Monday, July 21, 2003

Burton gets 'Reading' bucks



By John Kiesewetter
The Cincinnati Enquirer

LOS ANGELES - LeVar Burton has found a pot of gold at the end of the Rainbow.

Burton, who told the Daytime Emmy Awards national TV audience in May that his Reading Rainbow had run out of money and ceased production, had good news for the Television Critics Association Saturday night.

The show will return for a 20th season with new episodes, he says.

Stories and columns about his Emmy remarks "set off a chain of events ... that embarrassed PBS into giving us an additional $2 million," says Burton, the children's reading show host and executive producer.

The actor also says both houses of Congress have specifically designated funding for Reading Rainbow (4:30 p.m. weekdays, Channel 48) in recent appropriations bill.

"We're not completely out of the woods. We're looking for some corporate financing and matching funds," he says. "What I'd love to create is a situation where I don't have to go begging for money every year."

Burton and Reading Rainbow were honored as TV's outstanding children's program at the 19th annual Television Critics Association Awards on Saturday.

Other winners were Jon Stewart of The Daily Show (individual achievement in comedy; best comedy); American Idol (program of the year); Boomtown (new program; best drama); Frontline (news and information); Taken (movie or miniseries); The Sopranos' Edie Falco (individual achievement in drama); Carl Reiner (career achievement); and Buffy the Vampire Slayer (heritage award).

Stewart had the best line of the night, joking about HBO's 109 Emmy nominations:

"HBO, for something that's 'not TV,' wins a lot of TV awards."

Eye for ratings

With the Queer Eye for the Straight Guy makeover show drawing record ratings on Bravo last Tuesday, NBC will repeat a condensed version of the one-hour show on Thursday (9:30 p.m., Channels 5, 22), after Will & Grace. NBC owns Bravo.

Thanks a million

Joe Millionaire will be back again this fall, but Fox executives refuse to give details of the sequel. "I can tell you the butler will be back," says Gail Berman, Fox Entertainment president.

Fox Entertainment Chairman Sandy Grushow says: "The foundation of the first (show) was based on the need to keep it secretive, and the same is true of the second one - and in some ways, even more so."

Casting about

Kim Delaney will return to NYPD Blue for a four-episode arc heading into November sweeps....

Patrick Warburton (Seinfeld's "Puddy" and The Tick) will join Less than Perfect as a TV news pundit.

TV star wars

For goofy fun, catch the Battle of the Network Stars, which repeats at 7 and 11 p.m. this week on Trio, a Time Warner digital channel. The lineups:

• Today: Sonny Bono, Kristy McNichol, LeVar Burton, Jaclyn Smith, Rob Reiner (1977).

• Tuesday: David Letterman, Billy Crystal, Toni Tennille, Tony Randall, Lynn Swann, Cheryl Tiegs (1978).

• Wednesday: Ed Asner, Howard Hesseman, Valerie Bertinelli, Dick Van Patten (1979).

• Thursday: Scott Baio, Tom Selleck, Joan Van Ark, Byron Allen (1980).

• Friday: Lynda Carter, Farrah Fawcett, Andrienne Barbeau, Desmond Wilson, Ron Howard, Lynda Carter (1976).

TV today

PBS' History Detectives determine the authenticity of a Napoleonic sword (8 p.m., Channels 48, 16).

Talk of the tour

"What is Wal-Mart?"

• Hotel heiress Paris Hilton, 22, great-granddaughter of Conrad Hilton, to an Arkansas farm family during her four-week stay with them for The Simple Life, a Green Acres-style Fox reality show (8:30 p.m. Aug. 13, Channels 19, 45).

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E-mail jkiesewetter@enquirer.com

Talk show lineup

9 a.m.

(9) Regis and Kelly

(19) Maury Women request paternity tests. revealing their infidelities. may have caused their pregnancies.

10 a.m.

(5) Montel Williams Update on memorable couples in crisis.

(9) Wayne Brady Justin Timberlake; Rob Lowe; Ashton Kutcher; Ryan Seacrest.

11 a.m.

(5) Jerry Springer A woman stays with her boyfriend after finding out that he is a she.

(9) The View

12:00 (64)Good Day Live

1 p.m.

(19) Crossing Over With John Edward A man teases his daughter. ; a man passes from a stroke before his daughter's wedding; a woman receives a message from her friend's son.

1:30 (19)Crossing Over With John Edward Mothers: John discusses his own messages; memorable readings and highlights.

(64)Celebrity Justice

2 p.m.

(19) John Walsh Show A teen discusses her battle with depression.

3 p.m.

(5) Dr. Phil Couples on fair fighting.

(19) Caroline Rhea Actress Rosie Perez(Broadway's "Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune"); Actress Kristin Chenoweth; (ABC's "The Music Man"); Julia DeMato and Charles Grigsby.

4 p.m.

(9) Oprah Winfrey

(19)Maury Couples who are complete opposites discuss their love.

4:30CNNCrossfire

9:00CNNLarry King Live

11:30 p.m.

(5) Tonight Show Angelina Jolie; Guster performs.

(12) Late Show Hiker Aron Ralston, who amputated his arm to free himself from a boulder; Tobey Maguire; Fountains of Wayne performs.

(48)Charlie Rose




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