Archive for Celebrities

Me ‘N Mary-Kate

So after Mary-Kate Olsen left the stage in her impossibly high heels and high-hemmed, big belted blue dress, she hustled away alone _ with me right beside her.

“Mary-Kate, can I ask you a little bit more about your character on `Weeds’? I asked.

Just call me the invisible woman, because she acted as if she was all alone.

She rushed out the front door of the Beverly Hilton, trailing reporters behind her. Her publicist told me that Mary-Kate “Wasn’t taking follow-up questions,” while Mary-Kate herself looked at me with those big Margaret Keane-painting eyes.

Geeze, it wasn’t like I was looking for diet tips from her.

Her bodyguards blocked everyone off as she jumped into a limo to be whisked away.

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Mary-Kate Olsen Goes to Pot

Yep, it had to happen.

Mary-Kate Olsen has gone to pot.

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Actually, the tabloid-headline-grabbing, rehab half of the Olsen Twins, has joined the cast of Showtime’s “Weeds” about a surburban mom who deals marijuana in order to make ends meet after her husband dies unexpectedly. The series returns in August for a third season.

And no, she doesn’t look any thinner than any other Hollywood actress, including the cast of “High School Musical.” But she looks a lot less healthier.

“(My character) is a good Christian girl,” she says of her character, who is a love interest for Silas. “With a twist.”

It’s the first time Mary-Kate has appeared in a role without her twin sister Ashley.

“It doesn’t feel that weird,” Mary-Kate told critics during the Showtime press conference in Beverly Hills during the summer TV critics press tour. “I’m doing what I love. And I do go on auditions by myself.”

As for creator Jenji Kohan, she looked in mock surprise saying, “I didn’t know she had a sister.”

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Silvio, What Happened?

In our never-ending search for the meaning of “The Sopranos” finale, we hear from Steven Van Zandt.

He came before the critics here in Beverly Hills to promote the VH1 Classic series “Seven Ages of Rock” about the emergence of rock music as a global force told through seven generations of rockers. For non-TV types, you might know Little Stevie through the E Street Band, who backed up a singer named Bruce Springsteen.

But no matter. What did he think of the ending of “The Sopranos”?

“Right from the beginning, (creator) David Chase broke every rule in the book, and everybody loved him for it. Literally he just refused, all along, to sort of compromise and play that sort of Hollywood-imposed game of fraudulent closure,” Steve says. “ He’s like, ‘Life doesn’t work that way. It doesn’t get wrapped up every 30 minutes or every 60 minutes, and we’re not going to play that game. This is my last show on TV. I’m going out without compromising.’ He kept it that way right to the end. I thought it was a brilliant ending myself.”

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Isaiah Out

It looks as if Isaiah Washington’s inability to keep his mouth closed has cost him his “Grey’s Anatomy” gig.

TV Guide’s Michael Ausiello is reporting that Washington’s contract with “Grey’s” has not been renewed.

It doesn’t take a brain surgeon to figure out that Washington’s inappropriate remarks towards his co-star T.K. Knight, who plays the lovable George on the show, were the catalyst to his plight.

Washington used an offensive sexual orientation word to refer to Knight. Knight later came out as being gay.

Washington, who apparently doesn’t learn from his mistakes, repeated the slur again backstage at the Golden Globes during press interviews.

When last we saw his character Dr. Burke, he had left Christina (Sandra Oh) at the altar and cleared out of his apartment.

That’s probably the last we’ll ever see of Dr. Burke.

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Fox 2007-2008

OK, so that isn’t the flashiest headline, but that’s what the network gets for being the last one to present its fall schedule in what has turned into a very long week.

The only 2006-2007 series that made the final cut was the boring Brad Garrett show “’ Til Death.” Go figure. Hey, as long as Fox still has “Bones,” “House,” “American Idol” and “The Simpsons,” I’ll still be watching.

In the fall, the network will be bringing out two new dramas – “K-Ville” and “New Amsterdam” – one new comedy, “Back to You” and three reality shows – Gordon Ramsey’s “Kitchen Nightmares,” American Idol producers do “The Search for the Next Great American Band” and check out the country music hopefuls on “Nashville.”

