Archive for Thursday, October 20, 2005

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October 20, 2005

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Parents Television Council finds little to like this season

New York - Four Fox network programs, led by the comedies "The War at Home," "Family Guy" and "American Dad," topped a parents group's annual listing of the worst prime-time shows for family viewing.

The Parents Television Council rated two aspirational reality shows, ABC's "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" and NBC's new "Three Wishes," as the best programs for family viewing.

The group's president, L. Brent Bozell, said he was alarmed that the three Fox Sunday night comedies are being marketed as family friendly.

"Families should not be deceived," he said. "The top three worst shows all contain crude and raunchy dialogue with sex-themed jokes and foul language. Even worse is the fact that Hollywood is peddling its filth to families with cartoons."

A Fox spokesman said the network never comments on reports by the Parents Television Council.

But TV Watch, a lobbying organization started by the networks to oppose governmental regulation of television, objected to the list.

"It is far more constructive to encourage parents to decide what their children watch on TV by using ratings or screening shows than to hurl insults at shows enjoyed by millions of Americans," TV Watch spokeswoman Kathy Roeder said.

The Fox drama "The O.C." was fourth on the PTC's list of worst prime-time shows for families. Add in "That '70s Show" and "Arrested Development," and the network that tries to be hip for young viewers makes up 60 percent of the list.

Television's two most popular programs - CBS' "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation" and ABC's "Desperate Housewives - are also cited as bad family viewing. So were "Two and a Half Men" and "Cold Case" on CBS.

The group said it makes its determinations based on the amount of bad language and sexual and violent content, giving more weight to shows that appear earlier in the evening when children are likely to be awake, said Melissa Caldwell, its research director.

Fox's "American Idol," which returns in January, made the group's list of best family viewing experiences. Two new shows, CBS' "The Ghost Whisperer" and UPN's "Everybody Hates Chris," also made it.

Bozell said the group couldn't even come up with 10 prime-time shows it would recommend for family viewing. Its list stops at nine.

In the sixth through ninth slots of recommended shows are "Reba," WB; "Bernie Mac," Fox; "Dancing With the Stars," ABC; and "7th Heaven," WB.

Albright visits 'Gilmore Girls'

New York - Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright will make a guest appearance on the Oct. 25 episode of the WB's "Gilmore Girls."

"I am a big fan of 'Gilmore Girls' and I had a great time," Albright said in a statement. "It was an opportunity to do something different for a quick minute, and I learned how hard it is to memorize those lines."

Albright, secretary of state under President Clinton, filmed a scene with Alexis Bledel, who plays Rory Gilmore. The episode involves the ongoing estrangement between Rory and her mother, Lorelai Gilmore, played by Lauren Graham.

Norman Mailer and Carole King also have appeared on the show. Mailer appeared as himself, and King played the owner of the town's music store in two episodes.

Banderas gets his star

Los Angeles - Antonio Banderas has been presented with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, 16 years after he arrived as a penniless young actor.

Banderas got down on his knees and rubbed his hands over his new Hollywood star Tuesday. His latest film, "The Legend of Zorro," opens in theaters Oct. 28.

"It was an honor and privilege to arrive to this country 16 years ago with almost no money in my pocket," said Banderas, a native of Spain. "A lot has happened since then."

He was accompanied by his wife, Melanie Griffith; their 9-year-old daughter, Stella; and other family members. Sharon Stone also attended.

Banderas got his start with Pedro Almodovar in Spanish-language hits such as "Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown" and "Matador."

His first English-speaking role was in 1992's "The Mambo Kings." He moved on to major roles in "Evita," "The Mask of Zorro" and the animated "Shrek 2."

Bush, Bono do lunch

Washington - Before getting on stage before his fans in a Wednesday night concert, U2's Bono bent President Bush's ear about the world's poor.

The rock star and the president had lunch in the private dining room off the Oval Office, ordering from the menu at the same mess hall where White House staffers get their lunch. Bush, dressed in the classic presidential uniform of suit and red tie, also showed Bono, dressed in his trademark black jeans and sunglasses, around the Oval Office.

Bono told Rolling Stone magazine in an interview before they dined that he had no fear of meeting Bush or any other world leader.

"They should be afraid, because they will be held accountable for what happened on their watch," Bono told the magazine for an article on newsstands Friday. "I'm representing the poorest and the most vulnerable people. On a spiritual level, I have that with me. I'm throwing a punch, and the fist belongs to people who can't be in the room, whose rage, whose anger, whose hurt I represent.

Over an hour and 40 minute meeting, Bono and Bush discussed debt relief, AIDS, malaria and world trade, said presidential spokesman Scott McClellan. McClellan said they also talked about the U2's concerts at Washington's MCI Center Wednesday and today.

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