Unexpected stars jazz up TV sweeps
Watch out: Guest stars are coming to some of your favorite shows later this month for the beginning of May sweeps. As usual, this is a mixed blessing. Sometimes guest stars can be a welcome delight. But then there are the times when the added wattage proves to be a dim bulb of an idea, when the plot devised for the star alters the pace of a series. We’ve already seen Matthew Perry and Christina Ricci on ”Ally McBeal.” Now here’s a quick guide to some of the networks’ biggest and/or oddest stunt castings in the near future:
Michael Douglas on ”Will & Grace,” Apr. 25
It’s not so much ”Fatal Attraction” as it is ”Futile Attraction”: Douglas plays an in-the-closet cop who wants to score with Eric McCormack’s Will, and takes him to a gay bar to seduce him. Will doesn’t find the guy appealing. It’s great that Douglas is willing (pardon the verb) to play around with his image, and the high point is seeing him boogie down to Missy Elliott’s ”Get Ur Freak On.”
”St. Elsewhere” cast members on ”Scrubs,” Apr. 30
The young residents of ”Scrubs” make way for four members of the older hospital show: William Daniels, Ed Begley, Jr., Stephen Furst, and Eric Laneuville (what, did Howie Mandel have a nightclub gig or something?). Just how this quartet, whose show was, of course, a drama, will fit in with the larky anarchy of ”Scrubs” will be fun — we hope — to watch.
Mark Harmon on ”The West Wing,” May 1
Another ”Elsewhere” vet, Mark Harmon, begins a four-episode run as a Secret Service agent assigned to Allison Janney’s press-secretary C.J. I sense a little romantic huggermugger in the corridors of the White House.