After the holidays, the schedule gets juggled and we’ll see two new dramas, “Canterbury’s Law” and “The Sarah Connor Chronicles” and a new comedy, “The Return of Jezebel James.”

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K-VILLE
Pictured L-R: Maximiliano Hernandez, John Carroll Lynch, Anthony Anderson, Cole Hauser, Blake Shields and Tawny Cypress. CR: Rebecca Brenneman/FOX

Two years after Katrina, cops Marlin (Anthony Anderson) a brash veteran and his new partner Trevor (Cole Hauser), a former soldier who served in Afghanistan before joing the department, are committed rebuilding the city.

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NEW AMSTERDAM
Nicolaj Coster Waldau

Director Lasse Hallstrom (“My Life as a Dog”) comes to TV for the first time as the producer of this drama about an immortal (Nikolaj Coster Waldau) whoworks as a New York homicide detective while trying to find the true love which will break his curse and allow him to age gracefully.

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BACK TO YOU

In the 1990s, Chuck (Kelsey Grammer) and Kelly (Patricia Heaton) were the beloved news anchors. Then Chuck took a better job, leaving Kelly in the dust. But after a fall from grace, Chuck’s back in Pittsburgh toiling away with Kelly once again.

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CANTERBURY’S LAW
Pictured L-R: Jocko Sims, Linus Roache, Julianna Margulies, Trieste Dunn and Ben Shenkman. ©2007 Fox Broadcasting Co. CR: FOX/KC Bailey

Denis Leary is one of the producers behind this drama starring Julianna Margulies and Linus Roache as lawyers who try to get on with their lives after their young son’s disappearance. The two move to Rhode Island to try to patch up their troubled relationship.

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THE SARAH CONNOR CHRONICLES
Pictured L-R: Thomas Dekker, Lena Heady, Richard T. Jones and Summer Glau. ©2007 Fox Broadcasting Co. Cr: Joe Viles/FOX

Just when you thought you knew everything you ever wanted about “The Terminator” character, here’s a series to tell you even more. Lena Headey stars, with Thomas Dekker as her 15-year-old son John as they try to stay one step ahead of those sent back from the future to destroy them.

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THE RETURN OF JEZEBEL JAMES

Parker Posey and Lauren Ambrose star as estranged sisters who are trying to patch things up. The show comes from “Gilmore Girls” creator Amy Sherman-Palladino, so we’re willing to give it a try.

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THE RULES FOR STARTING OVER
Pictured clockwise from L: Johnny Sneed, Craig Bierko, Shaun Majumder and Rashida Jones. Cr: Michael Desmond/FOX

From the Farrelly brothers comes this comedy about a group of newly single friends learning the painful lessons of starting over in their 30s. Craig Bierko, Rashida Jones, Johnny Sneed and Shaun Majumder star.
Fox 2007-2008 Primetime Schedule:
Fall/Spring

Monday

8 p.m. “Prison Break”
9 p.m. “K-VILLE”/“24”

Tuesday
8 p.m. “NEW AMSTERDAM”/“American Idol”
9 p.m. “House”

Wednesday

8 p.m. “BACK TO YOU”
8:30 p.m. “ ‘Til Death”/“THE RETURN OF JEZEBEL JAMES”
9 p.m. “Bones”/“American Idol”

Thursday

8 p.m. “Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?”
9 p.m. “KITCHEN NIGHTMARES”/“CANTERBURY’S LAW”

Friday

8 p.m. “THE SEARCH FOR THE NEXT GREAT AMERICA”/“Bones”
9 p.m. “NASHVILLE”/“NEW AMSTERDAM”

Saturday
8 p.m. “Cops”
9 p.m. “America’s Most Wanted”

Sunday

8 p.m. “The Simpsons”
8:30 p.m. “King of the Hill”
9 p.m. “Family Guy”/“THE SARAH CONNOR CHRONICLES”
9:30 p.m. “American Dad”

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Melinda, You’re Still Our No. 1

In the end, Melinda Doolittle’s superior singing abilities were no match for Jordin Sparks’ adorability factor or Blake Lewis’ showmanship in the “American Idol” competition.

Doolittle consistently came through on the vocals, but never quite captured the hearts of “American Idol” voters the way Sparks and Lewis did. Sparks’ vocals kept getting better and better each week, but what keeps her in the game _ and makes her the favorite to win the whole thing _ is that she simply looks and acts like a young teen idol.

