For AOL TV: Beau Bridges, Streep, Laurie, Moresco, ‘Jersey Shore,’ Sawyer


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These are my latest posts for AOL Inside TV. Please feel free to click over and read these posts in their entirety.

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Beau Bridges on His Guest Role as a Transsexual Cop on ‘The Closer’

Beau Bridges’ upcoming guest spot on ‘The Closer,’ airing Mon., Dec. 14, at 9PM on TNT, will fascinate fans of the longtime actor. He plays Det. George Andrews, former partner of G.W. Bailey’s crusty and hard-edged Lt. Provenza. About a decade has gone by since they last saw each other, and much has changed — including Det. Andrews’ sex change.

The context for the episode involves the Major Crimes Unit reopening an old case in which Det. Andrews figured in prominently. That means Provenza isn’t just dealing with Andrews’ news but doing so publicly — to the delight, maybe, of Kyra Sedgwick’s Brenda, who is only too happy to forget her own low-simmer turmoil with Jon Tenney’s Fritz.

Meryl Streep, Michael Douglas Join History Documentary

Though the U.S. is a young nation — just 233 years old if you trace it back to the Declaration of Independence in 1776 — the settling of the continent goes back four centuries or more.

With that in mind, the History Channel will premiere ‘America: The Story of Us’ in 2010, an epic 12-part series examining how this nation of average citizens, not royalty, have determined its course from the very beginning.

According to Variety, Meryl Streep and Michael Douglas are among a starry list of narrators confirmed for the series, which draws talent from Hollywood and politics. Other narrators will include former Secretary of State Colin Powell and NBC anchor Brian Williams.

Hugh Laurie to Direct March Episode of ‘House’

Word is, per Entertainment Weekly, Hugh Laurie will be directing his first episode of ‘House’ next month — for airing Mon., March 22, as the 17th episode of the current season. For Laurie, one of the most honored actors on TV, this could prove to be a revelatory assignment.

EW quoted executive producer Katie Jacobs as saying that the script for the episode is “not a traditional” one, but declined to go any further.

Frank the Entertainer Looks for Love in His Parents’ Basement

VH1’s reality TV’s programming has scraped so much from the bottom of the barrel that there’s actually a hole in the bottom (hey, we can see Bravo’s spring lineup from here!). But here’s a touching story for you: Frank Moresco, a.k.a. Frank the Entertainer — the hormonal crooner and breakout star of season 2 of ‘I Love New York’ and both seasons of ‘I Love Money’ — is getting his own VH1 reality show entitled ‘Frank the Entertainer … in a Basement Affair,’ which premieres Sun., Jan. 3 at 8PM.

The show attempts to answer the eternal question: Can a man find love from his parent’s basement?

Domino’s Pulls Ads From MTV’s ‘Jersey Shore’; Show Premieres to So-So Ratings

Hold the pepperoni, the sausage and the extra cheese — oh, and the advertising, please, for MTV’s ‘Jersey Shore.’

According to TMZ, Domino’s Pizza has put out the word to its media buyers to withdraw support as soon as possible for the reality-TV show, which has come under increasingly withering criticism from the National Italian American Foundation, as well as local citizens of Seaside Heights, New Jersey, the beach-and-party town where the show takes place.

Diane Sawyer Leaving ‘Good Morning America’ After This Week

Now it’s official: On this morning’s broadcast of ‘Good Morning America,’ co-host Diane Sawyer confirmed what industry wags had predicted all along: she’ll leave ‘GMA’ at the end of this week in preparation for taking over for Charles Gibson, who leaves ‘World News’ on Dec. 18.