TV Briefly

CNN reviving ‘Crossfire’ with Gingrich as regular


Miami Herald Wire Services

CNN says it’s bringing the political debate show Crossfire back on the air this fall with Newt Gingrich as one of the combatants.

The former House speaker and Republican presidential candidate will be one of the four regular hosts of the program, taking the conservative side along with commentator S.E. Cupp of The Blaze. Stephanie Cutter, a former campaign spokeswoman for President Barack Obama, and Van Jones, a Yale-educated attorney and advocate for green projects, will speak from the left.

“It just feels like the right time for ‘Crossfire’ to be coming back,” said Sam Feist, CNN’s senior vice president and Washington bureau chief. The show will air weekdays but no time slot has been set.

The original aired on CNN from 1982 until 2005, and its alumni list reads like a Washington who’s who: Pat Buchanan, Robert Novak, Geraldine Ferraro, Lynn Cheney, James Carville, Paul Begala and Tucker Carlson among them.

Together again

The leading ladies of Laverne & Shirley are reuniting. Penny Marshall and Cindy Williams will guest star in an episode of Nickelodeon’s new sitcom Sam & Cat.

The actresses starred as 1950s and ’60s pals and roommates Laverne DeFazio and Shirley Feeney, workers in a Milwaukee brewery. The sitcom aired from 1976 to 1983 on ABC.

Sam & Cat features Jennette McCurdy and Ariana Grande as friends who start a baby-sitting business. Nickelodeon says Marshall and Williams will play characters involved in a decades-old feud.

Ratings boost

NBC’s Today show beat its rivals at ABC’s Good Morning America with a Thursday episode that featured Matt Lauer’s interview with TV personality Paula Deen, who is trying to keep her career cooking following admissions that she had used a racial slur.

The Nielsen company reported Today had just under 4.8 million viewers on Thursday, to GMA’s 4.63 million. It was the first time Today had a bigger audience since November during the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy. On average, the ABC show beat Today by 900,000 viewers a day last week.

NBC hires Bratton

NBC News has hired former New York police commissioner and Los Angeles top cop Bill Bratton as a news analyst.

Bratton, who also ran Boston’s police department in a busy law enforcement career, will specialize in criminal justice policy, domestic intelligence gathering and the role of law enforcement in counterterrorism. NBC said Thursday that Bratton will also appear on MSNBC.

He joins a protégé in the media. John Miller, who worked for Bratton in New York and Los Angeles, is an analyst and reporter at CBS News.

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