From the beginning, the women kept outshining their male counterparts in the competition until Lewis started bringing on his A game. While Doolittle depended on her pipes to get her through, Lewis kept putting his own spin on each song. Last night, he really pull out all beats for a stellar night. He stole the show with “This Love” and brought it home with “When I Get You Alone.”

Simon Cowell chided Sparks for choosing the old tune “I Who Have Nothing,” but it was Doolittle who came off looking old fashioned with the pop tune-turned-ad “I’m A Woman” and wearing a dated pants suit.

Doolittle should be quickly snatched up by a record label, so we won’t shed any tears for her. And we look forward to the Lewis-Sparks showdown next week.

American Idol is down to two contestants? Will it be the very sweet Jordin Sparks or beat-boxer Blake Lewis? I give my take, along with Mercury News news reporter Sandra Gonzales and Contra Costa Times TV critic Chuck Barney.

We discuss Melinda Doolittle leaving the show, the judges, the fans, and give their own predictions for the winner. Mercury News music writer Marian Liu moderates.
Here is the link:
http://www.mercextra.com/listen/index.php?id=355

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CBS’ Boldly Goes into New Season

CBS taking chances?

Who would have thought it of the conservative network, home of the police procedurals and slightly naughty sitcoms.

The network will bring back 17 current programs, but the sitcom “The Class” and the once-promising “Jericho” won’t be among them. CBS brings just one comedy, one reality show and three dramas this fall, leaving most of the schedule intact.

Earlier this year, CBS entertainment president Nina Tassler tipped off a few reporters about her plans to shake things up with a musical drama, a wife-swapping drama and a Latino sudser.

“We approached our development this year with a specific goal in mind _ to be daring and different,” Tassler says when announcing the new fall series on Wednesday. “The fall and midseason series we have selected offer creativity and variety with great potential to excite and surprise television audiences.”

Well, it certainly surprised us, even though Tassler had already told us about “Viva Laughlin,” we never thought the CBS suits would buy it.

We were wrong.

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VIVA LAUGHLIN
Executive produced by Tony and Emmy Award winner Hugh Jackman (pictured, guest staring as Nicky Fontana).
Photo: Robert Voets/CBS

Based on the British series “Viva Blackpool,” the series is produced and co-stars Hugh Jackman. In addition to high-wattage star power, the series also marks the first time since Steven Bochco’s ill-fated “Cop Rock” that a musical drama series has made it to the air.

Ripley Holden’s sole ambition is to run a casino in Laughlin, but he gets embroiled in a murder investigation after his business partner’s body is found at Ripley’s club. Ripley (Lloyd Owen) also deals with an attention-starvedwife (Madchen Amick) and teen daughter and son. The characters break out in contemporary songs to punctuate the drama and the comedy.

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MOONLIGHT
Alex O’Loughlin as Mick St. John. CBS 2007 Upfront Photo: Robert Voets

Tapping into the “Angel” market, “Moonlight” centers on Mick St. John (Alex O’Loughlin) as a vampire who uses his powers to help people through his private investigation firm.

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CANE
Pictured right to left: Jimmy Smits, Paola Turbay, Hector Elizondo, and Rita Moreno. 2007 Upfront Photo: Robert Voets/CBS

“Cane” stars Jimmy Smits, Hector Elizondo and Nestor Carbonell (Richard on “Lost”) as the power players in this steamy drama about a large Cuban-American family running a successful rum and sugar business in South Florida.

Coming on in midseason is “Swingtown” from the director of the Showtime series “Big Love” and HBO’s “Rome.” The series takes viewers back to 1970s suburbia where the sexual revolution is being played out with open marriages and women’s lib. When a couple (Molly Parker and Jack Davenport) moves into an affluent Chicago suburb in search of barbecues and neighborhood get-togethers, they have no idea what is really happening. Grant Show (“Melrose Place” and “Dirt”) and Lana Parrilla play the swinging couple who share more than just recipes with their neighbors. Miriam Shor and Josh Hopkins play the couple’s former neighbors and friends who are appalled and intrigued by the neighborhood.

