Television news briefs



“My Name Is Earl” may have a family-friendly, spiritual message at its core, but behind the scenes is a different story.

At a recent press day, actor Ethan Suplee, who plays Earl’s brother Randy, reveals that the bonus features for the upcoming first season “Earl” DVD may not be suitable for children.

In March, reported that a mini “what if” episode would be included that would imagine a world where Earl Hickey (Jason Lee) skipped over Carson Daly and his message about karma on TV and landed on “Family Guy’s” megalomaniacal baby Stewie Griffin instead. Suplee confirms that this alternate premise will be more about raunch and less about redemption.

“I don’t think we said (the f-word) or anything like that, but I definitely don’t think you could air it on television,” says the actor. “It’s the lost pilot … it’s just what if things were different. There’s some funky stuff in there. We got to play around a bit with it.”

The bonus episode was shot after the completion of filming for the season and will make a total of 25 episodes on the disc. Suplee also says that fans can look forward to the outtake reel featuring the nutty goings-on that didn’t make it to air.

“The X-rated blooper reel should be fun,” he adds. “Jason and I are pushing for an entire disc of bloopers because I always feel like they don’t put enough in. We mess up at least once on every take. A lot of teabag moments too. A lot of dry humping going on in that bonus thing. At the wrap party I was terrified and had to get my kids out of there before the gag reel aired, and that was only 13 minutes long. Just the language alone is awful.”

Despite “Earl’s” popularity, Suplee still says he gets recognized most for playing the bully Frankie Stechino on the teen sitcom “Boy Meets World.”

“It’s unbelievable. It’s crazy, and I think they just released it on DVD but it’s on every day. It’s inescapable,” says Suplee. “‘My Name is Earl’ is not at the top of the recognition factor yet although I don’t see why it’s not. I think more people probably see me on that show every week than would see every movie I’ve been in combined. If you had 10 million people go to see your movie, it would be a massive success.”

When fans do recognize Suplee as Randy, though, they often treat him like he’s dim-witted like his character. “Strangely enough, a lot of people have said “hi’ to me but kind of like, “Hey …’ and I’ve gone, “Hey, how are you?’ And they go, “Oh, I thought you were maybe a little slow,’ which is weird,” he says.

And just like Earl’s character, who’s grown a little on his karmic crusade, Randy has evolved too.

“I don’t think he’s getting dumber,” says Suplee. “From the pilot to now, there are certain things in the pilot that I would say wouldn’t play the same or wouldn’t’ be applicable now. But I thought the other day that as Earl kind of moved more towards his karmic goodness, for Randy, any mean-spiritedness he had was washing away with that. So he is becoming I think more innocent.”

The season finale of “Earl” will air sometime in May on NBC.


It’s not some late April Fool’s joke, nor, as far as we can tell, is it some diabolical plot to make cult TV phenomenon all make it bland and mainstream.

But it is true: For the next two weeks, “Saved by the Bell” will be part of Adult Swim. The Cartoon Network’s late-night alter ego has been teasing the addition of the show for the past week or so, and starting at midnight Monday, Zack, Slater and Screech will take their place beside Harvey Birdman, Frylock and Moral Orel in the Adult Swim pantheon.

A Cartoon Network spokesperson stresses that the show, which originally ran from 1989-93 and has been a syndication staple (including on Cartoon’s sister network TBS) ever since, is only getting a two-week trial. That hasn’t assuaged Adult Swim fans, who have been leaving voluminous “What the hell?” posts on the channel’s message boards.

“If this isn’t a joke, then we shall declare outright war against (AS), take over their offices, and torture them … CARTOONS FOREVER SBTB NEVER!” reads one, which is pretty representative of the general feeling among posters.

A sizable number of fans also wonder if the scheduling of “Saved by the Bell” – the fiand Jennifer Aspen (“Rodney”), according to The Hollywood Reporter. Elsewhere, The CW’s comedy “Flirt” has added several people to its cast, and “Mad TV” regular Stephnie Weir has joined ABC’s “A Day in the Life.”

“Welcome to the Jungle Gym” centers on a woman (Polo) who cuts back her time at her high-stress job to spend more time with her kids. Dajani and Aspen will play her close friends and support system.

In addition to “Emily’s Reasons,” which ABC pulled after just one episode, Dajani co-starred on Fox’s “Ned and Stacey” and in the films “Sidewalks of New York” and “View from the Top.”

Weir, a “Mad TV” regular for the past several seasons, will play a wedding planner in “A Day in the Life.” The show chronicles the wedding day of a couple played by Josh Cooke (“Four Kings”) and Marla Sokoloff (“Modern Men”).

“Flirt,” which got a relatively late pilot order from new network The CW, stars Wayne Brady as the sole male employee at a women’s magazine. Tamala Jones (“The Tracy Morgan Show,” “One on One”) and Bree Turner (Oxygen’s “Good Girls Don’t”) will play co-workers of Brady, and Marco Sanchez (“Walker, Texas Ranger”), Marcelle Larice (“The Bad Girl’s Guide”) and Guy Torry (“Runaway Jury”) have also joined the cast.


“Flavor of Love” brought big, record-setting ratings, but its star ultimately didn’t find the woman he was searching for. Which is pretty much the best of both worlds for the show’s network, VH1, because now there can be a second season.

And indeed there will be: VH1 has ordered a second season of “Flavor of Love,” in which rapper Flavor Flav meets a bevy of women and, “Bachelor” style, narrows the field until he finds that special woman.

Or not. The show’s first season ended with Flav picking contestant Nicole “Hoopz” Alexander, but the two later “realized that their relationship would not work out,” VH1 says. So it’s back into the breach for the one-time Public Enemy star, whose relationship with VH1 also includes a season of “The Surreal Life” and “Strange Love,” which followed his post-“Surreal” relationship with actress Brigitte Nielsen.

“After spending so much time with Flavor Flav on “Surreal Life’ and “Flavor of Love,’ we shared his frustration at not having found love,” executive producers Mark Cronin and Cris Abrego say. “Thankfully, the success of the first season and Flav’s popularity enables us to have a second chance at finding him the right woman.”

The first-season finale of “Flavor of Love” drew close to 5.9 million viewers last month, the biggest audience in VH1’s history. The show also scored a 3.5 rating in the key adults 18-49 demographic, another VH1 record. Three of the show’s 10 episodes rank among the network’s 10 all-time best commercial broadcasts.

Season two of the show will begin production in Los Angeles in May.