ABC Family nabs 'Whose Line' episodes
ABC Family, already getting respectable ratings from "Whose Line Is it Anyway?" retreads, has purchased 25 episodes of the improv comedy series which never made it to air during the show's erratic life on ABC.
Beginning in the late summer of 1998, "Whose Line" -- featuring a regular cast of comics including Drew Carey and Wayne Brady -- aired in fits and starts on ABC, often finding traction whenever the network needed filler. As recently as 2002, the show was still averaging as many as 8 million viewers per week, but by the time it sputtered through several airings last summer, its ratings were much lower than that.
Brady won an Emmy in 2002 for his work on the show.
ABC Family began airing "Whose Line" episodes in early 2002, and the network claims that household ratings have increased regularly. The first two unseen episodes will show on Jan. 17.
Usher concert to air during free Showtime weekend
New York -- It's time to Usher in the new year.
After a very good 2004 for the R&B; singer, Usher will perform a live concert on Showtime March 5. The show, "One Night, One Star: Usher Live," will be a 90 minute live broadcast from San Juan, Puerto Rico.
Usher's "Confessions," featuring hits "Yeah!" and "Burn," was the best selling album of 2004, moving 7.9 million copies. His tour raked in $29.1 million in North America, and he's currently nominated for eight Grammys, including album of the year.
The concert will air Saturday, March 5 at 8 p.m. CST. Showtime, a premium cable network, is offering a free preview nationwide March 4-7.
McCain reports for jury duty
Phoenix -- Call him Citizen McCain.
Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., spent Thursday in Phoenix Municipal Court awaiting possible jury duty and fielding questions from other potential jurors. Asked what he was doing there, he responded, "I'm a citizen."
His congressional schedule kept him from serving jury duty until this week.
"Since a lot of citizens inconvenience themselves to serve, there's no reason for me not to inconvenience myself. You meet nice people, too," he said.
He spent the morning reading newspapers and fielding occasional questions in the jury assembly room but was called into a courtroom in the afternoon to be considered for a DUI case.
McCain did not make the jury.
Los Angeles -- Late punk guitarist Johnny Ramone is being immortalized with a bronze statue at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery.
Ramone, co-founder and guitarist of The Ramones, was 55 when he died of prostate cancer on Sept. 15 at his Los Angeles home. The statue is near the grave of bandmate Dee Dee Ramone, who died of a drug overdose in 2002.
The Johnny Ramone monument, created by artist Wayne Toth, shows Ramone playing his Mosrite guitar and it features the words, "If a man can judge success by how many great friends he has, then I have been very successful -- Johnny Ramone."
Ramone's widow, Linda, will unveil the statue Jan. 14 during a two-hour afternoon public ceremony featuring testimonials from friends. Johnny Ramone was cremated and his wife has the ashes.
Roberts, Rumsfeld no longer neighbors
Los Angeles -- People magazine reports that just weeks after giving birth to twins, Julia Roberts bought herself a plus-size Christmas present: 32 acres of prime real estate in Taos, N.M. And the man she bought it from is none other than Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld.
Roberts, 37, has been buying land from neighbors since she took up part-time residence in the state in 1995.
Her latest purchase is adjacent to 80 acres she already owns.
Rock singer David Bowie is 58. Game show host Bob Eubanks is 67. Physicist Stephen Hawking is 63. Singer R. Kelly is 38. Actress Ami Dolenz is 36. Reggae singer Sean Paul is 32.