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THE BIG BANG THEORY
Brainy best friends Leonard (Johnny Galecki, right) and Sheldon (Jim Parsons, left) meet their new neighbor, Penny (Kaley Cuoco, center) 2007 Upfront Photo: Robert Voets/CBS

The lone comedy on the schedule, “The Big Bang Theory,” comes from “Two and a Half Men” producer Chuck Lorre. The show centers on a group of geeks being navigated through the crazy world of women with the help of their sexy new neighbor Penny (Kaley Cuoco).

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KID NATION
Photo: Monty Brinton/ CBS

CBS, which will be keeping “Survivor” and at least one cycle of “The CBS, which will be keeping “Survivor” and at least one cycle of “The Amazing Race” this season, branches out with the reality series “Kid Nation.” The series drops 40 kids into a New Mexico ghost town where they will have 40 days to build a working town. The children, aged 8 to 15, will also create a new government. Sounds a little PBS to us.

While not on the fall schedule, “The New Adventures of Old Christine” has been picked up as a midseason replacement series. We would have put “Christine” on this fall rather than sticking with the lukewarm “Rules of Engagement” for the Monday night comedy block. But, again, we didn’t get that phone call from CBS asking our opinion.

Here’s the CBS fall lineup:

Monday
8 p.m. “How I Met Your Mother”
8:30 p.m. “THE BIG BANG THEORY”
9 p.m. “Two and a Half Men”
9:30 p.m. “Rules of Engagement”
10 p.m. “CSI:Miami”

Tuesday
8 p.m. “NCIS”
9 p.m. “The Unit”
10 p.m. “Cane”

Wednesday
8 p.m. “Kid Nation”
9 p.m. “Criminal Minds”
10 p.m. “CSI: New York”

Thursday
8 p.m. “Survivor: China”
9 p.m. “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation”
10 p.m. “Without a Trace”

Friday
8 p.m. “Ghost Whisperer”
9 p.m. “MOONLIGHT”
10 p.m. “Numb3rs”

Saturday
8 p.m. “Crimetime Saturday”
9 p.m. “Crimetime Saturday”
10 p.m. “48 Hours: Mystery”

Sunday
7 p.m. “60 Minutes”
8 p.m. “VIVA LAUGHLIN”
9 p.m. “Cold Case”
10 p.m. “Shark”

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NBC Keeps the Lights On

“Studio 60” is gone. So is “Crossing Jordan.”

(Which I guess solves that plane crash question left at the season finale.)

But NBC decided to keep the lights on “Friday Night Lights” and actually put in on Friday night.
And we’ll be getting even more “Heroes” this coming season with no long absences.

There will be 24 new episodes of “Heroes,” with limited repeats and six new stand-alone episodes titled “Heroes: Origins,” featuring new heroes.

“Each will feature an entirely new cast. We saw certain characters last year, like the waitress in Texas, that people were really intrigued with,” says NBC Entertainment President Kevin Reilly. “The stories will be like those, budgeted like a standard episode.”

At the end of those six episodes, which will probably air next spring, viewers will be able to vote on which character they would like to see added to the cast.

Reilly also announced there will be 30 new episodes of “The Office,” including five one-hour episodes and 25 new episodes of “My Name is Earl.”
“Scrubs” will also be returning to the network for a seventh season, and Jerry Seinfeld comes back to NBC.

Seinfeld has produced “minisodes” spinning off of his “Bee Movie.” The times have not yet been announced.

The best news, however, is that NBC didn’t go into typical bottom-feeder network mode and begin juggling the schedule and adding far too many new programs.

Only four new dramas and one new reality program were announced on Monday for fall, with one drama and a comedy announced for midseason.

No surprise, with the popularity of “Heroes,” that three of the new dramas – “Bionic Woman,” “Journeyman” and “Chuck” – have a sci-fi spin.

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BIONIC WOMAN:
Chris Bowers as Will, Michelle Ryan as Jamie Sommers, Miguel Ferrer as Jonas, Will Yun Lee as Jae, Molly Price as Ruth — NBC Photo: Alan Zenuk

“Bionic Woman” stars Michelle Ryan (“EastEnders”) as Jaime Summers, who is technologically enhanced after a near-fatal car accident. Her co-stars include Miguel Ferrer, Mae Whitman, Molly Price, and former Bay Area resident Will Yun Lee. The show is produced by such sci fi veterans as David Eick
(“Battlestar Gallactica”), Glen Morgan (“The X-Files”) and Laeta
Kalogridis (“Birds of Prey”).

