Bruce Willis hasn’t acted on a TV series since he appeared with his “Whole Nine Yards” co-star Matthew Perry on “Friends” five years ago.
He’ll go back in front of sitcom cameras in November at the behest of another pal – Ashton Kutcher, current boyfriend of his ex-wife, Demi Moore.
Willis is set to guest-star on an episode of “That `70s Show” sometime during the November sweeps. He says he’ll donate his fee to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund to aid victims of Hurricane Katrina, and Fox and producer Carsey-Werner say they’ll match the donation.
In the episode, one of four ” ‘70s Show” appearances by former cast regular Kutcher this season, Willis will play Vic, a skeevy, toupee-wearing guy who also happens to be head of security at Chicago’s Playboy Club. Kelso (Kutcher), applying for a job at the club, has to interview with him.
WB signs Lachey, Brandy
Two pop stars-turned-TV stars have found a home at The WB.
The network has signed separate talent deals with “Newlyweds” star/Jessica Simpson husband Nick Lachey and singer-actress Brandy. The network now will start looking for projects that can serve as vehicles for the two stars.
Lachey, who had a recurring role on The WB’s “Charmed” last season, also has made guest appearances on “Hope & Faith” and “I’m with Her.”
Brandy starred in UPN’s “Moesha” in the late ‘90s. Her last TV project was “Brandy: Special Delivery,” which aired on MTV in 2002.
UPN juggles Thursday lineup
“Everybody Hates Chris” is staying put at 8 p.m., but UPN has rearranged the rest of its new Thursday lineup behind the critically lauded comedy.
The network has moved “Eve” from 8:30 to 9 p.m., giving it an established show to lead off the monstrously competitive hour. The rookie show “Love, Inc.” gets the 8:30 spot behind “Chris,” while “Cuts” drops back a half-hour to 9:30.
The Chris Rock-produced and narrated “Everybody Hates Chris,” based on his life as a teenager, has earned raves as one of the best new shows of the season.
NBC seeks ‘Middle’
NBC has revived one of the pilots it passed on this spring, picking up six episodes of a comedy called “Filmore Middle.”
The show, which stars Justin Bartha (“National Treasure,” “Gigli”) and Sarah Alexander (the BBC’s “Coupling”) as teachers at a New Jersey middle school, is set for a midseason debut.
It centers on Jeff (Bartha), an English teacher who’s lost some of his idealism but still tries to engage his students. He also has the hots for Alice (Alexander), a first-year teacher who has yet to surrender to the apathy that marks some of Filmore’s other faculty.
‘Rome’ renewed by HBO
HBO has renewed its swords-and-sandals drama “Rome” for a second year. Production is set to begin in March for a fall 2006 premiere.
The lavishly mounted series, a co-production with the BBC, has earned solid ratings and strong critical praise for its densely plotted story about the rise of Julius Caesar (Ciaran Hinds).
“Rome” is one of the most expensive series ever produced, costing a reported $100 million for its first, 12-episode season. The cost of a second season, also 12 episodes, will presumably be somewhat lower now that the detailed sets at Rome’s Cinecitta Studios are built.
More TV guest work
Among the other well-known names set to guest-star on TV series this season:
“ Multiple Emmy winner John Larroquette will return to NBC for a two-week stint on “Joey” starting Sept. 29. He plays an award-winning actor who co-stars with Joey (Matt LeBlanc) in a movie called “Captured,” which could be Joey’s big break.
Larroquette also is set to guest on Fox’s new “Kitchen Confidential” on Oct. 3. He won four consecutive Emmys in the 1980s playing blowhard prosecutor Dan Fielding on NBC’s “Night Court” and earned a fifth in 1998 for a guest role on “The Practice.”
“ Katey Sagal will appear in the third episode of “Lost,” scheduled for Oct. 5, though the exact nature of her role is unclear.
It seems likely that the former “Married … With Children” and “8 Simple Rules” star will appear in flashback scenes, as higher-profile guest stars were primarily used that way in “Lost’s” first season.
“ Former “Beverly Hills, 90210” star Jason Priestley will appear in two episodes of The WB’s “What I Like About You” in October as a new love interest for Val, played by another “90210” alum, Jennie Garth.
Last season, another familiar face from “90210,” Luke Perry, also guest-starred in a romantic role opposite Garth.
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