Tuesday, March 4, 2003

New 'Bachelor' scion of tire pioneer

The real deal or the wheel deal?

The great-grandson of tire entrepreneur Harvey Firestone will be The Bachelor looking for a wife on ABC starting March 26 (9 p.m., Channels 9, 2).

ABC calls Andrew Firestone, 27, "handsome, charming ... (and) the real deal."

Firestone is the son of pioneering vintner Brooks Firestone, founder of California's Firestone Vineyard, and Catherine Boulton, a former British Royal Ballet soloist.

Firestone was born in Santa Barbara County's Santa Ynez Valley, and attended prep school and the University of San Diego.

He lives in San Francisco and works as sales manager for the Firestone Family Estates, ABC says.

The Bachelor found Firestone through his brother, Adam.

Producers had contacted Adam Firestone about being on the show, not knowing that Adam is married with four children.

The Bachelor is ABC's highest-rated entertainment show this season.

The fall series featuring bachelor Aaron Buerge, a Missouri banker, averaged more than 16.78 million viewers to rank No. 14 this season.

The only ABC series to draw more viewers is Monday Night Football, No. 13 this season with an average of 16.91 million viewers.

The Bachelorette, which ended Feb. 19, averaged 16.74 million viewers to rank No. 15.

More Burbank: Great news for Gary Burbank fans.

The popular 3-6 p.m. humorist, satirist, entertainer - whatever you want to call him - has signed a new four-year contract with Clear Channel's WLW-AM (700).

"I figured it was too late to start another career," says Burbank, 61, who came to WLW-AM in 1980 from Louisville.

"I intended to come here for a year, and go back to Louisville, where my wife is from," says Burbank, who has twice won the prestigious Billboard Magazine and Marconi Awards for radio personality of the year during his stay here.

Ever since his 10-year contract came up from renewal in 1994, Burbank had talked about retiring to his Florida home.

He says he considered leaving because previous WLW-AM bosses, including Bill Cunningham in a brief stint as program director, had taken the fun out of the job.

"Every time I said it, I was serious about it. But I'm having a good time again, and I wasn't for a long time," Burbank says.

He credits his sidekicks - Duke Sinatra (aka John Davies), Rob Ervin, Slim Tempo (aka J.D. Riggs) and Rocco Costellanto - for keeping his sense of humor sharp.

"I'd actually pay for a ticket to hang out with this guys, if I went ahead and retired," Burbank says.

TV today: Billy Bush from Access Hollywood hosts a new Let's Make A Deal (8 p.m., Channels 5, 22).

Fans of Monty Hall, an executive producer for the revival, will enjoy seeing his 1963 Let's Make A Deal pilot (7 p.m., 9 p.m. and midnight today, Game Show Network).

Jimmy Kimmell's phone prank show, Crank Yankers (10 p.m., Comedy Central), returns for a second season with voices by Snoop Dog, Wanda Sykes, Tom Green and Robert Smigel.

Turner Classic Movies' "31 days of Oscar" continues with Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (8 p.m.), The Great Race (10:30 p.m.) and Grand Prix (1:30 a.m.).

Talk shows: Today's guests from TV Data:

Live with Regis and Kelly (9 a.m., Channel 9): Bruce Willis.

Wayne Brady (10 a.m., Channel 9): Dean Cain, Frankie Avalon.

The View (11 a.m., Channel 9): Sarah Ferguson, Queen Latifah.

Caroline Rhea (3 p.m., Channel 19): Rick Schroder, American Idol contestants Corey Clark and Joshua Graci.

E-mail jkiesewetter@enquirer.com

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