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JOURNEYMAN
Gretchen Egolf as Katie Vasser, Reed Diamond as Jack Vasser, Kevin McKidd as Dan Vasser, Moon Bloodgood as Livia Beale — NBC Photo: Mitchell Haaseth

“Journeyman” is a romantic mystery starring Kevin McKidd of “Rome” as a San Francisco journalist who travels through time and changes people’s lives. We’re thinking that he travels back to a time when people read more newspapers.

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CHUCK
Yvonne Strzechowski as Sarah, Zachary Levi as Chuck, Adam Baldwin as John Casey — NBC Photo: Chris Haston

“Chuck” comes from former “The O.C.” team of Josh Schwartz and McG, starring Zachary Levi (“Less Than Perfect”) as a computer geek who becomes a secret agent after vital data is dowloaded into his brain.

Also making the schedule are “Life” and, after football, “Lipstick
Jungle.”

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LIFE
Robin Weigert as Lt. Karen Davis, Sarah Shahi as Dani Reese, Damian Lewis as Charlie Crews, Adam Arkin as Ted Early, Melissa Sagemiller as Constance Griffiths — NBC Photo: Mitchell Haaseth

“Life” stars Damian Lewis (“Band of Brothers”) as a detective who was wrongly accused of a crime, served some time and is now back on the force. We’re excited to report that phenomenal actress Robin Weigert (“Deadwood”) co-stars.

Both “Life” and “Bionic Woman” will repeat on USA and Sci Fi,
respectively.

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LIPSTICK JUNGLE

Lindsay Price as Victory, Brooke Shields as Wendy, Kim Raver as Nico — NBC Photo: Mitchell Haaset

“Lipstick Jungle” comes from the novel by Candace Bushnell (“Sex and the City”) about three high powered friends in the New York fashion business. Kim Raver, Brooke Shields and Lindsay Price co-star.

The lone new reality show on the schedule is “The Singing Bee,” which challenges contestants to accurately sing the lyrics to popular songs.

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THE IT CROWD
Joel McHale as Roy, Richard Ayoade as Moss, Jessica St. Clair as Jen — NBC Photo: Mitchell Haaseth

Also on the horizon, but not on the schedule, is the sitcom “The IT Crowd,” about quirky techies, based on the British comedy and the reality show “World Moves,” from Randy Jackson (“American Idol”), centering on dance teams from around the world.

Despite fears that “Law & Order” might not return, it will be back for an 18th season, but potential presidential candidate Fred Thompson will be leaving the series.

Also returning is “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.” “Law & Order: Criminal Intent” will be airing on the network’s cable sibling USA, with an option for the episodes to air on NBC later.

NBC PRIMETIME SCHEDULE FOR FALL 2007-08

New programs in CAPS (with the exception of “ER”)

MONDAY
8-9 p.m. “Deal or No Deal”
9-10 p.m. “Heroes”
10-11 p.m. “JOURNEYMAN”

TUESDAY
8-9 p.m. “The Biggest Loser”
9-10 p.m. “CHUCK”
10-11 p.m. “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit”

WEDNESDAY
8-9 p.m. “Deal or No Deal”
9-10 p.m. “BIONIC WOMAN”
10-11 p.m. “LIFE”

THURSDAY
8-8:30 p.m. “My Name Is Earl”
8:30-9 p.m. “30 Rock”
9-9:30 p.m. “The Office”
9:30-10 p.m. “Scrubs”
10-11 p.m. “ER”

FRIDAY
8-9 p.m. “1 vs 100″/”THE SINGING BEE”
9-10 p.m. “Las Vegas”
10-11 p.m. “Friday Night Lights”

SATURDAY
8-9 p.m. “Dateline NBC”
9-11 p.m. Drama Series Encores

SUNDAY (Fall 2007)
“Football Night in America”
“NBC Sunday Night Football”

SUNDAY (January 2008)
7-8 p.m. “Dateline NBC”
8-9 p.m. “Law & Order”
9-10 p.m. “Medium”
10-11 p.m. “LIPSTICK JUNGLE”

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ABC’s new fall schedule

On Monday, NBC decided to stick with most of its schedule. When it was ABC’s turn at bat on Tuesday, the network announced it was bringing on a whopping seven new dramas, four new comedies and one new “alternative’’ series this fall.

