news digest


Barker named in lawsuit

Bob Barker might be retired, but the allegations of harassment on the set of "The Price Is Right" continue. On Thursday, Barker was named in a lawsuit filed in Los Angeles Superior Court by Deborah Curling, a 24-year employee of the popular game show. CBS Broadcasting and FremantleMedia North also were named as defendants. Curling claims that she was forced to quit after she testified in one of the many lawsuits filed against Barker through the years by other former employees.

'Queens' made in the U.S.A.

Writing team and real-life couple David A. Lee and Daniel Vaillancourt have optioned the rights to the English-language remake of "Queens" from Warner Bros./Spain. The plot of the 2005 Spanish-language feature known as "Reinas" in Europe revolves around five mothers who prepare for Spain's first legal mass wedding for same-sex couples. Lee said he and his partner wanted to write the American version of "Queens" since viewing it at the 2006 Outfest in Los Angeles.

'Practice' perfect on TiVo's list

"Private Practice" has something in common with "Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip." TiVo said Thursday that its users are recording "Practice" episodes at a higher frequency than any other new show. The DVR company, though, noted that "Studio 60" was the high-scoring new show on TiVo's list last year, and it flopped. TiVo calculated its rankings based on the number of users who set their units for a "season pass," which tells their DVRs to record every episode of a chosen show.

Russia raises curtain for ABC News

NEW YORK — Two years after being effectively frozen out by Russian officials, ABC News said that it will send a correspondent to its Moscow bureau. The hiring of Clarissa Ward, who was a Beirut-based correspondent at Fox News, puts an end to a two-year saga that started in summer 2005, when "Nightline" aired a freelancer's interview with Chechen rebel leader Shamil Basayev. The Russian government, which regards Basayev as their Osama bin Laden, banned ABC journalists from the nation.

Nicholl finalists are written up

Ten scripts penned by beginning scribes have been selected as finalists in the 22nd annual Don and Gee Nicholl Fellowships in Screenwriting, presented by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Up to five writers can be selected to each receive the $30,000 fellowship. The Academy received 5,050 scripts for this year's competition. Fellows get a year to complete a feature-length screenplay.

Sponsors on DeGeneres' 'Wish' list

Unilever and Sunbeam have signed on as national sponsors for Ellen DeGeneres' cross-platform marketing program "Wish You Were Here." The 10-week program, available online at, will feature fans showcasing their hometown pride by uploading their own stories, photos and videos, each detailing why the talk show host should visit their town.