca." This site also became the portal for numerous viral videos, most recently "Saturday Night Live's" latest mock music video "D--- in a Box" by Andy Samberg and Justin Timberlake.

AFI also noted the death of VHS cassettes, Clint Eastwood's release of "Flags of Our Fathers" and "Letters From Iwo Jima," the death of legendary director Robert Altman and the global power of documentaries.


(c) 2006,

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