Although the buzz was bad on the “Grey’s Anatomy’’ episode sending Addison (Kate Walsh) down to sunny Southern California from Seattle Grace, ABC is still strong on the show. Now titled “Private Practice, the series will air on Wednesday, a day ABC has programmed with all new series.

ABC entertainment president Stephen McPherson acknowledged Tuesday that the episode wasn’t up to snuff.

“ `Practice’ needs work,’’ he said in a press conference. “It was a hybrid introduction that introduced all the characters and didn’t spend enough time on story. What (`Grey’s’ creator) Shonda does brilliantly is the conflict between people and the intricacies that (weren’t well served in the pilot).’’

McPherson also talked about the dramas that didn’t make it from last season, including “The Nine’’ and “Six Degrees,’’ compared to more escapism fare like ABC’s “Ugly Betty,’’ “Brothers & Sisters’’ and NBC’s “Heroes.’’

“Look at the news every day and it is bad. Paris Hilton is going to jail,’’ McPherson said, getting a chuckle out of the room. “People didn’t show up for these shows. They didn’t see them and reject them, they just didn’t show up. `Nine’ was very hard, very dense. It was compelling but demanding.’’

In a move to less demanding shows, ABC is going to comedies like “Cavemen,’’ based on those obnoxious guys from the Geico commercial.

Initially, ABC will roll out eight new shows in the fall, staggering the other series through the rest of the year.

The schedule offers a nice dose of Bay Area influence, from “Eli Stone’’ and “The Women’s Murder Club,’’ both set in San Francisco, to Bay Area actors like Newark’s Christopher Titus in “Big Shots’’ and Santa Rosa’s Peter Krause in “Dirty Sexy Money.’’

The new dramas are:

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(ABC/KEVIN FOLEY) CHRISTOPHER TITUS, WENDY MONIZ, MICHAEL VARTAN, NIA LONG, PAIGE TURCO, DYLAN McDERMOTT, PEYTON LIST, JESSICA COLLINS, JOSHUA MALINA, AMY SLOAN

“Big Shots’’ stars Titus, Michael Vartan , Dylan McDermott and Josh Malina as four friends at the top of their game professionally who have some trouble with the ladies in their lives.

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FRANCES O`CONNOR, JULIAN OVENDEN, LUCY LIU, BONNIE SOMERVILLE, MIRANDA OTTO, PETER HERMANN
“Cashmere Mafia’’ stars Lucy Liu, Frances O’Connor, Miranda Otto and Bonnie Somerville as four gal pals fighting the glass ceiling in the Big City. The series comes from “Sex and the City’’ producer Darren Star.

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(ABC/BOB D`AMICO) FRONT ROW: SAMAIRE ARMSTRONG, ZOE McLELLAN, PETER KRAUSE, JILL CLAYBURGH, DONALD SUTHERLAND, NATALIE ZEA; BACK ROW: BILLY BALDWIN, GLENN FITZGERALD, SETH GABEL
“Dirty Sexy Money’’ stars Krause as an idealistic lawyer who takes on the wealthy, and morally muddled, Darling family. Co-stars are Donald Sutherland, William Baldwin, Samaire Armstrong and Jill Clayburgh.

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(ABC/BOB D`AMICO) NATASHA HENSTRIDGE, VICTOR GARBER, JAMES SAITO, JONNY LEE MILLER, LAURA BENANTI, SAM JAEGER, LORETTA DEVINE
“Eli Stone’’ stars Jonny Lee Miller as a San Francisco lawyer who might also be a prophet. Victor Garber, Natasha Henstridge and Loretta Devine co-star in this series from the team who brought you “Brothers & Sisters.’’

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(ABC/BOB D`AMICO) TAYE DIGGS, MERRIN DUNGEY, TIM DALY, KATE WALSH, AMY BRENNEMAN, PAUL ADELSTEIN, CHRIS LOWELL
“Private Practice’’ stars Walsh as she sheds McDreamy and McSteamy for more adult company in an established medical practice. Co-stars include Tim Daly, Taye Diggs, Paul Adelstein and Merrin Dungey.

