Archive for New Shows

Calling all Rock Stars

“Rock Star: The Series” – just a working title, so don’t get too attached – returns this summer to CBS.

But first, they need to round up some rockers. So get in line.

Auditions will be taking place in early March. Applications for potential singers can be found at and Auditions are open to men and women all over the world who are at least 21 years-old.

Open calls will take place in the following cities. Cities are subject to change, with venues announced at a later date.

March 1, 2006

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On the WB drawing board

New series? We’ve got your new WB series.

Or at least a few proposed series.

Former Jessica Simpson life partner Nick Lachey is set to star in a half-hour comedy created by Danny Jacobson (“Mad About You”).

Matthew Bomer, who was in “Flightplan” with Jodie Foster, has just been cast as the lead in “Cult,” a sci-fi show.

“Cult” is written by Rockne S. O’Bannon, who created “Farscape.”

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DeGeneres going to the dogs

Comic Ellen DeGeneres teams with her brother Vance DeGeneres (Mr. Bill on “Saturday Night Live”) for a new WB sitcom, “My Dog Sparky,” depicting family life from two different perspectives: both the people and the pets.

Ellen will be voicing the lead character, Sparky the Dog.

“Joining forces with my brother has long been a dream of ours. Of course, that dream used to involve world domination. But a show on the WB works, too,” DeGeneres says. “I’m really looking forward to working with Vance on a project that doesn’t involve a late Mother’s Day gift for our mom.”

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`Survival of the Richest’

Yep. That’s the title of the WB’s next reality series.

Seven really rich, spoiled kids team up with seven economically challenged kids for a chance to win $200,000 _ or a dinner out for some of these rotten little scoundrels.

Also on the reality agenda is “Fountain of Youth,” now being cast by “Beauty and the Geek” creator Ashton Kutcher. The series is sort of an “Amazing Race,” teaming a young person with a “senior citizen.”

By WB standards, that means anyone over 40.

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Shaky love in a tub

Donna Mills waxed nostalgic about the time she had to do a steamy scene on

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Cooling off, Hollywood style

A trip to the sets of

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Dissin’ Jesse, e-mailin’ Tara

The ever-elusive Aaron McGruder, the controversial comic strip cartoonist who created

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Sci-fi nerds and white steeds

As usual, the cable portion of the TV critics press tour was packed tighter than Dolly Parton

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Ever the Playboy

BEVERLY HILLS _ Who would have thought that a girl from Galt would grow up to be the No. 2 girlfriend of Playboy patriarch Hugh Hefner.

The session for “The Girls Next Door,” which premieres in August, was a fitting end to the wacky cable portion of the summer TV critics press tour.

Hefner, who turns 80 next month, looked decades younger as he strolled up to the stage with his three blonde, amply endowed girlfriends Holly Madison, Kendra Wilkinson and Galt’s Bridget Marquardt.

This reality series goes inside this unconventional relationship. Bridget, 31, says her family loves Hef. In fact, her younger sister is down visiting the Playboy mansion.
Yeah. That sounds like a father’s dream.

P. Diddy doesn’t have the kind of security this girl has.

After the session, Hef and his trio of trophies marched out to the waiting limo, with a lone reporter invading a weak spot to grab a quick interview.

Bridget says that she attended Lodi High School for two years before the family moved to Galt, where she graduated. She moved down to L.A. with the intentions of becoming a Playboy Playmate. Instead, Hef fell for her, and she’s been in the top-three girlfriend tier ever since.

She says she’s happy, but it still seemed a bit creepy to see a man who is old enough to be her grandfather yanking her around like a puppy on a short leash.

“Boondocks” headed for small screen

Earlier in the day, outspoken newspaper cartoonist Aaron McGruder took the stage to promote his newest venture, a TV series for The Cartoon Network named after his comic strip “The Boondocks.”

The strip, which runs in this newspaper, is set around an African-American grandfather who moves his grandchildren from the inner city to the suburbs. The kid characters are a self-appointed revolutionary, Huey Freeman (named after Black Panther Huey P. Newton), his younger gangsta brother Riley Freeman and their outspoken, bi-racial buddy Jazmine DuBois.

The first episode, which airs in October, is titled “The Trial of R. Klly,” which makes quite a comment on celebrity trials.

McGruder hasn’t been shy when it comes to making his opinions known, from knocking the first film in the final “Star Wars” trilogy to calling Condoleeza Rice a murderer.
So he prefers to avoid talking to his targets if possible.

“I have a rule where I don’t actually talk to people within a week or two after I put them in the paper because they’re still really upset and then I have a rule of forgetting about them afterward so that I just never have the conversation,” McGruder says. “Then there’s when you bump into them, and that’s particularly unpleasant because normally people are incredibly nice and incredibly gracious, and then you just feel like a big jerk.”

And for those people wondering about the rumors that he’s going to stop doing the comic strip, McGruder says, “I’m just not ready to walk away yet.”

Give this woman some carbs

Kyra Sedgewick’s character on the fantastic new TNT show “The Closer” has an obsession with junk food.

Seems like the doughnut doesn’t fall far from the carb tree.

After her session, she raced past me like a running back avoiding a tackle so she could get to the snack table to grab a croissant. Don’t tell me those skinny actresses don’t like butter-filled treats.

Earlier, Sedgwick said in the session she couldn’t be happier with the new attention she’s been getting from the show, especially the offer from Playboy for a centerfold.

“At 39, I was thrilled,” says the vivacious actress, who turns 40 next month.
But alas. She reveals sadly, “I was forced into saying no by my agent.”

I know. Again with the Playboy.

Ask a question for CBS executives, who’ll be in the hotseat this week, by e-mailing me at

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Some jolly ol’ Brits

It was almost like being in jolly Old England when the double decker bus pulled up to the Beverly Hills Hilton Thursday night to take the TV critics over to the BBC party at the Museum of Television & Radio down the street.

Of course, you can

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