On The Air
‘Big’ Name Hunting
Another week, another reality-cum-celebrity show to announce: CBS president-CEO Leslie Moonves is working on an all-star Big Brother to air as early as October. He hopes to feature higher-watt personalities than, say, Barry Williams or Danny Bonaduce (who both appeared on Fox’s Celebrity Boxing special last season). ”People want to do this,” insists Moonves, adding that he’s already secured commitments from certain celebs — but he declines to name names. And Moonves is still angling for a celebrity Survivor, despite reservations from creator Mark Burnett, who believes anything less than A-level talent would cheapen the brand. ”You’d be amazed how many people have expressed interest in Celebrity Survivor — Ray Romano, Steven Spielberg,” says Moonves. ”We’re working on a lot of big stars.”
S — – happens on The WB’s Off Centre. Apparently eager to up its ranking as the second-most offensive show on TV behind UPN’s Buffy the Vampire Slayer (as judged by the conservative Parents Television Council), Centre is planning an Oct. 3 episode in which Mike (Eddie Kaye Thomas) leaves — how should we put this? — an organic calling card in the apartment of a new neighbor (Carmen Electra). ”TV hasn’t done a giant-poo-clogged-in-a-supermodel’s-toilet episode since Leave It to Beaver; so it was time,” jokes cocreator Danny Zuker, who adds that Electra was so funny in the episode that her character will likely make recurring appearances. Zuker’s also planning a large anthology episode/flashback that shows how each character lost his or her virginity. But don’t expect the show to trot out more euphemisms for the male member (which got them in trouble with the PTC last season). ”I feel we are all penised out, so this year we’ll go in a different direction. It’s all about vaginas!” And to think he gets paid to think this stuff up.
Running Out of Crime?
Though David Chase indicated that next season will be The Sopranos’ last, sources close to the show aren’t prepared to say goodbye to the Mob just yet. HBO hasn’t officially announced an end date, and the actors certainly aren’t going anywhere: The core group has been contractually locked up for a sixth season, a source says. (Chase and HBO had no comment.) Meanwhile, talk continues about a possible big-screen Sopranos, but that wouldn’t commence until after the show’s finale.
AND SO ON… Westward, ho! TV is giddying-up to find the next prime-time Western. HBO is developing a fictional account of Wild Bill and Calamity Jane from David Milch (NYPD Blue), USA has a Western version of CSI called Peacemakers, and ABC is depicting a Wyatt Earp-like lawman from the turn of the century…. No cigars will be passed out on Malcolm in the Middle when Hal gets wind later this season that wife Lois (Jane Kaczmarek) is pregnant. In fact, the timing couldn’t be worse. It’s the same episode in which Cloris Leachman, who just collected an Emmy for her role as grumpy widowed grandma Ida, returns to wreak further havoc on the family. ”She slips on our front lawn and sues us,” Kaczmarek tells EW. ”Then when Hal finds out Lois is pregnant, he goes in the car and screams because we can’t afford it — especially because we’re about to be sued by my mom.”
Julie Chen hosts as the houseguests battle it out.