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(ABC/BOB D`AMICO) ELLEN GREENE, SWOOSIE KURTZ, ANNA FRIEL, LEE PACE, CHI McBRIDE, KRISTIN CHENOWETH
“Pushing Daisies’’ is a fantasy forensic series about a guy who helps solve murders through his ability to bring things, and people, back to life _ and then put them back into the grave. Lee pace stars with Anna Friel, Chi McBride, Swoosie Kurtz and Kristin Chenoweth in a series from Bryan Fuller (“Wonderfalls,’’ “Heroes’’).

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(ABC/BOB D`AMICO) ELIZABETH HO, LAURA HARRIS, TYREES ALLEN, ANGIE HARMON, PAULA NEWSOME, AUBREY DOLLAR

“Women’s Murder Club’’ is base don James Patterson’s best-sellers about four women _ a detective, a district attorney, a medical examiner and a reporter _ working in San Francisco. Stars Angie Harmon.

The new comedies are:

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ABC/CRAIG SJODIN) JERRY MINOR, JERRY O`CONNELL, T.J. MILLER, ALLISON MUNN, TIM PEPER, FRED GOSS, FAITH FORD

“Carpoolers’’ starring Fred Gross, Faith Ford, Jerry O’Connell, Jerry Minor as four guys who commiserate about their lives, jobs and families while bonding during their commute.

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.(ABC/CRAIG SJODIN) STEPHANIE LEMELIN, DASH MIHOK, NICK KROLL, BILL ENGLISH, KAITLIN DOUBLEDAY, JOHN HEARD

“Caveman’’ is described as a unique buddy comedy offering a twist on stereotypes and race relations. Come on now, it’s based on a Geico commercial.

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(ABC/BOB D`AMICO) EARL BILLINGS, JONATHAN SADOWSKI, JUDY GREER, KRISTOFFER POLAHA, BROOKE BURNS

“Miss/Guided’’ has Judy Greer returning to high school as a counselor and reliving her unpopular past. Comes from Ashton Kutcher and Jason Goldburg, the guys behind “Beauty and the Geek.’’

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(ABC/CRAIG SJODIN) MELISSA McCARTHY, CHRISTINA APPLEGATE, JENNIFER ESPOSITO, TIM RUSS, JEAN SMART, KEVIN DUNN

“Sam I Am’’ has Christina Applegate starring as a woman who emerges from a coma without a memory and discovering she wasn’t very nice. Now she wants to make amends.

The lone “alternative series’’ is “Oprah’s Big Give’’ where needy contestants vie for a chance to win large amounts of cash.

The midseason series “October Road’’ and “Notes from the Underbelly’’ and the new series “Cashmere Mafia’’ will premiere after “Dancing with the Stars’’ and “The Bachelor’’ conclude their fall seasons.
As previously reported, “Lost’’ will not return until 2008 with 16 new episodes running almost uninterrupted.
In addition to shows already axed, the network canceled the drama “What About Brian,’’ and comedies “George Lopez,” “Help Me Help You” and “Knights of Prosperity.” ABC is still debating whether to bring back “According to Jim.’’

Monday:
8 p.m. “Dancing with the Stars”
9:30 p.m. “SAM I AM”
10 p.m. “The Bachelor”

Tuesday
8 p.m. “CAVEMAN”
8:30 p.m. “CARPOOLERS”
9 p.m. “Dancing with the Stars Results”
10 p.m. “Boston Legal”

Wednesday
8 p.m. “PUSHING DAISIES”
9 p.m. “PRIVATE PRACTICE”
10 p.m. “DIRTY SEXY MONEY”

Thursday
8 p.m. “Ugly Betty”
9 p.m. “Grey’s Anatomy”
10 p.m. “BIG SHOTS”

Friday
8 p.m. “Mind in Trees”
9 p.m. “WOMEN’S MURDER CLUB”
10 p.m. “20/20”

Saturday
8 p.m. “Saturday Night College Football”

Sunday
7 p.m. “America’s Funniest Home Videos”
8 p.m. “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition”
9 p.m. “Desperate Housewives”
10 p.m. “Brothers & Sisters”

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Yau’s still the man

Yau-Man Chan will go down in “Survivor” history as the man who gave away a $65,000 truck to a man who reneged on his promise to give Chan immunity.

