Tony Kornheiser already has quite a TV presence as the co-host of "Pardon the Interruption" weekdays on ESPN. But the Washington Post columnist gets a different kind of TV exposure when he's played by Jason Alexander (of "Seinfeld" fame) in the new sitcom "Listen Up."

"My first reaction was a sort of mixture of joy and apprehension that, in fact, these columns would come to life and they'd be on television," Kornheiser told reporters in Los Angeles via satellite.

"I was thrilled that they got a young, hunky guy like Jason Alexander to play me," he said, joking. "Because it could have been some old, washed-up retread like Robert Redford."

But, he adds, "I just think it's pretty damn cool. I hope it works out. I'm flattered beyond belief that they're going to actually put this on TV. And I assume I could pay for a hair transplant with the proceeds."

"Listen Up" starts Sept. 20 on CBS.



  • Becoming the voice of a lioness on the upcoming, animated "Father of the Pride" was easy for Cheryl Hines, especially because her husband in the show is called Larry (voiced by John Goodman).

    Hines is best known for playing the wife of Larry David on "Curb Your Enthusiasm."

    "I have a lot of Larrys in my life," she says. "They both are hard to live with. And I feel like the animated Larry tries a little harder. I mean, at least he knows there is a word called `foreplay.' It's a little bit different. I mean we have kids," or as she corrects herself, "cubs."

    "Father of the Pride," an animated show not intended for children, starts Aug. 31 on NBC.



  • From Capt. James T. Kirk to T.J. Hooker, William Shatner has created some interesting characters.

    His latest role, as the egotistical legal partner Denny Crane, may be the most eccentric of all, maybe even, some have suggested a cartoon.

    "There's just so much material to work with," Shatner says. "That's why we get along so well. I'm just having fun. And what may seem to be a cartoon character is, in fact, for me, reality."

    Shatner, 73, continues his other roles, as spokesman for priceline.com and, decades after his original album "The Transformed Man," a recording artist. His new album "Has Been," due out Oct. 6 on Shout Factory records, is his return to the studio.



  • Reality producer Mark Burnett turns to scripted TV with the new comedy "Commando Nanny" on the WB network.

    It's based on his own experiences as a Beverly Hills nanny fresh out of the Army.

    But if the early life of the producer of "Survivor," "The Restaurant" and "The Apprentice" is of interest, so is that of the show's executive producer, Rachel Sweet.

    Before she turned to sitcoms - helping write and produce such shows as "George Lopez," "Dharma & Greg" and "Sportsnight" - Sweet spent her teenage years as a rock star.

    "I was singing since I was 14 till I was 19 and I made a lot of records overseas and was quite successful over there," she says.

    She wrote and performed the title song of John Waters' original "Hairspray."

    "Eventually I stopped singing and dropped my record contract to go to school and study writing and did a lot of things between 14 and 19 I shouldn't have done, as many teenagers did," Sweet says. "It's actually traceable and it's on the Internet. So I will never run for public office."

    "Commando Nanny" starts Sept. 17 on The WB.



  • Part of the planning of a new "CSI" franchise is choosing The Who song "Who Are You?" as the theme for the first show. The first spinoff,"CSI: Miami," used "Won't Get Fooled Again."

    Series creator Anthony Zuiker says that for the upcoming "CSI: New York," "We had actually four songs in contention."

    "My choice was `Behind Blue Eyes,'" he says, "I was overruled."

    Les Moonves, co-president and co-chief operating officer of Viacom, which owns CBS, changed The Who choice to "Baba O'Reilly."

    But now, Zuiker has to admit: "It's a great anthem and a great choice by the chairman."

    "CSI: New York," starring Gary Sinise and Melina Kanakaredes, starts Sept. 22 on CBS.