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Quick Takes: No encore for Ricki Lake

February 05, 2013

The second time around was definitely not better for Ricki Lake.

Her "The Ricki Lake Show," an attempt to re-create the success she had as a daytime talk show host during the 1990s, got a pink slip Monday.

Twentieth Television, the show's distributor, said it will not renew the syndicated gabfest for the 2013-14 season. Episodes will continue airing through September.

The show launched in September amid a crowded market that also included not only veterans such as "Ellen" but also new entries from Jeff Probst, Katie Couric and Steve Harvey. Lake never gained ratings traction.

—Yvonne Villarreal

Russell joins PBS SoCal

A former Corporation for Public Broadcasting executive, Andrew Russell, is joining PBS SoCal as chief operating officer as the public television station ramps up its operations to better serve Southern California.

Russell, 53, has more than 18 years experience with CPB and the Public Broadcasting Service, helping to shape PBS' prime-time schedule and developing the Ready-to-Learn service for preschool children.

He is expected to help lead the efforts of the Costa Mesa-based station, formally known as KOCE-TV, to increase its revenue and profile in the community, including opening a facility in downtown Los Angeles.

Russell, who will report to station president Mel Rogers, also will be charged with expanding local content with an eye toward creating programming that can be syndicated nationally.

The station became the primary PBS outlet in the Los Angeles region in 2011 when the KCET dropped its affiliation to become an independent.

—Meg James

Treatment for Bolshoi director

Sergei Filin, the artistic director of Moscow's Bolshoi Ballet, is traveling to Germany to receive treatment for his injuries sustained from being attacked with acid in January.

The attack occurred Jan. 17 as Filin was leaving his Moscow home. An assailant threw sulfuric acid in his face.

Filin, 42, is expected to receive eye treatment in Germany. He left a Moscow hospital Monday and spoke to reporters. He described his vision as "foggy and blurred," according to the BBC News.

Filin has said in recent interviews with the BBC News and the New York Times that he is "absolutely certain" he knows who attacked him and that he believes it was connected to a power struggle at the company.

—David Ng

More celebrities to take a plunge

NBA Hall of Famer Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and extreme skier Rory Bushfield are the latest celebrities to join the cast of ABC's "Splash," a competition series that will feature famous people attempting to look graceful while diving into water.

The previously announced cast includes comedian Louie Anderson, singer and former child star Drake Bell, Chelsea Handler's sidekick Chuy Bravo, former "Baywatch" star Nicole Eggert, "Tyler Perry's House of Payne" star Keisha Knight Pulliam, Detroit Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh, former Miss Alabama Katherine Webb and former star of "The Girls Next Door" Kendra Wilkinson.

"Splash" premieres March 19.

—Patrick Kevin Day

$1-million gift for urban studies

Developer Tom Gilmore has made a $1-million planned gift to the Southern California Institute of Architecture to support the school's first endowed chair.

Gilmore, a member of the SCI-Arc board of trustees since 2001 and a key player in the renaissance of downtown L.A. over the last two decades, has pledged $1 million from his estate to help create the Gilmore City Chair, a faculty position dedicated to urban studies.

Planned gifts aren't realized until the death of the donor. In the case of Gilmore, who is 60, that could be many years from now.

—Christopher Hawthorne

New website aimed at readers

The latest website for discovering, discussing and buying books is sponsored by some of the industry's leading publishers.

Simon & Schuster, Hachette Book Group and Penguin Group (USA) on Tuesday are launching Bookish, billed as "a one-stop, comprehensive online destination designed to connect readers with books and authors."

The idea is for publishers, who individually have struggled for recognition among the general public, to combine resources and increase their Web presence.

The editorial team will operate independently, but publishers will have control over how books are promoted.

—Associated Press

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