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Yau-Man Chan

The 54-year-old Martinez man who works as the Director of Information Systems for the College of Chemistry at the University of California, Berkeley says as soon as the curtain dropped on the huge Ford truck, he knew he could never take it home.

“When they dropped the curtain, I knew that’s not my lifestyle. I own two hybrids. If I took it home, my wife would leave me and the children would have disowned me, but it was nice of Ford to donate the truck,” Yau-Man says the morning after the finale. “Now, if they would have donated a hybrid Escape, I wouldn’t be so quick to trade it off.”

Of course, that was also before he knew how much the truck was worth, joking that he would never have made it on “The Price is Right.”

So, does he have to pay taxes on the truck anyway?

“I didn’t touch it, the title never touched me,” Yau-Man says. “I’m in the clear.”

He says that he knew how much Dreamz wanted the truck and so he decided almost immediately to use it as a bargaining chip because he knew when it came down to the final four, either he or Dreamz would win the immunity challenge.

“Looking back, I may have overplayed (Dreamz honoring his promise),” Yau-Man says. “I can’t read people like Cassandra did. I found out I don’t have a talent for that. Dreamz really had no intention of living up to his word, and I thought that he would.”

The final four were Yau-Man, ad executive Earl Cole, college administrator Cassandra Franklin and cheerleading coach Andria “Dreamz” Herd.

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EARL, CASSANDRA, DREAMZ

During Sunday night’s reunion show, Earl says the shocked look on his face when Dreamz backed out of his agreement with Yau-Man was that he just realized he’d won a million dollars. He knew up against Yau-Man, he probably would have lost.

That was borne out on Sunday when host Jeff Probst asked the jurors if they would have voted for Yau-Man to win the million.

In a show of hands, it was revealed that Yau-Man would have won the game.

“So Dreamz, who was never going to win the million because of what he had done during the course of the show, decided the outcome by not giving me the immunity he had promised,” Yau-Man says. “Earl won the million dollars, and because neither Dreamz nor Cassandra got a single vote, they tied for second and will get $100,000. Since I came in third, I will get $60,000. Although I havent’ checked the check yet.”

Dreamz, who has lived most of his life as a homeless young man, was all over the map making him very difficult to read at the best of times. He mentioned on the reunion show that he hoped to meet Oprah Winfrey.

Perhaps if he had honored his bargain, that might have happened.

As it is, Yau-Man says he doubts Oprah would “even allow him close to her
building.”

Yau-Man says Dreamz feels a lot more guilty over his decision than it would appear.

“Being nice to him was worse than being angry. He really wants me to be all over him about this, but I’m not going to give him the pleasure,” Yau-Man says. “Look, life is short. I don’t want to hold that anger or a grudge against him. He will have to deal with this for the rest of his life. He’s in bad shape, because he will have to do a lot of good deeds to offset that image. He committed a major moral infraction in front of millions of people.”

The funny thing is, Yau-Man says, is that Dreamz is telling everyone he’s going
to donate the truck to the charity that helped him when he was homeless.

“We all rolled our eyes and said please have a lot of television and newspaper coverage or else we won’t believe it,” Yau-Man says.

And Yau-Man admits he was a little disappointed that his pal Earl sided with Cassandra and Dreamz to vote him out.

“I was hoping he would vote for Cassandra so we could have a tie vote, but I understand that he felt he had a better chance at the final tribal council with Dreamz and Cassandra,” Yau-Man says. “I still think that if Dreamz hadn’t won the immunity, Earl would have voted him out instead.”

Yau-Man says that when he thought he might have a shot at winning the million, he thought about retiring. But now that’s not an option.

He says people are seeking him out for endorsements, but he says he thinks he’ll steer clear of commercial endorsements while doing what he can for charities.

“There’s a move on the Internet to get a million people to send in a dollar each so I can win the million,” Yau-Man says with a laugh. “I’m getting a lot more recognition on the street. I’m basically a shy person, so I’m trying to be more outgoing. It’s a new experience for me.”

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