January 28, 2011 in Features

Will Ferrell to visit ‘Office’

Associated Press
 

Will Ferrell is coming to “The Office.”

Ferrell will play a visiting branch manager over an arc of several episodes, NBC says, promising that his character will be “just as inappropriate” as Steve Carell’s Michael Scott.

Carell’s farewell is expected four episodes before the season finale of “The Office.” In preparation of his exit, NBC is bringing in high-profile guests, including Ricky Gervais, creator of the orginal British “The Office,” who reprised his role as David Brent on Thursday.

Diddy goes ‘Hawaii’

CBS says musician-actor Sean “Diddy” Combs will guest star on an upcoming episode of “Hawaii Five-O.”

He will play NYPD Detective Reggie Williams, who arrives in Honolulu on the hunt for the men who committed a crime against his family.

Several of Combs’ hit songs will be featured on the episode, slated to air this spring.

‘Jersey’ to Italy

“Jersey Shore” is headed to the Motherland.

The popular MTV reality TV series starring a group of hard-partying Italian-Americans will film its fourth season in Italy, the network announced.

“Europe is a fresh spin on a show that continues to reach new heights for us,” says MTV programming Vice President Chris Linn.

The first and ongoing third seasons were set in Seaside Heights, N.J., while the second season sent the fist-pumping pals to Miami.

The fourth season is set to premiere later this year.

‘Skins’ sheds viewers

The audience for MTV’s racy teen drama “Skins” plunged to 1.6 million Monday night, a drop-off of more than half from its premiere a week earlier,

The slump may signal a triumph for the Parents Television Council, a watchdog group that had blasted the series’ content and accused the network of aiming the show at underage viewers.

Based on an acclaimed British series of the same name, MTV’s Americanized “Skins” depicts teens engaging in sexual activity as well as drug and alcohol abuse.

The premiere was seen by 3.3 million viewers, 1.2 million of them under 18. Since then, a number of advertisers – including Schick, Taco Bell, L’Oreal and the Subway sandwich chain – have pulled their commercials from the program.

The furor was further inflamed by a newspaper story suggesting that scenes with the series’ age-appropriate actors, some of whom are minors, might violate federal child pornography laws.

Winging it again

Writer Aaron Sorkin says he’s going to give the world of cable news the “West Wing” treatment.

In a BBC interview, Sorkin said he’s written a pilot episode for HBO that takes place behind the scenes at a nightly cable show. The series is being cast.

After spending time observing at CNN, Fox News Channel and MSNBC, Sorkin says he wants to bring to cable news the same sense of idealism that made government appealing on “The West Wing.”

Sorkin received an Oscar nomination for his screenplay for “The Social Network.”

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